Carrie Berk: Empowering Kids to Practice Positive Posting

As a content creator, performer and influencer, Carrie Berk has been cyberbullied countless times in her 16 years, dating back to as early as elementary school. “I was eight years old, part of a ballet studio, and had just started posting dance pics on my Instagram,” Carrie recalls. “I was so proud of them, but a girl in my dance classes began posting cruel comments on my feed. Her words felt like a slap across my face and I hid in my closet, crying and unable to move or breathe.” 

Slowly, she dried her tears and realized she couldn’t allow bullying to break her. Instead, she vowed to become an antibullying crusader and eventually, a dedicated teen ambassador for No Bully. Over the past two years, she has helped raise funds and awareness for the organization as well as co-written an award-winning off-Broadway musical Peace, Love & Cupcakes (based on her bestselling children’s book) that was recognized for “starting a socially inclusive movement.” Says Carrie, “The message of the show is that being different is what makes each of us each special and beautiful—and we all have the power to make a difference in the world.”

Carrie’s latest novel, Ask Emma, is dedicated to No Bully (“for all the hard work you do…to lead kids into a cyberbully-free world”) and tells the story of Emma Woods, a middle school advice blogger who is cyberbullied when she tries to help her classmates solve their problems. The character is based on Carrie’s own experiences and feelings:  “I felt like cyberbullying was such an important subject for this age group,” Carrie says. “I wanted to start a discussion: words can hurt or words can heal. What would happen if we all chose kindness?”

In 2017 Carrie also launched her style empowerment website Carrie’s Chronicles (www.carrieschronicles) in response to her high school peers’ judgmental commentary on her clothing. “They tell me my style is ‘extra’ or ‘out there,’” Carrie says. “A few years ago, I tried to change the way I dressed to boring and monochromatic so I could fit in. But then I realized it wasn’t me and you should never let anyone dull your sparkle. My goal with my site is to encourage unapologetic individuality. I think everyone should celebrate his/her style without worrying about what others think or say. I always tell people, ‘take on the world in your own, one-of-a-kind way!’” 

The site covers everything from fashion and beauty to food, fitness, and exclusive celebrity interviews. The “Carrie’s Q&A” section in particular spotlights people who are boldly pursuing their dreams, making a difference, and standing up for what they believe in. “My goal for every article I publish is to spark new ideas and creativity while helping you be your most fearless self.”

Carrie also recently collaborated with Milly Shapiro and Abby Shapiro (fellow No Bully ambassadors) and several other teen girls in a Girls Against Bullying PSA this spring. Carrie wrote the script for which emphasizes how “we owe it to ourselves as women to lift each other up instead of tear each other down.” She has recently been touring the country, appearing at BookCon, Radio Disney, and in numerous media outlets, promoting her book and site as well as No Bully’s mission.”You should never fight hate with hate,” she explains. “I often think of how my first reaction was to get even with those bullies who put me down. But I’m glad I chose to do something positive instead of negative. If someone says something mean to me today (and they do!), I’m able to simply ignore, delete or block it out because I believe in myself. I’d love to help people feel the same way: ‘bullying can’t hurt me anymore!’”

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Instagram: @carrieberkk Twitter: @carrieberkk Facebook: Carrie’s Chronicles YouTube: Carrie’s Chronicles