Sixteen-year-old Dannie "Dee" McMillan was sitting in study hall when she got a text from one of her friends informing her about a nasty bit of cyberbullying that had Dannie as the target. The text showed the screenshot of a new Twitter profile that had been created with the username, "fatwhaledee." The account included a profile pic using Dannie's powerlifting team photo, only an image of a whale had been superimposed over her face. To make matters worse, the name on the account was "Dee's a fat whale."
How's that for awful?
At the sight of the screenshot, Dannie finally understood the strange looks and giggles she had been hearing as she walked down the halls. As each new classmate followed the page, the cruel inside-joke grew with Dannie unknowingly on the receiving end of it. The teen told her local news station that she went home and cried for three days, watching the follows on the Twitter page grow.
But then she did something that her cyberbullies never would have expected. Dannie reached out on Facebook to one of her idols, plus-sized model Laura Lee, and jokingly told her that the incident made her want to get a T-shirt that said something about how she "saved the whales." Lee's response? Go for it.
And so, this teenaged girl who had been called a fat whale by a bunch of bullies, started a GoFundMe page to create a T-shirt proudly emblazoned with the words, "Dee the Fat Whale Saves the Whales." As Dannie describes on the page, all of the money raised by the sales of the shirts will go to the Save the Whales Foundation.
How's that for a wonderful response?
Lee has shown her support for the project by promoting it to her 25,000 Facebook followers with the message, “So happy she took this negative act and turned it into something Amazing! Love not hate! Keep Shining Mama!”
It's still so terribly sad that the whole situation happened. Kids (and adults) can just really stink sometimes. But this young woman — Dannie McMillan — she's proof that you can rise above the hate and spread love and kindness instead.