A young New York girl found refuge from bullying in fashion and has dedicated her clothing line to serving people of all shapes and sizes.
Egypt Ufele, 11, of Queens, was subjected to torment by classmates when she was just 5 years old. She was stabbed with a pencil and even had her finger pulled out of its socket, her mom claims.
It was during those times that she would draw and sew outfits for her dolls as solace, in what would eventually transform into her clothing line — "ChubiiLine."
Egypt’s asthma had recently worsened when the bullying started and doctors had her on multiple medications — including steroids — causing her to gain weight. It was then that the insults about her weight started to pour in, with people constantly calling her “chubby.”
“She was bullied for two years and she kept it from me,” said Egypt’s mom, Reba Perry. “She was fearful of being targeted.”
Perry told the story of how one day Egypt said she couldn’t go to school because they were going to kill her and Perry said that’s when she knew there was a serious problem.
“Being in the first and second grade, bullying was rough because they had threatened me and called me all types of names. And they were violent towards me so that was kind of scary,” Egypt said.
The fifth-grader is now homeschooled, but she’s turned her “negative into a positive,” she said.
ChubiiLine debuted at UBM (Unique Blend Models) Fashion Week in 2015 as part of New York Fashion Week. The brand was devised by Egypt and is aimed toward people of all shapes, sizes, and sexes.
“I am trying to show people that no matter what size you are, you are perfect just the way you are,” Egypt said. “It’s helped me get through because it boosted my confidence. People applaud me for my work so I feel like I did something good.”
Egypt and her mother also travel to schools around the city to speak out against bullying.
Many young children and adults have reached out to Egypt expressing their appreciation for what she’s doing, but she said she never envisioned her clothing line would take off or that she would have such an impact.
"This experience was kind of surprising because I didn’t think I was going to get this far. I thought it was just going to be a project," said Egypt. "I feel like I’ve changed from the kid who was being bullied to helping others. I hope I can save all the lives that I can."