A schoolgirl who was bullied for being “stick thin” has had the last laugh – by winning a Miss England competition wearing a WOODEN dress.
Pretty Sian Healy suffered years of abuse by cruel classmates who trolled her on Twitter and even attacked her when she went out with friends.
The bullying started when she posted pictures of herself on social media and a gang of jealous girls branded her “an ugly stick thin bitch”.
She was even accused of trying to look like catwalk model and actress Cara Delevingne and warned she would be disfigured if she left her home.
But she had the last laugh when she was persuaded to enter the Miss England competition to build up her confidence and she won the heat for creating an eco-friendly outfit.
Sian, of Coventry, contacted Pooling Partners in Meriden, West Midlands, who agreed to build her a dress made out of the wood shavings from an old oak and pine pallet.
They size six dress took ten hours to make using wood shavings from a pallet which were stitched to an under wire.
A huge fascinator constructed from wood shavings which was painted brown completed the outfit alongside a clutch bag made from tiny splinters.
Sian, a business administrator, said she decided to build a wooden dress to reflect her battle against online bullies.
Sian said: “I’d posted a few pictures of myself from a photo-shoot in order to boost my confidence but I was targeted on Twitter.
“There were a group of girls who called me an ‘ugly stick thin bitch’ and said I was trying to look like the model Cara Delevingne.
“On one occasion I’d been out with friends in Coventry and I a group of people battered me for no reason.
“I later found out the attack had been organised on Twitter. It was a horrible time and I was really trapped.
“People on Twitter even said they’d try to disfigure me if I didn’t stop posting pictures of myself.
“I didn’t want to say anything to anyone but it really got to me.”
Sian eventually told her mum Claire, 41, what she was suffering and she contacted her local branch of mental health charity MIND who helped her deal with her issues.
After entering Miss England, Sian decided to make a dress which reflected her own experiences.
She added: “I wanted to wear a dress which showed what I’d been through with the bullying. I felt unloved and battered down and the idea of a wooden pallet came to me one day.
“Pallets basically carry everything we buy or eat but no one ever appreciates them. They’re also carrying huge burdens and are ugly and unloved. That is basically how I felt.
“There’s a local firm making pallets near me so I contacted them and explained what I wanted to do and they were really happy to help.
“When I put on the dress it felt great, there are hundreds of shavings which are individually clipped to a frame of a dress and a huge wooden shaving fascinator I wore on my head.”
Sian will tour schools to raise awareness about the dangers of online bullying in the hope of stopping other youngsters going through the same experience.
She added: “Talking about it and coming off certain social media platforms really helped me to rebuild my life.
“I have always held back from following my dreams and lacked a lot of confidence but I have fought my battles and came out wanting to help children and young people going through the same thing.”
Shelley Harris, of Pooling Partners who designed the commissioned the wooden dress, said: “The pallet is one of the most taken for granted items in the world, yet it moves everything around the globe from the food on our tables to the clothes on our backs.
“Despite its contribution, it is treated really badly – stolen, abandoned and burned on bonfires.”