Every once in a while, you come across a woman who has it all. She is intelligent, accomplished yet humble, kind and engaging, and inspires and empowers everyone she encounters. This Brazilian and Puerto-Rican beauty, Tanya St. James, is that woman. Outgoing, kind, and naturally beautiful, one would never expect that Tanya had a history as a victim of bullying.
Meet our February Lady of the Month, Tanya St. James:
Education: Florida International University
Color: Green, Color of money!
Fragrance: The one.
Food: Love to eat healthy but Sucker for gluten free pizza. YUM!
Book: Tough one, I’ll have to go with Jane Eyre.
Movie: Cloud Atlas
Workout: I’m obsessed with the stair master and cardio ABS!
How old were you when you first became a victim of bullying? I started being bullied around 6th grade.
How did you first respond to bullying? I was nervous, and afraid. I didn’t know how to respond. It got as bad as being cornered into lockers, and I had no escape. I wasn’t raised to put a hand on anyone so I wasn’t sure how to defend myself.
How did you overcome bullying? I started to stand up for myself. I mastered the Evil eye in a way and discovered a way to ignore it, which in return helped the bully stop.
What would you like to say to your former bullies today? I’d laugh and say it must suck to be you, because my life is so much better than yours. I strive to be someone successful and to have my name be well known. Anyone who has their mentality will never go far because their always jealous of someone else.
Do you have any advice for those who are currently victims of bullying? LOTS. Ignore it! If it becomes to the point where it is violent, REPORT IT! You’re too young to be focused on that negativity and nonsense. Know that you have something they are threatened by and JEALOUS of. In the end you have the most power. Don’t feel down on yourself. You’re not “liked” by those people because they are not the right people to be around. Take it as a honor. Focus on things that will empower your future. Trust me- grades and family are the things that matter most.
What can our readers do in the community to make a difference? Start an outreach program to those feel victimized either in school, work, or even their own homes. People needs to express how they feel and be understood by those around them. Find ways to create beauty in your environment as well. Team bonding? try cleaning a park or assisting in a shelter.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years from now? I see myself being very successful with my own business, as well as using my talents in writing, acting, and some modeling. I will always share my blessings in charity work and outreach programs. I want to feel connected to the world, and travel everywhere!
Who is your role model and why? Everyone should have a role model but I do not have one. I have people who inspire me in every way. There is my mother who inspires me and women such as the amazing Beyonce who inspire me in a different way. There is also a homeless man on the street who inspires me. People are art, they give and express just as much so I take that in everyday!
Anything else you would like to share with Lady Code and its readers? I’m honored that I was chosen to be Lady of the month- and I would like to encourage young women to focus on ‘you’ right now. Boys will always be there! Focus on what is going to improve your future in the long run and keep you ahead of the game. Read up on your knowledge now ladies, I can’t express to you enough how important it is!
Lisa Opie is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University and is the founder of Lady Code. Lisa loves to write about fashion, beauty, and travel. She is the creator of Lady Code, Vizcaya Swimwear, and the LadyCode Shop. Lisa is also an on-location host for PageantLIVE. Keep up with Lisa on Instagram: @Lisa_Opie
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