I first discovered the You Are Beautiful when I was in my final year of high school, in about 2005. I lost track of the project in the years since, pretty much even forgot it existed until I saw a post about it on Facebook. The project is explained on their website as:
The main goal of this project is to spread a positive message throughout the world by any means necessary except through commerical use. The vision of the You Are Beautiful campaign is to focus on the utmost truth that unites us as a people: each individual is intriguing, complex and beautiful. With this realization, we are impelled to pass it along. Not following the status quo or daily norm, the objective is to look for a new manner to engage one another on a deep meaningful level, creating a new methodology of unified social consciousness.
Although you can order stickers from them or ‘sign up’ to take part in the collaborations, you’re also encouraged to take part in any way that you can. So if you can’t afford their stickers, you can make your own, postcards, placards or posters to spread the message. The only ‘rules’? That you do not sell or commodify what you make (like t-shirts or cups) and that you’re respectful with your installations (so illegal graffiti is not encouraged).
It’s a global project, so you can take part in it from whatever corner of the world you are based in. It feeds into yesterday’s post, for me, as it’s again fostering an idea that I, as I am, am enough. But going a step beyond to remind friends, colleagues and strangers that they, too, are enough. Just as they are. And that, for me, is probably even more important than just accepting myself.