Belfast Telegraph

Bully for you boys, helping others

By Lindy McDowell

The Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children has come up with a truly shocking ad campaign aimed at combating bullying and featuring images of Jedward, Louis Walsh, Saoirse Ronan and other celebs as assault victims.

The mocked-up pictures are graphic.

Even though you know it's just make-up there's something about the sight of Walsh and the twins with blood and bruises on their faces that makes you wince.

What's particularly poignant is that John and Edward have talked before about being bullied during their schooldays.

Although this doesn't seem to have amounted to physical assault, it was obviously traumatic.

So good on the pair for fronting up a campaign to highlight what so many other children go through.

Westlife singer Mark Feehily was the brains behind the ad campaign. He too was a victim of the bullies.

"I know at first hand how the impact of being bullied as a teenager can quite literally last a lifetime," he says, "I thought that if we could involve well-known ISPCC ambassadors perhaps people will think twice about bullying or indeed allowing bullying to happen."

The 'battered' faces of the normally effervescent Jedward boys certainly drives home the message. Not all the victims of bullying carry physical scars. But visible wounds are also a reminder of lasting emotional damage.

All those who took part in the campaign - including the brilliant make-up artist - gave their services free.

Sometimes 'shock' campaigns can be a bit too shocking.

This one works.

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