After high schooler Dannie "Dee" McMillan was teased about her weight by her classmates, the teen proved that body-shaming bullies don't have to have the last laugh.
The 16-year-old was naturally upset when she first heard about a fake Twitter account a schoolmate made called "Dee's a fat whale," which featured a profile photo of a cartoon whale on top of McMillan's face. "I was so embarrassed," she told her local news station KCEN-TV. But she decided that the story didn't have to end there; instead, she saw an opportunity to turn something hateful into something helpful.
Inspired by the exact insult her peers threw her way, McMillan designed shirts emblazoned with the slogan "Dee the Fat Whale Saves the Whales" — thus taking back the joke, while simultaneously spearheading a fundraiser for whale conservation. The shirts are available for purchase online, and she plans to send all of her proceeds to Save The Whales.
McMillan told KCEN that she took to Facebook to get advice from one of her role models, plus-size model Laura Lee, before making the shirts. She explained that she wanted to do something to show her bullies that they couldn't hurt her, and Lee helped by giving her total support.
It's rare to see a response to body-shaming that's funny, powerful, and altruistic all at once. The Twitter account has since been deleted, but McMillan's GoFundMe page has already raised over $2,000.
We're going to count this as a major win for both body-positivity and wildlife preservation, which makes McMillan a teen hero, if you ask us.