By Billy Montgomery Haters are going to hate, but teen entertainer Isabelle “Belle” Dubroy has developed a strategy to fight bullies through her media productions. A native of Greenville, North Carolina, the current Angeleno is an actress, artist, model, singer, and philanthropist. The 16-year-old is also an author of children’s books, most of which deal with positive messages around anti-bullying.
According to the Stopbullying.gov website, youth who are bullied in person or online have one or more of the following risk factors:
· Are perceived as different from their peers, such as being overweight or underweight, wearing glasses or different clothing, being new to a school, or being unable to afford what kids consider “cool.”
· Are perceived as weak or unable to defend themselves.
· Are depressed, anxious, or have low self-esteem.
· Are less popular than others and have few friends.
· Do not get along well with others, seen as annoying or provoking, or antagonize others for attention.
Belle said she was introduced to bullying at an early age as she was stepping into the entertainment world. Her abundance of hair was among the targets of the bullies.
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“A lot of girls in my childhood would kind of pick on me. I always felt different, and I was never really like the rest of the kids I grew up with,” Belle said. “They were just being mean and saying hurtful comments out of jealousy. But of course, at the time I didn't realize that it was out of jealousy. I thought that it was because there was something wrong with me.”
To counter the hating, the arts became her respite allowing her to overcome negative statements and motivating her to create positive messages for teens. “Writing music helped me a lot with addressing bullying. So not only was I writing the songs to help other kids that might have the same experiences, but also just to cope with my own situations and to help myself,” Belle said. “And I still do that today along with creating art.” Outside of entertainment, Belle has held titles for National American Miss Princess Cover Miss 2011–2012 and National American Miss Junior Pre-Teen Cover Miss 2016–2017. She is also known for her performance on the popular children’s web series Microchip Jones, and founded Isabelle’s Heart, an organization that helps underprivileged children and their families. Belle said while she is enjoying her entertainment platforms, the high school scholar said attending college is in the picture. “I may take a gap year (after graduating high school), but I'm going to go to college. I have my dreams in the entertainment field, but I also want to be a part of the medical field as well,” Belle said. “My grandfather is a retired physician, and my mom is a nurse practitioner. So, I'm planning to go to school (college) and major in medicine and hopefully have a career in that.”
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While she was quiet growing up, she shines on the performance stage. Yet, Belle said she still struggles with shyness. Her songs like “Confidence” have helped to give her the self-assurance to perform. “Sometimes, even before performing, I get really nervous, but I kind of just psych myself up a little bit,” Belle said. “Whenever I get up there (performing), I'm fine and I love being on stage doing my thing, but I definitely have a little bit of an issue with shyness sometimes.” Belle said she is currently working on a new EP so fans can look for new music soon. In the meantime, she wants to continue putting out positive messages and good vibes to support those who are bullied.
“You can't control what they (bullies) think. You can't control what they say. But you can control your own mind and what you let get into your mind and into your thoughts,” Belle said. For more details on Belle, visit her website, www.isabellesheart.com.
Photography: Billy Montgomery