A female student who was taunted by bullies who called her ugly for having a large forehead has had the last laugh – after being crowned a beauty queen.
Shola Harriman, 18, from Braunstone, Leicester, lost all her confidence after cruel classmates began tormenting her when she started secondary school seven years ago.
One lunchtime evil bullies even threw a bowl of pasta in her face and pulled her hair and as well as mocking her for having a ‘big forehead’.
Shola was left depressed and skipped school for two months because she says teachers did nothing to help her during her 12 months of torment.
But two years later she was given a confidence boost when she was scouted to enter Miss Teen UK in 2014. And after entering the regional legs of Miss Great Britain this March she was stunned to be crowned Miss Leicestershire on May 20.
Shola, who lives with beautician mum Tarnya Parrott, 39, and sisters said: ‘I was just over the moon: ‘I was so excited with all my family and friends around me, but I really didn’t expect to win it.’
It just shows how self-confident I am now. I was really depressed when I was 13, but I want this to prove to everyone you can get through it.’
Shola, who is doing her A levels and looking to study law at Leicester University next year, was picked on when she moved to Fullhurst School in Braunstone.
She said: ‘I think it’s because I was the new girl in school. Nobody really knew me so I was on my own all the time and an easy target. At first I was just excluded from everything, then it was mainly verbal abuse.’
‘One lunchtime a girl threw pasta in my face and pulled my hair. But other than that it was just calling me names, like ugly and stupid. They used to say I have a big forehead and it really affected me because I was so young.
‘It went on for about a year, but the school did nothing. A lot of people were getting bullied there and I just don’t think they knew how to deal with it.
She continues: ‘I didn’t want to go to school. I wouldn’t get out of bed and skipped classes for about two months. Mum would drop me off at the school gates and I’d pretend to go, but sneak off into town. I didn’t want to make friends for so long after.
Now after winning the competition held in Leicester, last week, Shola will now compete with 80 other beauty queens for Miss Great Britain.
Shola said: ‘I only entered Miss Leicestershire for a laugh. But now I’ve won it I want to help other people who went through what I went through. I’m very shocked, and I just hope I can be a good role model.’