LaNiyah Bailey is an adorably cute child with a bright future ahead of her. She has accomplished more in a year’s time than many have done in a lifetime to bring about change in not only her own life but the lives of others that have endured the same type of torturous bullying that she has.
She was bullied for no other reason than her appearance. She was teased by not only children but adults as well. Can you imagine the things that went on in her mind? Can you imagine what a child younger than 6 years old felt to have been crying uncontrollably because she was being teased nonstop because of her weight? Her medically induced weight problem, something she had no control over, constant judgment and harsh words could have led to a tragedy.
She rose above her circumstances and is now impacting the world with her brave stance against bullying and fight against childhood obesity.
Now, she’s sharing her story with us…
La Tasha K. Mason
Follow me on Twitter @Tash1216
Pix11 News: Nathan Kamp sits down with LaNiyah Bailey
Hi, LaNiyah!!! So, you have your VERY OWN book.
That’s pretty cool to be an author at only age 7. Do you like writing?
I love to write because it’s so fun. I know that playing is fun but, writing is fun too.
What is your favorite subject in school and why?
Math, Science, Reading and recess. I like math because it’s so fun to do adding and subtracting. I like science because we get to explore things. We learned how to plant seeds and watched them grow. I like reading because it’s fun to learn how to read more and learn bigger words. I like recess because you get to have fun, be with your friends and play around.
What is your least favorite subject and why?
There’s nothing that I don’t like in school. I love school, except when people were teasing me.
What is your absolute favorite part about going to school?
Pre-school and school hasn’t always been fun for you though. Tell me why…
Because I used to get teased. It hurt my feelings, and I couldn’t deal with it anymore.
How did it make you feel to be teased and picked on by kids at school?
It was harsh, so harsh…I would go home crying everyday. I never wanted to go back to daycare.
Did it hurt more when grown-ups said mean things about you?
Yes, because grown-ups are supposed to help you not tease you.
What kinds of mean things were said to you?
You are a big fat elephant; someone told me I looked like I was going to have a baby because my stomach was so big. Others said things like you’re fat.
When people were being mean to you at school, did you tell anyone? Yes! Who did you tell and what did they do about it?
I told my teacher, and they talked to the kids that were being mean.
Your mom and dad took you to a doctor to see why you are not as small as the other kids your age, but you eat right and are just as active as they are…what did the doctor say?
He said that I had to get an x-ray of my stomach. It showed that my colon was swollen very badly which caused me to be constipated and my belly to stick out. I went through lots of testing and still going through it now.
What type of foods do you like to eat the most?
Broccoli, carrots, rice, corn, soup, all types of fruit, salad, chicken fingers, the little100 calories pack snacks and potatoes.
What type of activities are you involved in?
Tae-kwon-do (I’m yellow belt), Gym, Zumba, sewing, my mom and I go swimming at the YMCA and I run a lot with my puppy Diva. I also, help my mom with her charity The G.L.A.R.E Club, we help kids do stuff in the community.
Chicago Kids “Get Moving”
I heard a rumor that you like to sing. Is that true?
I lovvvvvvvve to sing, it’s TRUE! It’s so fun.
Who is your favorite singer and what is your favorite song to sing?
I don’t have just one. I have a lot, hahaha — I love Rihanna, Jordan Sparks, Adele, Mindless Behavior, Jacob Latimore, China McClain and Me. I love my own singing. My favorite song to sing is “I Am Beautiful” By: Christina Aguilera, the China McClain version of it.
Do you think you’re pretty?
Yes, I love me! I think I am beautiful.
Do you have sleepovers with friends?
Yes, in fact I am having a sleepover with my cousin Thandi now. We are playing with dolls and singing.
Did you have a lot of friends before you wrote your book?
No, I didn’t.
It’s about a girl named Jessica who was being teased about her weight. Then one day she decided to stand up for herself and not listen to what others had to say about her.
Not Fat Because I Wanna Be – Trailer
What made you want to write a book?
I knew that if I did something about it the bullies would stop bullying me. I went through bullying a lot and it really hurt my feelings.
I’ve seen you on a lot of talk shows and know that you have been touring. What has that been like?
I feel like a superstar! It’s a blast and a blessing to do it.
Is it fun or does it always reminds you of how mean people were to you?
It has been really fun. If I never did anything about me being bullied it would still be going on, and I would not be on any TV shows to let others hear my story.
So, you are letting other kids know that bullying is not cool. What is bullying?
Bullying is when someone teases you and makes fun of you and make you feel sad and alone. It’s also when they are mean to you and call you names. Sometimes bullies hit you.
Tell us why it’s not cool.
Bullying is not cool because, some kids have killed themselves because they couldn’t take it anymore. It hurts people’s feelings really bad and make them think they are what the bully says.
What TV shows have you been on?
CNN, FOX, NBC News, The Talk, Prime News, Pix11 News and WGN News.
What does it feel like being on TV?
At first it was very scary. But, now I only feel a little scared before I go on. I feel confident and comfortable to talk now. I feel like a superstar because, people are so happy when I meet them. I’m happy that I’m helping other kids to stand up against bullies.
I have heard some AWESOME things about you. You have met some really cool celebrities that said they like your book. Tell me what celebrities read your book and like it.
Tyra Banks, Taye Diggs, Jacob Latimore, Common, Syleena Johnson, Michelle Obama, Desiree Rogers, QT Jazz and more big names that I can’t remember.
Did they give you any advice?
Tyra Banks told me to always follow my dreams and she was so proud of me. Taye Diggs told me that I was great. Everyone tells me to keep up the good work and to keep writing.
You also received a very special letter from the President’s wife, Michelle Obama. What did she say to you?
Yes, I did. That was AWESOME!! Mrs. Obama told me that she was proud that I was helping to take on childhood obesity and raise awareness about it. She told me that she is doing the same thing and she wants me to help her with my ideas.
Yes, I do it’s called “Stand Up! Bully Buster’s Coming To Town…” I took the character Jessica from my first book and brought her dog Diva along. They are now superheroes that are taking over the world one bully at a time.
Are the kids at school nicer to you now?
I am at a new school now. Most of the kids are. I have had a few problems but, my teacher and the principal have made it clear that they do not accept bullying.
What do they think about you having your own book, website and coloring book?
Most of the kids are happy for me. The teachers and staff are too. They have my book in the school library.
I heard that your book is in school’s in Korea, is that true?
Yes, it is true. They have created an entire lesson plan at the Avalon school in Korea. That is pretty amazing to me.
What else are you doing?
I am now offering five scholarships for kids that are dealing with weight issues and bullying. They can attend MindStream Academy with me. It is a program in South Carolina that helps kids be healthier, more active, get fit, gain confidence and learn to accept themselves the way they are. People can learn more about the scholarship at: MindStream Academy
How does it feel to be the youngest person named on TheGrio’s 100 2012 list?
It feels so great that I can be on the list with so many great people. I feel honored and blessed to get that chance.
LaNiyah Bailey Thanks NBC & TheGrio
Stay in the KNOW on this young lady that is making a name for herself!!