In December 2014 a whole decade after their first encounter, this student was finally able to get payback for the pain a bully had caused her back in high school. Indeed, as her date sat waiting for her to show up, she had the waiter deal him a blow he would never forget.
Louisa Manning had recognized the man as soon as their eyes met at an Oxford University college ball. And yet, despite the fact that they’d shared the same high school for three years, he did not recognize her. Instead of being insulted, however, the archaeology and anthropology student saw an opportunity for revenge. Because this was the boy who had tormented her with the nickname “manbeast,” and now she would remind the man of his actions.
The boy had caused a teenage Louisa years of pain by mocking her changing features and looks. And now, she was shocked to find that all these years later he continued to judge her purely based on her looks. This time, however, he seemed to be more interested in dating her than mocking her.
Louisa knew this was her opportunity not just to stand up to her own bully, but to represent anyone who had ever been mistreated in their youth. And she had the upper hand already: in the years between their school days, she had changed dramatically. Indeed, Louisa has blossomed from an ugly duckling into a smart, independent, and beautiful young woman who shouldn’t be crossed.
On the other hand, it seemed his boyish immaturity had remained. Indeed he introduced himself, thinking they were strangers, and unaware of the impact he had made in her early years. In fact, he flirted with her outrageously throughout the night of the Christmas Yule Ball. Louisa, however, simply bided her time and allowed him to think she was impressed.
So when the overly confident man asked her out on a date Louisa accepted, deciding to wait a little longer before revealing her identity. In December 2014 she told BuzzFeed, “I was pretty pissed off he asked me out, to be honest. It really made me angry that now I’m attractive, he instantly wants to jump into bed with me.”
Nevertheless, despite being insulted, Louisa cooked up an idea with a friend and went ahead with her date. The Oxford student turned up at the restaurant where they had arranged to meet. However, she had no intention of taking her seat.
Instead, she enlisted the help of a waiter keen to help her dish out some revenge. And then she left, leaving her new accomplice with a special message for her date. The waiter watched for the mystery man to show up. And as he walked through the door he was shown to his seat, oblivious to the events about to unfold.
He might have been experiencing the same pre-date jitters many of us feel. However, what was about to be presented to him would surprise anybody. Because instead of the attractive girl from the ball, he received a handwritten letter setting the record straight.
Louisa’s note, written on the back a carefully selected photograph, revealed that not only had he made her life a misery by calling her “manbeast,” she had spent three years being tormented by his friends for her hairy legs and monobrow. In fact, the relentless insults caused her to embark on a three-year campaign to change her body.
Louisa informed her date that he had been detrimental to her confidence and caused her to do battle with her own body. And she wrote it all on the back of a photo of her aged just 12.
The photo revealed what Louisa had looked like when he first knew her. It prompted him to remember her as the child he bullied and challenged him to reflect on his actions. Finally, she signed off the note by saying, “Next time you think of me, picture this photo, because she’s the one who just stood you up.”
Feeling empowered, Louisa decided to share the photo and note on social media to entertain her friends. What she did not expect was for thousands of people to respond and offer their own stories of schoolyard bullies.
In fact, Louisa’s revenge plan went viral. The emotional and personal nature of bullying can strike at the heart of many people. Indeed, every year 3.2 million children in the U.S. are still experiencing some form of bullying. And around 160,000 American students decide not to go to school each day because of the pain other children are causing to their daily lives.
And Louisa, from Cambridgeshire, got another shock when she found out that not only had her bully read her note, but had decided to respond himself. However, for this student the apology had come ten years too late.
Within his response, which was posted on Facebook, the man said he had changed and had hoped the pair could be friends. He also apologized for his treatment of the woman when she was younger and praised her for standing up to bullies.
The response came as a complete surprise. And while Louisa respected the move, she also reminded him that his cruelty had caused her years or mental suffering. Moreover, she had decided to stand him up in order to teach him a lesson in manners.
Louisa became an inspiration online by becoming the person who stood up to her bully. Others across social media posted encouragement and relief at reading how she had managed to overcome the childhood suffering she went through.
Some commenters, however, highlighted that the bully was accepting his errors and trying to move on. And one user said, “Nice work, you’re awesome. I was never a big bully but was someone who gave some kids some **** back in grade school…. I have since approached them to apologise for my behaviour back then. So don’t totally swear this guy off.. cheers!”
Louisa’s commitment to standing up to her bully and changing her outlook on her troubled teenage years is inspirational. Many people suffer in silence to bullies. Louisa, however, will always be known for standing up to hers.