Thursday, November 19, 2009

Tyra Show -the Popular are Bullies

Todays Tyra show was dedicated to looking at the lives of the popular kids versus the unpopular. It looked more to me like these popular kids were bullies.

Now I don't believe that all popular kids are bullies. However, the girls on the show were told by the unpopular kids that they have been laughed at, tripped, teased, snorted at...all kinds of truly hurtful things that would damage the self esteem of someone who is trying to fit in.

In the end, even after adding fat layers and acne disguises to the popular girls as an experiment to show them what it felt like, Tyra did not get the breakthrough moment she was looking for. The popular kids still felt they were not mean or hurtful. The unpopular kids still felt they would not fit in.

The most inspirational part of the program was Tyra's closing remarks. She told the popular girls that they have power and that they could choose to use that power to make others feel good. To inspire and lift up their peers rather than add to shooting them down. They might be pretty on the outside, but true beauty is when power is used to show love and act out to the benefit of others.

To the unpopular girls, she left them with the message that they simply have not peeked yet. That statistics show that most of the worlds CEO's, great mothers, and successful women, were once in the "unpopular" category.

My belief is that, as the unpopular girls demonstrated, it never feels good to be teased or bullied, but I can't believe it feels that great to BE a bully either.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Don't ever let them steal your dreams. Believe in yourself, stay focused on your goals, keep dreaming, and even though a bully may try to target you, that bully will never be able to make a victim out of you!

Friday, October 9, 2009

LOW SELF ESTEEM - The Number One Characteristic of Bullying

I was recently asked what the most common characteristic is between a bully and his or her victim and immediately low self-esteem is what came to mind.

A bully would not be a bully if not for low self-esteem. When someone truly believes in them self, who they are, and understands their own strengths and weaknesses, they have no need to put others down to build them self up. After all, that's what bullying is. Picking on a target considered weaker and taking the time and effort to tear that person down repeatedly in order to make them self feel better about their own insecurities.

A victim, on the other hand, could not be a victim if not for low self-esteem. If the victim truly believed in his/her own unique specialness and stayed focused on his/her own goals, then no bully would be able to bring that person down no matter how hard they tried. Therefore, that person could not be "victimized" and the bully would eventually move on to an easier target.

The difference between the victim and the bully is that a bully always starts out with low self-esteem. The victim may start out with a healthy self-esteem, but after being the target of a bully repeatedly, the victim will start to suffer from low self-esteem because he/she starts to be affected by the words and or physical abuse of the bully and become scared, withdrawn, or other symptoms characteristic of a victim. It takes a very strong person not to be affected by a bully, but a strong, healthy self-esteem is the best prevention.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Gangs vs. Bullies- Differences and Similarities

More child on child violence resulting in death with headlines reading Children Killing Children. Most recently reported on has has been the increase of it in Chicago. Okay, this is gang related violence and I am more interested in discussing bullying and its then, what is the difference between gangs and bullies?

1. Low Self-Esteem. Gang leaders and members suffer from low self-esteem just as bullies suffer from low self-esteem.

2. Imbalance of Power. In this case, you can say that there is bullying within the gang itself. Gang leaders force members to commit specific crimes and the members themselves can suffer greatly if they don't. Bullies always choose a victim that they can hold power over.

3. Group of people against another group or person. Gangs are always made up of groups. Many children join them just for that reason; they are looking for a sense of belonging or family and finding it in the wrong place. Sometimes bullies appear to be powerful and attract others who join in with them to feel they are part of a strong group as well.

1. Victims. The victim of a bully is picked on verbally and or physically over and over again. The victim is constantly tormented often for no other purpose than the bully needs to feel his/her power over another who is weaker. The victim of a gang may be "bullied"in this way, but more often the purpose of this bullying (if it is constant) is to intimidate to stay away from territory, pay money, or some other criminal purpose. Many times the victim isn't even bullied at all. The victim could be a randomly selected person chosen to be killed or beaten in retaliation for something else against the gang, or the victim could be a completely unrelated innocent person "caught in the crossfire".

Friday, September 25, 2009

Bullying can escalate to Death

A boy was stabbed and killed at his Coral Gables, FL school last week. I didn't know the boy, but I cried for him. And that's just the latest victim (that I know of)...there has been such a high incidence of violence at schools these days! This is what happens when bullying escalates. It is not harmless when teasing starts in kindergarten. It is not "child's play" when a girl is constantly pushed around because she is "too fat to pass by without bumping into her." If adults don't step in and fill their children with self-esteem and respect for others, we can expect to see more "bullying" escalating to death.

The new Tomgirlz book, ABBEY's TURN, is another fun to read chapter book full of surprising silliness, but the underlying messages in this book are serious and important to me. This book demonstrates the issues of bullying, teasing, childhood obesity, and how children can deal with these problems. The book is actually a tool to show children (in a fun way that doesn't preach to them) what bullying looks like, how the victim is affected, and how they can stop the problem.

Over the next several months, the TOMGIRLZ platform will be focused on anti-bullying. I hope you will visit often to participate in the discussion, learn about contests we will be hosting (with great prizes!), and stay focused on anti-bully campaigns and their effectiveness. My hope is to one day see the term 'bully' removed from the dictionary! Wouldn't that be cool?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

South Florida Parenting Holiday Show...SHOW!

This weekend I will be once again bringing the book TOMGIRLZ TALENT TROUBLES to life. This time I will have lots of Tomgirlz friends and my brother Jeremy joining me. If you're in Miami, make sure to come by the South Florida Parenting Holiday show at Dolphin Stadium...that's where we'll be. You can come meet me, get autographs from me and the Tomgirlz series author (she'll be there too!), and see our show of:

-Pop and Lock
- And Interactive Dances for you to join us!! (like the Cupid Shuffle and ChaCha Slide)

Showtimes are 3:30pm Saturday December 6
12:30pm Sunday December 7

We'll have free bookmarks for you, and of course awesome girls books for you to check out. Also, we've created a cool new item called WEARABLE BOOK CHARMS (all kinds of charms like peace signs, hearts, butterflies, frogs)...they make great bookmarks, but when you're done reading you can turn them into jewelry for girls or boys by wearing them around your neck, as a bracelet, anklet, or even in your hair!

Monday, September 1, 2008


Anti-bullying is a huge topic these days. My school is in Broward County Florida which is the first county to put in place an anti-bullying policy which will soon be statewide in Florida. This is great news! Most kids think bullying is just about physical problems like hitting and tripping and is really innocent. I know it can be from verbal abuses too like teasing that never stops. It's not innocent at all and when I see kids suffer from bullying, it makes me feel really bad.

Girls can be particularly cruel about teasing and bullying. The newest TOMGIRLZ books are going to deal with some of these problems. In the first book, I will meet a new friend. Her name is Abigail, but a lot of people tease her and call her Flabby Abby because she is very overweight (this book will talk about childhood obesity problems too!). Abby is really a very cool girl when you get to know who she really is (and she is much more than just an overweight girl). Overweight becomes another one of those "labels" we talk about in the TOMGIRLZ...remember, TOMGIRLZ is a word that means by yourself and don't allow others to label (limit) you.

Bullying is hurtful to the victim, but I think any person who is a bully is suffering too. Most bullies have been bullied themselves! Anyway, most people experience some kind of teasing or even bullying at some time, but overweight kids seem to experience it even more. I can't wait 'til my new book comes out so everyone can meet Abby and see what a terrific person she is!

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Saturday, August 30, 2008


As you know, I have begun my community service project called "Bringing Books to Life for Literacy." I have visited children at their schools, organizations, and a children's hospital, and have met some truly awesome kids! Until now, though, I've only been able to read (with my author mom) some chapters of my books to the kids, and then perform with my brother Jeremy a salsa routine...My good friend Andee taught me how to dance salsa in the book TOMGIRLZ TALENT TROUBLES. Jeremy gets to perform a pop and lock solo after our salsa routine, but I really want to do a solo of my own just like my acrobatic talent show performance from the book. Problem is, I didn't have the right music...UNTIL NOW!

I am so excited, I just found the perfect music! The song "Tell Me Something I Don't Know" by Selena Gomez is perfect for a lot of reasons. First of all, Selena has a lot of attitude...just like TOMGIRLZ definitely have attitude. But our attitude is always with a positive twist, NOT negative. The song is about a girl who has big dreams...HUGE dreams! Dreams so enormous that everyone tells her that she shouldn't bother. They tell her that her chances are one in a zillion and that she's wasting her time. You know what she answers them? Yup..."Tell Me Something I Don't Know"!

This girl understands that it can be difficult to make dreams come true, but she stands firm in her belief in herself and refuses to change her mind and refuses to allow others to tell her what can or can't happen in her life. She knows that only SHE can control what dreams come true in her life. It's true for you too. You can decide to listen to others and allow their thoughts and desires to affect you...or you can decide that your own thoughts and desires are what will control you and determine who you are and want to be. However, she doesn't live in la la land. She knows she has a tough road ahead, but she is willing to take it on. I LOVE it! What a terrific message in this song...and Selena Gomez herself certainly shows that dreams can come true. I can't wait to start performing my own solo routine now, because I am totally inspired by this great song. Way to go Selena Gomez! She truly shows the spirit of the TOMGIRLZ!!

Friday, August 29, 2008


There are some incredibly special people at Broward General in Davie, FL and I had an amazing time visiting them as part of my community service project called "Bringing Books to Life for Literacy." On the day of my visit there were several special girls welcoming me on the oncology floor of the children's hospital. They each have there own story and every one of them inspired me. One girl had even just met the Jonas Brothers through the Make A Wish Foundation. I'm thrilled she would even want to see me after meeting the Jonas Brothers!!

My brother Jeremy was with me and we performed our Salsa routine for them which was our way of bringing the book TOMGIRLZ TALENT TROUBLES to life. I think they liked it, but they especially loved when Jeremy did his pop and lock routine. I have to give him credit, he's actually really good at it. Things got even more fun when he taught the girls how to do some popping. That was great because it was something they could easily do even from their wheelchairs and hooked up to an IV! Let me tell you, these girls have style, courage, and a whole lot of spirit and I thank them so much for the time they spent with me!!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


My Tomgirlz friends and I look out for each other, but we also care a lot about our community. Since I am in all the TOMGIRLZ chapter books and I think reading is really cool, I would like to see all children enjoy reading as much as I do. So I decided to start a new community service program that I am calling BRINGING BOOKS TO LIFE FOR LITERACY. I will visit children anywhere I am invited like libraries, organizations, events, and children's hospitals. My first visit will be at the Holtz children's hospital in South Florida in August. I will give more details when I get them.

The best thing is what I'll be doing there. I will get to talk to the children about some of the messages in the books and my creator (the book author), will read a chapter from MACKEY THE MEDIC to them. Then I will perform my talent act from the TOMGIRLZ TALENT TROUBLES book, which will be just like bringing the book to life!

I hope they will enjoy the visit and that I can bring a smile to their day. Remember...Laughter is the best medicine!