happy valentine’s day, friends! hope you have adorned yourself with a hint of red or pink today, and plan to spend time with that sweet someone or best pal of yours. :-)
i’m not the kind of girl who expects an extravagant or elaborate show on sweetheart day because i think–okay, call me cheesy–every day should be treated as valentine’s day. i’d take random acts of love and kindness sprinkled in throughout an entire year over a show of fireworks and over-sized teddy bears any day. although, i do like fireworks…
just kidding. well, kind of.
our typical valentine’s day consists of one of us cooking a new recipe for dinner, followed by some snuggling up to a favorite movie. for some reason nacho libre has become a valentine’s movie tradition lately. i know, it’s super romantic.
great food, a good laugh and some quality time with the three dudes in my life–ahem, i mustn’t forget about my two babies!–is all this girl needs.
earlier this week, with valentine’s day in mind, i decided to do something fun yet meaningful with a few of my senior models and their friends.
we had a little afternoon valentine’s craft–no, we are not in kindergarten, i just really like crafts–with sweets + treats, every shade of pink lipstick created, and a fun photobooth to capture it all.
but in between the laughs + giggles and boas + mustaches, i asked them to take a minute to get real by helping me tackle something that breaks my heart every day: bullying.
i didn’t experience an extreme amount of bullying in school, but i did have to deal with gossip and those typical mean girls. it wasn’t brutal, but it did affect me. it caused me to go through a dark season of constantly battling self doubt, insecurities and body image issues. and while high school is long behind me–thank GOD–i have to admit these things still sometimes rear their ugly heads every now and then.
in the past few years, i’ve noticed bullying has become louder, taking all forms; from the school hallways to the internet cyber-waves (new word? sure!) and now sadly, on to taking precious lives.
even our small town has experienced the loss of far too many youth, and i knew that as i begin to work with seniors, i needed to incorporate an anti-bullying campaign of sorts to help bring awareness, conquer doubts and eventually silence these brutal offenders that steal our joy.
so, we did just that.
teaming up with the love is louder movement, we came together to support anyone feeling mistreated, misunderstood or alone. it’s a “movement of all types of people who have come together to raise the volume around the message that love and support are louder than any internal or external voice that brings us down.”
i was so busy working the photobooth that i forgot to jump in myself! so, here’s one after the fact :-)
i hope this valentine’s day–and every day, really–we remember that we are not all that different, you + i.
no matter the background, race, religion, language, sexuality, occupation, political preference, school, financial status, or country, we all have hopes, dreams, fears, goals, insecurities and struggles.
we are not alone. YOU are not alone.
so, let’s be strong and stand against the bullies that say hurtful things, make fun of you because you are different or gossip about you because you actually stand for something in this world.
call them out when you see it happening. make sure they know that it is not okay to poke fun at the quiet kid in the corner, or to whisper about someone in front of their face.
with all of the judgement, hate, prejudice, insecurities, peer pressure and self doubt squelching our voice in this world, let’s make sure that above all else, love conquers all.
LOVE. IS. LOUDER.
to view the entire gallery of our valentine’s day extravaganza, click here.