Courtney Summers’ bestselling novel All the Rage is about a teenage girl who is raped by an authority figure in her community. Her struggle with shame, frustration, anger, and the desire for justice moves the plot forward at breakneck speed. When All the Rage was first released in April 2015, Summers’s started the hashtag campaign #ToTheGirls2016 to send messages of support and positivity to girls around the world. It was so successful that she did it again Thursday, and the hashtag started trending on Twitter. For a much-needed does of feel-good news, here are the best #ToTheGirls2016 messages that you should definitely share with your daughter (or female friends and loved ones, generally).
In a letter published in The Guardian, Summers wrote, "Sometimes, I think of my novels as letters to their readers" and described what she hopes her novels and #ToTheGirls2016 will accomplish:
The difficult, often hard-to-like female protagonists and the particular set of challenges they face may change from book to book, but the underlying message — the heart of the story — is always the same: whatever you’re going through and however you feel, you’re not alone.
Sometimes, saying a secret out loud changes a life. Sometimes, saying a secret out loud saves it. I’m not the first person to express this and I won’t be the last: a book can be a lifeline.
It’s my hope that girls going through anything like what Romy goes through can read the book and feel less alone. It’s my hope girls who pick up the book will read it and know they are seen, heard and loved.
To take part, people can use the hashtag on any of their social media outlets or on the dedicated #ToTheGirls2016 Tumblr page. Both the book and the outpouring of messages is already acting as a source of inspiration for girls everywhere. Here are some of the most heartfelt #ToTheGirls2016 messages you should share with your daughters, sisters, friends, and anyone else who needs to know that they are definitely not alone.
And my personal favorite:
It is easy to forget that there is so much inspiration and support out there when women need it. What this campaign is bringing to light is all women have to do sometimes is ask for support.