Sunday, March 2, 2014

My Little Pony Tattoos Part Of Anti-Bullying Campaign

http://www.northcentralohio.com/national-news/single.asp?story=58692

Across the country, people are heading to tattoo shops to get inked with one of the characters from "My Little Pony." It's all in an effort to combat bullying. Gerron Jordan explains how the story of an 11-year-old in North Carolina started a movement that's spread all the way to Louisiana. Sharon Smith is getting her 12th tattoo. "I say some of my other tattoos mean other things, but this one means, this one, I don't know," she says. "It's just the best." With this ink, she's joining hundreds, if not thousands, around the country to take a stand against bullying. "It's a reminder for us that everyday I see that tattoo and I think that what I say to somebody might affect them in a way that pushes them over the board," says Justine Zerangue, DSI Customs Tattoo Shop employee. "They might be the person who hurts themselves." The movement started in North Carolina when 11-year-old Michael Morones tried to kill himself after being bullied for liking the TV show "My Little Pony." "It's an epidemic and it's horrible." Darin Owens is the owner of DSI Customs Tattoo Shop in Lake Charles. His friend and fellow Tattoo artist in Sugarland, Texas, came up with the movement to ink ponies on customers, and Owens felt his shop should join the movement, too. "Every individual is just that,. an individual, and you don't have the right to perceive your ways on to them," says Owens. Proceeds from the tattoos go to the Morones' anti-bullying campaign and to the family to help with hospital costs, where Michael has just started breathing on his own. Owens says the tattoo movement has really taken off. He's already done nearly 50. "Yeah, it hurts. But people go through the pain of bullying everyday." Amanda Fontenot's seven-member family got tatted, and she says taking part is bigger than even them. "It's something that everybody has felt and knowing even for, especially for a child, that you're not alone, and that people love you and accept you for no matter what you choose to do is something that is indescribable," she says. A gofundme.com page has also been set up for Michael Morones. It's already raised over $70,000.

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