Anti-Bullying Fashion Show Struts Message of Compassion on Catwalk

A fashion show of role model, some of them just in elementary school, have a unique style designed to save others.

Former miss United Nations Sherrie Gearhart hosts an annual anti-bullying fashion show, "Live Out Loud," to raise awareness.

"You’re walking for a purpose," Gearhart said. “It’s all about, remember, celebrating life.”

“We have real people walking the runway who have been affected by suicide, depression, bullying or low self-esteem,” Gearheart told NBC 5.

The Chicago native decided to start this charity event 8 years ago after her childhood friend ended his life.

“How can I bring people together to help them heal?" she posed. "To help them celebrate life while educating them? So I decided to orchestrate a fashion show.”

People of all ages participate, including 7-year-old Kayla Garcia.

“I feel inside that it’s not right to bully other people,” Kayla said.

Kayla joined Live out Loud two years ago and she doesn’t just walk in the fashion show.

“I didn’t want nobody else to get bullied and you’re not alone,” she said.

After she was bullied – Kayla asked to join Gearhart at school talks – teaching students how to deal with bullies.

“We started training her in public speaking," Gearhart said. "At first she was really shy and now she’s come out of her bubble.”

Now Kayla shares her message with other students to stand up for themselves.

“They’re like ‘thank you for helping me when I got bullied.’ and I’m like ‘you’re welcome.’ and they’re happy now,” she said of the students she speaks to.

She also voices her support through a song she wrote.

“Don’t push me, don’t pull me, please don’t be a bully," Kayla sings. "Don’t hurt my feelings, don’t call me names…”

The models, like Kayla, walking the walk -- as they talk about encouraging others to help those who feel down.

“You need to persuade them there is hope," Gearheart said. "Everyone’s been through something in life and we can all overcome it.”

The Live Out Loud charity website lists multiple resources for people suffering from depression or who feel bullied.

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