Anti-Bullying Campaigner & Model
Jodie is a keen supporter of the Diana Award Anti-Bullying Programme, she has also recorded a number of very successful documentaries on bullying. You can watch them here: http://www.channel5.com/shows/jodie-marsh-bullied
1. What was your school like?
My school was divided into a girls school and a boys school where the sexes only mixed at lunch and break times. It was a private school in Brentwood.
2. What is your favourite memory of school?
I don't have many happy memories of school so there probably isn't one particular memory that stands out, but I did love singing in the choir and performing in plays. Those were the times I felt most comfortable.
3. How did your school experience influence/help your career?
I was bullied quite badly at school for being "ugly" so my school experience changed my career path forever. Initially I wanted to be a lawyer or a vet but after being told for years that I was ugly, I decided I wanted to be a model to "prove" to myself and the bullies that I wasn't ugly. Over the years I've felt angry that I allowed them to change my mind and change my life but I can honestly say that today I feel grateful and thankful for the way everything turned out as I'm the happiest I've ever been and the modelling has in turn, led me to new and exciting projects.
4. Were you bullied at school? If so how did you overcome this?
I set out to prove to my bullies that they were wrong. For a while I was suicidal but then I realised that I would be letting the bullies "win" if I continued to allow them to break me. I realised that how I coped with the bullying was up to me. I still had a choice and that choice was to be a victim or to be a survivor. A famous quote by Eleanor Roosevelt also helped me to put this in to practice. The quote goes: "no one can make you feel inferior without your consent". It's true, only YOU can allow others to break you. They can say what they want but if you know your own worth then they can't "win".
5. What was your favourite school subject?
I loved art, photography, English literature and French.
6. What did you look forward to when you went back to school after the holidays? What advice would you give to young people who are going back to school after the holidays?
I always looked forward to seeing what new teachers I would have. We had some amazing teachers at my school. I really worked hard at school and I always strived to be a straight A student.
7. Was there anything you worried about when you went back to school after the holidays? How did you overcome this?
I was always worried about going back to school because of the bullying but I just forced myself to be strong and to soldier on through it. I knew that once I eventually left school there was a whole big wide world out there to explore where I could make new friends and have a new life. I just wanted to do as well as I could at school so that I could make money.
8. What was your favourite school meal?
On Fridays we used to have fish and chips (I just ate a whole plate of chips as I'm veggie) and for dessert we had chocolate sponge pudding and chocolate custard. Lush!!!!!!
9. If you had to do school again what would you change?
I would probably have changed schools and started again somewhere else instead of battling through the bullying. In my time at school there wasn't any help with bullying or any understanding so although I told my teachers and my parents also talked to them, no one could really help me. These days there is far more support from teachers and there are amazing organisations like the Diana Award who give workshops to schools so that they can learn to spot the signs of bullying and also learn how to prevent it.
10. What advice would you give to anyone who is worried about going back to school because of bullying issues?
Always make sure you tell someone, so, tell your parents or a teacher. Also think that while it's important to do well at school to get ahead in life, you have to remember that school is such a tiny part of your life. There's a big wide world out there and you will not be a victim forever. In the real world you can have a great job, make lots of friends, be loved and be happy. When you're out there doing it, you won't give school another thought. So my advice, bearing all that in mind is; use school for the exact thing it's meant for... Learn as much as you can, get the best grades you can and then get out there and achieve great things!!!!
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