People Are Actually Mad About What This School Did to the Girls' Bathroom

girls bathroom mirrors replaced with signs
Shannen McKinney Lob/FacebookAs anyone who's ever been a teenager knows, looking in the mirror during the adolescent years can be a pretty anxiety-inducing experience -- which is why one California high school did away with mirrors entirely in its girls' bathroom, replacing the looking glasses with signs of affirmations like "You Are Beautiful" and "You're Doing Better Than You Think." It's one of the sweetest and most supportive high school–related stories we've heard in a long time, but not everybody thinks so. In fact, some people seem to actually be offended by the positivity-boosting project.


The idea came from Laguna Hills High School senior Sabrina Astle, who told ABC News that that she "wanted to find a way to make a difference through [the school's] Kindness Club on campus." She said, "This is why I started making the posters in the first place."

During the school's "What if ... Week," which features bonding activities for the student body, there was a specific day devoted to the message "What if we showed more love?" Astle decided that would be the perfect time to hang the signs in the bathroom, which she did the night before so kids would see them when they arrived the next morning.

"It made their day," Sabrina said of her schoolmates. She continued:

I didn't think I was doing anything that would impact anyone. I thought it may brighten their day or lift their confidence before their next class, but I didn't think it would make this large of an impact.

The signs have helped people remember that everyone is beautiful, everyone is important, everyone is good enough and everyone should be treated equally. I did this because I am passionate about the fact that everyone is important and everyone needs to be cared for.

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So amazing! If only more people thought the same way, and dedicated themselves to spreading those vibes of self-acceptance. Unfortunately -- though not surprisingly -- the world at large has not reacted with quite the same enthusiasm as the Laguna Hills High School student body. These are just a few of the inexplicably hateful comments this story received on Twitter: 



Wow, talk about missing the point!! Obviously a few handwritten signs aren't going to shelter kids from the reality that we live in a judgmental society where we're constantly barraged with messages telling us we're inadequate and in need of fixing. They're just meant to offer a momentary reminder that there are other, more valuable messages to be considered: That we're worthwhile human beings no matter what. That we're doing just fine, and trying your best means something. That all people are beautiful in their own way, and that we don't have to match up to some artificial standard of physical perfection in order to be loved or respected. 

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All the cheerful signs in the world can't make up for the fact that growing up is hard, and so many kids are plagued with insecurities. But they might help, at least for a minute or two. They might make somebody smile. What's so bad about that? Why are people so horrified by the thought of confident teens not worrying about what they look like and trying to do nice things for each other? It's truly mystifying.

As a mother of three -- one of whom is in high school -- I love stories like this one, and I hope to see many more. Not because I'm a fragile, overly optimistic snowflake who thinks a few construction paper squares and happy thoughts are going to fix all the world's problems, but because I believe that over time, more and more small steps like this one will change the world we live in. At least, I hope so.

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