When I was eight-years-old, I felt like there was nothing wrong in the world. My best friend was in my class, we played a game where we pretended to be squirrels every recess, and my dad was completely healthy. I didn't know it at the time, but that was probably the happiest I would ever be. I loved elementary school, especially when I was that young, because no one was mean yet and everyone was friends. Apparently, it isn't like this anymore.
Today baby sister, Grace, is eight years old and in the third grade. Her favorite shows are My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic (#teamPinkieforPresident), Girl Meets World (RUCAS IS FINALLY TOGETHER AND GOD IS GOOD) and Teen Titans Go! (I've never seen the old Teen Titans and I honestly love this version of it) She likes playing with our dog Charlie, making dessert recipies, and reading. But what Gracie really loves is Disney princesses. She pretends that she didn't spend a year watching Frozen every day but all she wants is to be a Disney Princess. When I was in third grade, we all loved princesses and Harry Potter and all talked about it constantly. But when Grace told people she liked princesses, the other kids in her class started making fun of her. They teased her and told her she was a baby for liking princesses. They told her she was a baby for liking Disney in general. And so my best friend, the sunshine in my life, and basically the best thing that has ever happened to my family, has her light dimmed because she was told that liking Disney was beneath her, and made her less than her classmates.
Naturally, my family told me about this, and naturally, as the over-protective-not-a-teen-mom-but-basically that I am, I decided I needed to do something to fix the situation. As a college student, I am basically the coolest person in Grace's life. And I know that if I do something, and then tell her about it, she'll know it's cool (this is why she watches the three shows above, sorry not sorry). And I know that Disney Princesses are super cool and empowering for little girls. For me, Belle was the reason I knew reading was cool, and that it didn't matter what people thought of me because I was special and smart and kind anyways. And Grace has been raised the same way. So to find out that people have been making fun of her for something that has made our entire family so happy for years made me furious. It was time to take action.
The first thing I did was text my sorority pledge class and ask them for selfies with their Disney stuff. Then, I texted a bunch of friends and asked if they had anything. One told me to write on Facebook and see if I could get any responses. I wrote a status at 11am, and by 5pm I had over 100 pictures of college students and their friends with Disney princesses and characters, in front of the castle, dancing in their Disney gear, waiting in line to meet characters, smiling with their friends on rides, and so on and so forth. I have collages, messages, and two songs all dedicated to my sister and proving that everyone loves Disney, no matter how old you are.
What I've learned most from this entire experience is that the kindness of strangers is insurmountable. People are amazing. The amount of responses I got is staggering, and the amount of people who just stopped me on Academic Row to tell me how good of a sister I am and how loved my sister is was wonderful. I am so grateful for my friends and the strangers who took the time to show my sister that she isn't alone. This article is to thank all of the people who helped me this week, and to ask for more pictures if you haven't sent them yet. If you read this and want to send me your Disney pictures, comment below! My sister will thank you, and I already do.