Emerging pop-country star Lizzie Sider, 17, isn't your average singer — she's also a huge anti-bullying advocate. Although she had friends and lots of interests in elementary school, there was a group of kids who bullied her daily. "I didn’t understand why I was the target; I was a normal kid who was always kind to everyone,” she says. “Although my principal and teachers tried to talk to my class about respect, kindness, and anti-bullying, it just didn’t click with the students who were bullying me.”
One morning, Lizzie's dad told her to remember that “nobody has the power to ruin your day.” She realized she couldn't let the bullies get to her. We sat down to talk to Lizzie about her music, her life and her inspiring anti-bullying campaign, Nobody Has The Power To Ruin Your Day, which has reached over 150,000 students and counting.
I Heart Daily: What made you want to speak out about bullying?
Lizzie Sider: When you experience something like bullying, it is always a part of you, even if over time the pain fades. The pain faded for me. Now, I can create something good out of it.
IHD: Which songs of yours are the most meaningful to you in relation to bullying?
LS: The theme song of all of my bully prevention efforts is “Butterfly.” My own story was the inspiration, but the song speaks to anyone who is feeling smaller, weaker, trapped in a shell, or is experiencing any hardship. Our confidence and strength lies within ourselves. When we discover and embrace that, the sky is the limit.
IHD: What do you hope that your anti-bullying campaign does for students?
LS: Not only does it relate my personal story to so many others, but it also tells bullies, victims, and bystanders what “To do" instead of what “Not to do." I also incorporate positivity, encouragement, and music, which in my opinion, go hand-in-hand with bully prevention. I hope that my assemblies and the video package change perspectives, start conversations among students, teachers, and parents alike, and provide resources and good examples for individuals who are somehow involved in the bullying cycle to overcome it.
IHD: What kinds of reactions do you get when you visit schools?
LS: A live assembly is so much fun. It’s filled with emotional and physical ups and downs. The students share their stories! I’ve even had some stand up and share how they were once a bully, but not anymore. It takes a lot of courage to do that in front of hundreds of your peers.
IHD: We always ask: What are you hearting now?
LS: Adult coloring books, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Jackson Hole WY, Dan + Shay, Michael Bublé, large sweaters, anything “tribal” print, Emma Watson, Julie Andrews, and author/poetVictoria Erickson.
Thanks, Lizzie! Visit NobodyHasThePowerToRuinYourDay.org to ask for Lizzie's free bully prevention materials.