Infinity War Anti Bullies Final Small. Josh Rossi Photo / mediadrumworld.com

By Rebecca Drew

AS EXCITEMENT for the latest superhero instalment of the Avengers grows, one photographer has spent three months uniting bullied children to transform them into real-life versions of the popular film franchise’s famous superheroes – and it even features Justin Bieber’s younger brother who wanted to get involved in the inspirational project.

GamoraSmall – Last year Sydney had depression and considered suicide. Bullies told her they would have a party if she died. Josh Rossi Photo / mediadrumworld.com

 

The action-packed snaps show the adorable children dressed up as their favourite characters which include, Spiderman, Black Panther, Ironman and the Hulk. Other pictures show brave Jackson Bezzant who has been bullied for the facial deformities he was born with as Captain America defying an evil dark force and Justin Bieber’s younger brother Jaxon as Thor.

ThorSmall. Josh Rossi Photo / mediadrumworld.com

 

Emotional video footage shows the children and their parents sharing their heart wrenching stories before being transformed into the fearless heroes to become ‘The Avengers of Bullying’.

Dr StrangeSmall – He’s missing 35% of his cerebellum. Kids noticed he was different; he was bullied for this. Josh Rossi Photo / mediadrumworld.com

 

The project was carried out by Los Angeles and Puerto Rico based photographer Josh Rossi. Josh explained where the idea for the photoshoot came from.

ScarletWitchSmall – She was threatened with physical harm and bullied daily. Josh Rossi Photo / mediadrumworld.com

“After recently seeing the trailer for the new Avenger’s movie, my wife Roxana and I were inspired to bring bullied kids together to provide a platform where their voices could be heard,” said Josh.

“In the movie, the bully of the universe, Thanos, comes to take over the world, but the Avengers unite to destroy him.

Black PantherSmall -He was bullied for not being able to speak English despite coming from a refugee background and fleeing from terrorism. Josh Rossi Photo / mediadrumworld.com

“Each Avenger has unique differences and strengths ranging from green and purple skin to being able to stop time. Without each superhero’s strength and power, their efforts to defeat Thanos will be unsuccessful.

“Similar to bullying, as we unite against it we can stop it.

BlackWidowSmall – She gets cyber bullied quite often and wanted to be part of the bully project to stand against it. Josh Rossi Photo / mediadrumworld.com

“Going into this project, my wife Roxana and I didn’t know the heart-breaking details of each kid’s story. We didn’t know that 12-year-old Jackson Sommers (Dr. Strange) had 35% of his brain missing and that kids pushed him down and spit on him at school because he walked and talked differently than they did.

Vision – Cole Helton is gender fluid and has been bullied because of it. Vision’s identity is condused when he is originally created. Josh Rossi Photo / mediadrumworld.com

“We didn’t know that Sydney Gerardis (Gamora) was secretly contemplating her suicide when her close friends told her they’d throw a party if she died.

DraxSmall – He has been bullied for his ethnicity and has been made fun of and called ‘gay’ even though he isn’t. Josh Rossi Photo / mediadrumworld.com

“We definitely didn’t know the cruel words that were said to Grant Southam (Ironman) when he would walk past kids at school every day and they would yell “the retard is here!” while beating their chests.”

The costumes were designed and created by Julie Whiteley over three months.

Josh Rossi. Josh Rossi Photo / mediadrumworld.com

 

Josh’s interests started in film and advertising but he quickly realised that his passion was in creating epic scenes using photography.

“After seeing and hearing about all of these kids’ stories, we knew we had to help these kids take a stand against bullying,” said Josh.

FalconSmall – He is six and has autism, which makes it hard to make and keep friends. He has been bullied and even yelled at by adults. Josh Rossi Photo / mediadrumworld.com

 

“We knew that if we could provide a platform where each kid could make a powerful statement against abuse, it would help unite others against it.

SpidermanSmall – He has been targeted by a classmate. He’s called him names and berated him in front of other classmates. Josh Rossi Photo / mediadrumworld.com

 

“Once word spread about the project we were surprised to gain support from Jaxon Bieber. Jaxon wanted to make a stand against bullying in a powerful way so he and his dad, Jeremy, flew out to be part of the project.

HulkSmall – He was bullied because of his size and not being able to run as fast as everyone else. Josh Rossi Photo / mediadrumworld.com

 

“We split up the photo shoot into three days because of the size of the group. The majority of the kids live in Utah but are from six different continents.”

For more information see www.joshrossi.com

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