The purpose of our blog is to discuss topical issues, stories, and situations, as well as to share what we are up to and new ways for you to get involved. We are always searching for possible answers to the question: Why is a girl's worth culturally and historically relative?

Monday, January 21, 2013

Bathroom Confessions...Answered

The encouraging response to our bathroom confessions. (Imgur)

Before Twitter, Facebook, and all those other sites, there was the bathroom wall or stall door. Growing up, it was where I wrote out my hopes, dreams, frustrations, and – more often than not – my deepest, darkest secrets.  

I’d hide in the stall, crying about things I feared telling anyone, so I told the bathroom wall. I never got a response, not in the four years of using the same stall in high school or to the ones left at random supermarkets or gas stations. It was just a way to make myself feel momentarily better. And it gave me hope that maybe, somehow, the Universe would hear me and answer.

I was reminded of my youth when, on January 13, a Reddit user posted a photo of another’s response  to postings like mine. The response, written on notepaper, was taped to a stall door in a university bathroom. The photo quickly went viral, striking a chord with girls throughout the world who, like me, found solace in bathroom graffiti.

The anonymous note addressed girls who had struggled with rape, eating disorders, family problems, and death. Yet most of all, it gave them hope, stating, “To all of you (including those I did not mention, and those who have not yet written)

You are worthy.
You are strong.
You are brave.
You are loved.
Somebody cares.”

Perhaps no greater message can be sent to girls than the one posted on that bathroom wall. It’s the message that most of us are taught from day one, but frequently ignore. It was one I didn’t learn until my mid-twenties, after I had let others make me feel unworthy, weak, cowardly, and unloved. And yet it was the one I should have remembered all along, as those were the traits that got me from the bathroom stall to where I am today.

After generations of posting on stall doors, praying that the silent plea would be answered by the Universe, two words summed up all that ever needed to be said to any girl walking into the bathroom with a downtrodden look: “Somebody cares.”

-Tiffany Rhoades
Junior Girl
Girl Museum Inc.

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