Teen singer shares anti-bullying message
Lizzie Sider is a 15-year-old rising country-pop singer-songwriter from South Florida. (Courtesy of lizziesider.com)
Thirteen-year-old Melina Suastegui heard the message loud and clear as she attended an anti-bullying school assembly Tuesday, but she almost couldn’t believe the messenger.
Rising country-pop singer-songwriter Lizzie Sider visited Adele Harrison Middle School to share her experience of being teased as a grade-schooler and to encourage students to rise above any ridicule.
“I wouldn’t think she would get bullied,” said Melina, “because she’s pretty.”
The tall, slender 15-year-old singer from South Florida was, indeed, teased so much in grade school “that I came home crying almost every day,” she told the sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade students gathered in the school gymnasium.
“They called me names and laughed at me and I really don’t know why. It was very hurtful,” Lizzie said.
Lizzie Sider sings “Butterfly” as a video plays overhead at Adele Harrison Middle School.
Encouraged by her father’s suggestion that “nobody has the power to ruin your day,” the singer eventually embraced her own self-worth and potential – and is now taking that message on an 80-school tour across California during October’s National Bully Prevention Month.
Students wearing colorful rubber bracelets printed with the singer’s name and her father’s words of wisdom sang along to Lizzie’s debut single “Butterfly,” set to a lyric video she created with her mother.
The catchy and upbeat song tells of Lizzie’s empowering decision to overcome the teasing and bullying she experienced in elementary school.
“I used to hide and keep inside,” she sings, “But look at me now, look at me now.”
Today Lizzie is “one of the new artists to watch in 2013,” as noted in Country Music Association’s Close Up magazine.
The high school sophomore told students who’ve been bullied that they aren’t alone. She mentioned singers Taylor Swift and Selena Gomez and Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps, asking students what the three have in common.
Students spread the anti-bullying message with colorful bracelets.
“They’ve all been bullied?” guessed a student.
“That’s right,” Lizzie said. “They were all bullied and overcame it.”
Students Jose Aguayo, 14, and Gaby Romo, 12, said they haven’t noticed much bullying at their school but felt inspired to help if they ever do.
“No one can change your day,” Gaby said of bullying.
“You can’t be changed by someone else,” echoed Jose.
For more information about Lizzie Sider, visit lizziesider.com.
– Dianne Reber Hart