Angelina Valdez, 32, originally from Queens, New York has opened up about her teenage bullying hell – and how classmates threatened to beat her up because of her looks. But now, alleviated from the stress these individuals caused her, she is using her experience to help others love themselves.

Angelina regularly shares images of her gym-built body to her 331,000 followers on Instagram (@its_angebaby) – but she wasn’t always this confident. Throughout her high school years, the model was abused on a daily basis as people mercilessly attacked her for her appearance. She was bullied for a very long time – she’d get in physical fights every day. As a teenager, she would wear crop tops and shorts, and get picked on by the other girls. Once, she was jumped by five girls who were much bigger than her – to later find out that their intentions were to poke her in the eye with a paper clip. The bullies would point out her unique green eyes and laugh. They even told me her she had to break up with a boy she was seeing because they liked him and she ‘shouldn’t be with him’.

The situation got so severe that Angelina felt forced to carry a weapon to school, in case she was jumped – and also cut class regularly to avoid her bullies. She became so fed up with running that she carried a heavy padlock as a weapon – this stopped the girls from attacking her, but when the school found out she was expelled and sent to a different school. The school thought she was crazy, but her parents agreed with her taking matters into my own hands as the school didn’t do anything to protect her.

The bullying stopped when she was sent to the new school – it was nicer there and the kids were completely different. Angelina still hasn’t spoken to any of the bullies since being expelled, but she guesses that if they found her online they would see how successful her looks have made her.

Angelina has since had time to reflect on her unhappy time as a teenager and come to the conclusion that the girls who picked on her were simply jealous. She was bullied for standing out – she had exotic features; small bright green eyes with olive skin, big lips and brown curly hair – Angelina was just the envy of other girls. As an adult, she sees it clearly, but when she was young she didn’t understand.

Angelina’s bullying experience taught her to not care about anyone else’s opinion. Liberated from her haters, Angelina has gone on to a successful career showing off her hourglass figure to adoring fans on the internet. She loves her job and is proud to be paid for just looking like herself. She now makes £6,000 a week or so, just to be her authentic self. As a grown woman, she feels very confident In everything she does, as well as comfortable in her own skin. 

She’s been looked down upon, been gossiped about – and probably still is – but it’s all perfectly fine for her at this point, because of her previous experience.

Angelina says it all comes down to how you feel in your skin and makes a point of using her self-confidence to try and help others. If she meets a girl who has any type of insecurities, she tries to promote positivity. She’s incredibly proud that she can not only share her motivation but encourage other girls to not care what other people think. If someone had told her younger self that she would soon be the one lifting other women up, she may have doubted them. But now, living her life as a confident woman, she thrives on giving women the power to love, respect and admire themselves.