Labelled a freak for dressing differently to her peers in school, a young mother from Manchester is encouraging people to embrace their differences and be themselves.
Kayleigh, who describes herself as ‘alternative’, says she was singled out as a teenager by other pupils who would often call her names and even trip her up in the corridor.
The 25-year-old has used her experiences to create a film with Fixers urging others to celebrate who they are.
‘It started around year 6 or 7. I wore piercings, listened to heavy metal, coloured my hair and dressed in baggy jeans on non-uniform days,' she says.
‘I was really singled out because I looked different and often used to sit in the library on my own to avoid people.
‘There was a point where I thought I’ll try and change myself to fit in, but it wasn’t me and I wasn’t happy.
‘I was inspired to do this campaign because to this day I still hear all the old nicknames. I want to tell people that diluting your personality to try and fit in only ever leads to not being happy. Be you!’
The film, which features Kayleigh, begins by showing her dressed modestly, talking to camera.
As the piece moves on, it reveals her true identity and distinctive look, asking the audience to accept others like her for who they are.
‘I like the film and think it does what it’s intended to do,' she adds.
‘I want to get people accepting that not everybody will fit their perception of ‘normal’, but that’s what makes everybody interesting and special.
‘Every person should be encouraged to be whoever they want, which is certainly something I will be teaching my son. I will support him whatever he wants to be.’
This project was supported by The Tampon Tax Fund distributed by The Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
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