"Don't get that haircut," "no one can make you quit, but yourself," "don't follow the crowd," "it's okay to be a nerd," "stop hating your thighs", "beware of boys who do drugs," "always listen to your mama," "don't give up on yourself." These would likely be the common pieces of advice, bits of encouragement and assurances most women would give their teenage self, if they could go back in time. Now, a new social media campaign is letting them do just that.
To coincide with International Women's Day on March 8, YouTube on Wednesday launched #DearMe, a global campaign to inspire women and girls across the world to pursue their dreams and celebrate themselves. We all know growing up is tough and this initiative encourages women of all ages, breeds and nationalities, famous or not, to share inspiring messages to their younger selves: It is for the teenager wondering what life is all about, a mother looking back at her youth and anyone seeking homespun wisdom.
And YouTube being YouTube, people can take part in the movement by uploading a video message to their younger self on YouTube and joining the conversation with the hashtag #DearMe. You can also put together a GIF, like the ones below, using YouTube's easy GIF-maker on their Tumblr page at youtubedearme.com.
Thanks to the campaign, our favourite female vloggers (video bloggers) and YouTube personalities are creating short video messages that are incredibly personal (we can't stress this enough), but have the power to inspire us all. These celebrities, including popular and irreverent motor-mouth Superwoman, have each recorded messages to their respective younger selves, all beginning with the phrase "Dear me". Some are saying "you are magical" and "don't try to be too normal," others want to "go ahead and mess things up".
Women on social media platforms, like Twitter, shared similar sentiments and addressed everything from bullying and not fitting in during their teenage years to body image and sexuality issues. They have a lot to say and here are some of the most beautiful and inspiring messages we've seen so far.
#DearMe You may have been bullied a lot.. but things will get better. Don't EVER let them push you around... or even give a sh*t about them.— Lis Fortun (@secretsandLISe) March 5, 2015
#DearMe Don't sacrifice your time to people who wouldn't do the same for you.— DHEL ? (@xkathrengx) March 5, 2015
#DearMe, You are stronger than your depression. You do not have to succumb to that deep and terrible pit. There is hope. You. Are. Strong.— ?Miss Almost Famous? (@TattedVocalist) March 5, 2015
#Dearme, stop trying to be normal. No one is normal. If you were normal you'd wish you weren't. It isn't a useful goal.— Eddy Davis (@EddyZDavis) March 4, 2015
#DearMe You're special! Embrace who you are and don't let anyone bring you down. Today is an awesome day no matter what happens!— Shira Lazar (@shiralazar) March 4, 2015
These touching videos and posts are sure to inspire you to create one too. While the 15-year-old you will not hear the message, there are plenty of young people out there who will. So, if you had the chance to say "Dear me," and talk to your younger self, what would you say?