Eight-year-old Charleigh from Maryland came back from school in tears after being bullied on the bus ride home recently. The other kids, she told her mom Alexandra Elle, were calling her names and making comments about her skin color. Though she understood that kids make fun of each other, Elle told A Plus that it didn't sit well with her that Charleigh was being teased for being brown.
So Elle came up with a remarkably powerful yet simple way to remind her daughter just how beautiful and worthy she is.
In a video she shared on Twitter, Elle tells Charleigh to read from the dozens of Post-It notes pasted on the mirror.
"I am beautiful and Black. I am smart. I am funny. I am vibrant. I am kind," Charleigh reads.
Elle noted that Charleigh is a sensitive child, and she and her husband work to build her self-confidence every day. As someone who conducts adult self-care sessions, Elle said that she thought her daughter could benefit from them, too.
"I could tell she was still a little bothered by the comments made. I wanted to make sure she knew that no matter what, who she is can not be broken by hurtful speech, even when it feels like the opposite," Elle said. "Having gentle reminders to fall back on and keep close can help in certain situations. It won't solve every problem, but it will help with some."
Elle said that Charleigh enjoyed the exercise, and that the goal is to have her read them every day while she gets dressed.
But the video not only was an exercise in self-empowerment for Charleigh. It also resonated deeply with many Twitter users, who showered the mother-daughter duo with praise.
Since Elle posted the video earlier in November, it has been retweeted more than 120,000 times.
Elle said that there has been plenty of responses and it's been difficult to keep up, "but from what I have seen, they have been lovely."
The video has even inspired others to do the same exercise for themselves, too. Elle shared a photo sent from a follower who put up similar Post-It notes on her mirror, too.
"I shared the video because I knew that the message was needed and could be adapted by other parents," Elle said. "Representation matters, and I am glad my kiddo and I could serve as an inspiration to so many."