I love hearing about teenagers who have the courage to break from the mold and risk standing apart from the crowd to do something inspiring and kind for others.
…and today’s Fabulous Friday Female resonated with me personally because we seem to share a similar idea, although on a very different scale. Last year for my birthday, I decided I wanted to do something different, so I bought some presents and cards, writing in each one of them “You are beautiful” and handed them out to random strangers in central London.
16 year old Ashley Munroe had a similar idea…only on a much greater scale! Ashley took 6 hours to write out nearly 2,000 post-it notes and stick them on to every locker of every student at her school.
She shared her story on the Huffington Post, to let people know what she’d done…and the punishment she nearly suffered as a result.
It’s a great story, and rather than try to paraphrase it, I thought it would be better to let Ashley tell it in her own words:
This is a picture of something I did at my school last year. I wrote out 1,986 sticky notes. Each said, “You’re beautiful,” and I stuck one to every locker in my entire school.
It was almost unbearable to listen people put themselves down every day. They would say things like, “I’m ugly” or “No one likes me.” To me, that wasn’t the truth. For at least one day, I wanted everyone to know that someone thought they were beautiful.
It took me over 6 hours to write all of the notes, and an hour to stick them with the help of one other friend. It wasn’t my original plan to tell people that I had done it, but word got out after I had been called to the Dean’s office. They found me through the school’s video surveillance system.
After being sat down in the office and explaining everything that had happened, there was talk of a possible 3-day suspension from school. When I went back to my classroom, my teacher asked me what they said, and I told her. This is how the rest of the students found out. Throughout the entire day word of the possible suspension circulated, and a group of students came together and formed a petition. They passed the petition around school.
In the end, it had over 600 signatures, from both students AND faculty.
It amazed me that people would do that for me. For one day, I truly felt beautiful. And for one day, I managed to make every other kid in my school feel beautiful, as well.
A few days later, after the incident was not as new, a complete stranger approached me. What she said to me was shocking.
“That day, I was planning on killing myself. I had given up completely on society, but because of you I didn’t. You gave me hope. Thank you.”
What’s more amazing than that is the fact that today she has become one of my best friends.
So today I would like you to join me in acknowledging and celebrating Ashley and her beautiful story, her desire to help others see the beauty in themselves and the gift she gave another girl, that came back to her in the form of an amazing friendship. I hope she has inspired you to see the beauty in yourself too x
As you know, I would love to acknowledge, honour and celebrate the women and men who have inspired you as well. So if there is someone that you believe should feature as a Fabulous Friday Female (or Fellow!), then send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) with 3 simple details:
- Who is your Fabulous Friday Female / Fellow? (Her / his name and location in the world)
- Why is she / he a Fabulous Friday Female / Fellow to YOU? (How do you know her / him? What does she / he do? In what way is she / he inspiring?)
- A photo or link to a picture of her / him online (if there is a reason that you would prefer not to include a photo, just let me know)
So help me to share with all of our lovely ladies the real women and men who inspire YOU.
…and remember, as always, to Stay Fabulous too!