I think a lot of us can relate to the idea that it's easier said than done to just be ourselves - I know that it's definitely something that I struggled with. School's are all too often a breeding ground for teasing and bullying, and the more social media grows - the harder it can be to escape a world wherein you might not always fit in. When Treaclemoon, a company I worked with before, emailed me to ask me to post about their #BeYou Project to raise awareness (not for their company and products, but for their charity partner BulliesOut) it was something I just couldn't turn down.
I often talk about how difficult that I found school - I was coming to terms with my sexuality, reading age old literature whilst all of my friends were out at D and E (a local club for under 18's looking for a token other half) and learning to knit and sew. I couldn't have felt more like I didn't fit it - and so I tried my best to like what other people liked, I did what other people did but ultimately? It actually just made me really unhappy, for a really long time.
People say that things get better - and it's true. It's not that time will cure all those ailments that you felt you harboured as a teen or adult, it's that you will learn that the things that you felt weird because of, the things that teased you for? They're the things that make you, you - they're not weird as much as unique, the parts of you that really do make you who you are. I know it's easier said than done to say embrace them, but one day you really will, and you'll wish you'd done it earlier - nothing will seem as rewarding to you as allowing yourself to just, well... Be You.
In a world where social media only adds to the pressures on young people, BulliesOut are using the same platforms for this campaign - allowing people like me to spread the message about how important, fulfilling, healthy and amazing it is to just be yourself; and it really is a charity that I stand wholeheartedly behind. If you want to support the charity like I will be, you can post your reasons online as to why you think it's important to #BeYou (remember to tag @treaclemoon_uk and you'll be entered into a fortnightly draw) or you can head on over to their merchandise page, where merchandise starts at just £1 and all profits go to help BulliesOut.
If there's one thing that I truly believe in, it's that we should be doing all we possibly can to stop bullying - it's going to take more than a few posts to stop bullying, but I post this in the hopes that it inspires a little confidence in just one single person - come on guys, it's time to #BeYou.
Like I said, although this is supported by Treaclemoon it's advertising their charity partner and so it's not sponsored or anything, I just think if I can add just one single more positive note to social media today, I should jump at the chance.