After a cruel prank was recorded at a Tennessee high school and posted to Snapchat, Lauren “LuLu” Williams, 16, decided to send a strong message to her bullies.
The teen was mortified when a young boy walked up behind her, yanked her wig off her head, and ran off, while another student recorded the event and captioned the video, “Wig snatchin.”
After the incident, Lauren received medical attention at a hospital for whiplash and abrasion. The wig had been glued and pinned to Lauren’s scalp, which left chunks of her hair missing.
Myckelle Williams, the mother of the teen, told News Channel 5:
“I was so angry. They all got together and just planned to humiliate her, and that was funny to them.”
According to News Channel 5, the outraged mom took to Facebook to voice her anger over her daughter being physically and emotionally victimized as well as draw attention to teen suicides and traumatic bullying incidents.
Yesterday I received a call from my youngest daughter screaming and crying on the phone, for me to come and get her from school.
Apparently, some boys had taken a $5 BET about pulling her wig off in front of everyone. Williams also added, These kids not only tore her wig off in the middle of school, but video taped it. They followed her to the bathroom as she screamed and cried and proceeded to tape her OVER the stall as she cried and begged for her wig.
Williams explained that Lauren wore the wig to hide her severe eczema and psoriasis. She wrote that her daughter used her wig “in an effort to still feel beautiful,” because the 16-year-old’s skin ailments made her felt insecure about her appearance.
Lauren described her wig as her place of safety to WSMV-TV:
“My hair is, like, my one place where I can feel safe, and I loved having wigs to express myself. When they tore that off me, I felt basically naked and I felt so insecure myself and just terrible.”
However, after the incident, Lauren decided to reclaim her power by no longer hiding her natural appearance. Instead, she shaved her head.
She explained to the TV station:
“My hair was one of my biggest insecurities so I felt like he had taken my power and I wanted it back.
When I walk around with a bald head he’ll know that he didn’t do anything but give me more power to speak out to other people.”
The bold move generated widespread support from those moved by her courage. Supporters included Tyra Banks:
Hair is nice to have but as my girl @Jeana_Turner on #ANTM showed the world, Tyovers can also be about REMOVING hair to rock your true beauty. Someone momentarily lacking judgement & kindness pulled off your wig & another felt the need to chase you down & capture it on camera. pic.twitter.com/b3CdSPfAVZ
— Tyra Banks (@tyrabanks) February 1, 2018
Many are surprised by how she was able to overcome her struggle— since it could have gone another way:
As for the students involved in the bullying, Williams, along with officials at Williamson County Schools, planned to prosecute the teens to the fullest extent of the law, in addition to doling out school suspensions.
In the meantime, Lauren is using her story to encourage others to stand up to bullies. As her mom said in her Facebook post: “Bullies will not win in 2018.”