mean stinks

I never thought I’d say this, but I miss those silly fights with friends on the playground in elementary school, and the consequential time-outs that made you think about what you did wrong. Looking back, I am thankful for the people in my life who have taught me what it means to be kind. I’ve learned to want the best for others, to believe the best in others, and ultimately to do all I can to bring out the best in all of those around me.

As I got older, I outgrew playground tiffs and grew into texting, then Facebooking, Instagramming, blogging, and YouTubing. And can I let you in on a little secret? All of a sudden, time-outs weren’t a part of the picture anymore. All of a sudden, I was introduced to an environment where anyone can say anything without consequences. And it was, in every sense, a rude awakening.

To be quite honest, bullying wasn’t on my radar until I began blogging. Before you roll your eyes (as I almost just did, myself), I want you to know that I’m not about to share a sob story about why the world is so mean to me. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. A Lonestar State of Southern has brought about countless blessings, friendships, and experiences I will forever be grateful for. I’m sharing my recent bullying experience because it has made me realize the importance of initiatives like Secret’s Mean Stinks campaign—a campaign I’m passionate about and can’t wait to hear your thoughts on!

“So, Kate, bullying you say? I don’t buy it, tell us more.” The most poignant experience occurred this summer on my favorite time-stealer, Instagram. Before this, I’d seen my fair share of catty comments on photos of other accounts and had always brushed them off. I hate to admit that, but I suppose I was under the following impressions:

 “Oh, that account has so many followers, I doubt they will even see it.”

 “I don’t personally know them, so it’s no big deal.”

 “That comment was ruuude, but there’s nothing I can do to help and I’m not about to get in a comment battle.”

But after posting an Instagram telling you all that I’d published a new video, I received a comment that took me by surprise, and quickly changed my previously-held assumptions about bullying on social media.
Mean Stinks, anti bullyingI was so shocked that I didn’t initially know how to respond. I didn’t know this girl. I knew I shouldn’t care about her opinion. I knew not everyone felt the same way she did and that I shouldn’t take her comment to heart. But it felt so personal, so hurtful, and like I’d just been punched in the stomach. Trust me, if I was reading this, I would be the first to ask, “Are we being a little dramatic here, Kate?” And I wish I could say yes. Yes, that I was overreacting and that it didn’t bother me at all. But it can’t, because it hurt really, really badly. And that’s a hard thing to admit.

 But y’all, here’s why I remember this comment. Here’s why I’m devoting a whole post to this. It wasn’t the mean comment that stood out to me, it was the many, many girls who commented back—encouraging me to ignore the comment, encouraging me to keep up what I’m doing because it is appreciated, and encouraging me to remember that I am not defined by other’s opinions.

See the theme here? Encouragement! That is the takeaway. The few girls that took the time to respond and #gangupforgood left a stronger impression on me than one, isolated mean comment! There will always be one person who will continue spreading hatred no matter what. But when we take the responsibility to turn around and drown out the bullying with a shower of kindness, the meanness doesn’t win—kindness does! It is so worth it to gang up for good, y’all, and I say that because of how touched I was when these girls did the same for me.

That’s why I encourage each of you to remember to #gangupforgood and to join me in putting it into practice. Imagine how much negativity we can take away by being proactive about sharing good! The girls who did so for me completely transformed what could have been an experience filled with insecurity and doubt into one of encouragement and reassurance. In fact, I took a screenshot of the whole thing to remind myself to proactively spread kindness. So a HUGE thank you to these Instagram users who took the time to #gangupforgood and made me smile that day: @allisoncowden, @style_by_salli, @illy_azalea, @hannahshanae, @meoww_maddie, @kotineru, @icravejewels, @beeedoyle. You all were so kind that the person behind the mean comment deleted it—now that is how you know you really made a difference!

If bullying has been a part of your life in any way, definitely check out the Mean Stinks Tumblr. There, you can learn more about the campaign and even submit your own bullying solutions. Oh, and did I mention I painted my pinky blue in support? If it involves an excuse to buy more nail polish, you can always count me in. :)Mean Stinks, anti bullying, preppy southern girl, sorority girl, blue nail polish Thank you so much, Secret, for creating this movement, and to Secret and Lucky Magazine for sponsoring this post! I am thrilled to help spread this initiative, and am hoping it makes a difference in the lives of girls everywhere.

Love from Texas,


Join in on the fun!


  1. Kyla Mary said:

    I really love watching your videos Kate! You have such a charming presence and I have put your videos on while getting ready before because they leave me feeling so happy. I appreciate your honesty and vulnerability in sharing something so close to you. I’m on your side! :)

    Published 10.1.14 · Reply
  2. Jaclyn said:

    LOVE THIS! People don’t realize what a big problem bullying is, regardless of the degree, because what may be a small, insignificant comment to one person may be the breaking point for another. You’ve touched so many lives for the good, don’t let one determine your happiness in a day!

    You go girl!!!! Thanks for sharing!


    Published 10.1.14 · Reply
  3. Grace said:

    Good on you Kate. :) People can be mean, to your face or behind your back. Sometimes all we need are really good friends to be the best support system for you to move forward and to forget the haters. I love your blog and your videos. Never let them get you down. :)

    Published 10.1.14 · Reply
  4. Becky said:

    Such a great way to turn this terrible action into good!!

    Published 10.1.14 · Reply
  5. This is such an inspiring post, keep up the good work pretty lady!

    Published 10.1.14 · Reply
  6. Ellen said:

    Thank you for your honesty, Kate! I hate that girls can be so mean, and I think the Internet just makes it ten times worse. I love everything about you, and I hope you know that many people feel the same way. Don’t let anyone ever bring you down. Thanks for always being an inspiration!

    Ellen | A Pop of Pink

    Published 10.1.14 · Reply
  7. Kelly said:

    Kate, thank you so much for sharing! Saddened to hear what happened to you. It’s terrible how so many people would rather tear people down than build them up. But it’s so nice to hear how many people encouraged you to continue, and that you turned the experience into something positive. (Also… I love your videos! You’re adorable!) Hope you have a GREAT day!!


    Published 10.1.14 · Reply
  8. i am so glad that other gals were able to step out and turn this around for you! that comment was so unnecessary and i actually totally disagree. when i first watched one of your videos, i was like “oh my gosh this girl has the CUTEST southern voice i wish i had it!” and then proceeded to watch like three more videos so that i could take in all your cuteness. #guilty!

    keep up the great work and continue to look on the bright side, there are so many girls that love you!

    xo mk

    Published 10.1.14 · Reply
  9. Meggie said:

    Kate, I find it amazing that you dedicated a post to this! I never actually saw the mean comment on your Instagram, but I did see all of the comments back! I absolutely love that us bloggers have a community where we’ll stick up for one another and encourage one another. Keep doing what you’re doing, I love your blog posts & videos :)

    Published 10.1.14 · Reply
  10. Mikayla said:

    I love your videos! YOu are truly inspirational.

    Published 10.1.14 · Reply
  11. This is such a great post! I see so much negativity and bullying on bloggers instagrams, etc. and I just don’t understand. I don’t see the point of being mean to people if you don’t like there account or things they do there is an unfollow button. I love your blog and your videos. Keep up the amazing job!


    Published 10.1.14 · Reply
  12. Thank you so much for having the courage to post this! You are truly an inspiration and bring so much light to this situation. Mean does stink but you will always be the bigger person.

    Published 10.1.14 · Reply
  13. Colleen said:

    This is awesome. You are such a sweet and strong young woman (and I personally love your videos!). Good for you for keeping your head up high and encouraging everyone around you to do the same! Go girl! And count me in for painting my pinky blue!

    xx colleen

    Published 10.3.14 · Reply
  14. Kate,
    Just wanted to write and say that I absolutely love your style! My sister recently introduced me to your blog and I was instantly hooked! I am also from Texas and I love reading about your Texas obsession! Thanks for sharing all things preppy, Texan, and fun!
    -Abi Howell

    Published 10.3.14 · Reply
  15. Crystal said:

    Mean people suck but I am so proud of you for turning something negative and ugly into something positive! It just goes to show you are as beautiful on the inside as you are on the outside!!!!

    Published 10.4.14 · Reply
  16. What an amazing and incredibly inspiring post, truly. I love that you didn’t try to twist her negative comment as motivation or an incentive for people to gang up against the rude girl and be rude back to her, but instead encourage you with support that we’re here for you! Sometimes negative voices can overshadow the positive ones, even if that isn’t the majority. There’s no need to be mean! I loved reading what you had to say. You do you, girl!


    Published 10.13.14 · Reply
  17. Chelsea said:

    You’ve just earned a reader for life!

    Published 10.14.14 · Reply