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.
Your anger is not too much. Your passion is not too much. You are not too much. #ToTheGirls2016— Ally Watkins (@aswatki1) January 21, 2016
#ToTheGirls2016 who don't have "female" on their birth certificates: you are, you are, you are. No one knows you better than you.— Dahlia Adler (@MissDahlELama) January 21, 2016
"i don't care." "that's not funny." "that's not my responsibility." "no." all good phrases to keep in the ol' back pocket. #ToTheGirls2016— emery lord (@emerylord) January 21, 2016
#ToTheGirls2016 You are not pear-shaped or hourglass-shaped; you are girl-shaped and that's perfect.— Emily X.R. Pan (@exrpan) January 21, 2016
#ToTheGirls2016 There are infinite numbers of ways to be a girl and all of them are right— Kyra Wolff (@kyra_kat) January 21, 2016
#ToTheGirls2016 Never let anyone tell you that you aren't important. Or that your voice and your stories don't matter. They are everything.— Gwenda Bond (@Gwenda) January 21, 2016
Love whatever it is you love without fear. Stop worrying so much. Be brave with your passion. Embrace what makes you weird. #tothegirls2016— Maria Vicente (@MsMariaVicente) January 21, 2016
To my FAT girls: nobody gets to decide who you are but you. You are amazing. You have every right to your girlhood. #ToTheGirls2016— Beastbrarian (@amydieg) January 21, 2016
Get yourself a girl gang that will ride or die for you--make sure most of them are smarter than you are. #ToTheGirls2016— Amanda Nelson (@ImAmandaNelson) January 21, 2016
If you like microscopes and have a project and someone tells you to be in charge of notes, it's okay to just take microscope #ToTheGirls2016— Brenna Yovanoff (@brennayovanoff) January 21, 2016
We believe you. We believe in you. We are here for you on the days you don't believe in yourself. And you do the same for us #tothegirls2016— Holly Bourne (@holly_bourneYA) January 21, 2016
#ToTheGirls2016 No is a full sentence. You don't owe anyone anything.— Andrea Judy (@judyblackcloud) January 21, 2016
To my queer girls, ace girls, bi or pan or trans or nonbinary girls: you are valid and loved and your story is important. #ToTheGirls2016— Nita Tyndall (@NitaTyndall) January 21, 2016
And my personal favorite:
#ToTheGirls2016 HALF OF THAT ARMREST IS YOURS. TAKE IT.— Sara Taylor Woods (@sarataylorwoods) January 21, 2016
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.