Teenager Ellie Hitchcock-Wyatt was so traumatised by the bullies picking on her for looking like Harry Potter – she has turned herself into UGLY BETTY.
The 16-year-old was targeted at primary school because she was smaller than the other children and wore Potter-style thick glasses.
Despite moving schools twice she cried every day on her way to lessons knowing she would spend lunchtime shunned and alone.
But her life changed thanks to her grandmother who suggested she watch the Ugly Betty TV show featuring picked-on Betty Suarez.
Ellie copied Betty’s policy of happily ignoring cruel jibes – and has thrived ever since.
She has even become a spitting image of the US comedy star complete with thick brown hair, glasses and even BRACES on her teeth.
And with the help of her mum Jacqueline she has set up her own anti-bullying charity, Bullying Stinkz.
Ellie said: “My granny suggested we watch Ugly Betty because she said Betty reminded her of me.
“She said Betty wasn’t really ugly, she was wonderful but she was also always different from everyone else, just like me, so perhaps I could learn from watching the programme.
“I absolutely loved it immediately.
“Betty made me laugh so much because however horrible people were to her, she always managed to know how to deal with them and she never let their nastiness get to her.
“She loved herself just the way she was so I wanted to as well.
“I began to realise that I needed to accept myself just the way I was and I gradually became more confident at school.
“I found that the more confident I became, the more people wanted to be friends with me.”
Mum Jacqueline, 50, from Norwich, Norfolk, believes Ellie was picked on because she was both physically and socially different from the other children.
She was born 10 weeks premature and remained small for her age throughout her primary school years and had to be moved schools twice.
She struggled with her confidence and children picked on her and refused to even talk to her.
Jacqueline said she will never forget the heartbreaking moment her daughter left for a new primary school – and NONE of her classmates said goodbye.
She said: “The school said they were addressing the issue but for two years we watched as Ellie gradually turned from the bouncy, fun-loving extrovert we knew at home to a quiet, miserable seven year old who didn’t want to go to school and hadn’t the confidence to walk with her head held high.”
Jacqueline has given up her job as a photographer and she and Ellie have produced a series of books featuring a purple dragon who never fits in.
She said: “We looked at how Ugly Betty responded and she really gave her the tools to respond when people were constantly nasty.”
Betty Suarez was a social misfit employed at a high-end fashion magazine because the publisher believed his promiscuous son would not sleep with her.
The series follows Betty as she gains her boss’ respect and helps him successfully navigate his way through the fashion industry.