When 14-year-old New Jersey girl Carleigh O’Connell heard a negative comment regarding her body had been spray-painted on a cement block for her whole town to see, she responded by posing proudly beside it.
O’Connell had heard from kids at her school that someone had graffitied “Carleigh’s a**” on a cement block near her hometown of Wall. Initially, O’Connell was upset, but then decided to make something good out of the incident.
O’Connell took a picture of herself standing next to the cement block, smiling proudly, then uploaded it to Facebook and shared it with her friends. O’Connell’s mother did the same.
“I ask all my Facebook friends to share this and repost this as many times as possible,” Daryl O’Connell, Carleigh's mother, wrote. “I hope it travels across the country and can help one teenager who is bullied or the victim of hurtful things.”
Mrs. O’Connell added that it has taken her 50 years to have as much strength as her 14-year-old daughter, and that sometimes children can teach their parents lessons.
Since it was posted, the picture has been received with nothing but positivity.
“What an inspiration to others,” wrote one Facebook user in response to the photo.
In an interview with TODAY, O’Connell said the experience has been an empowering one and that she hopes her message will inspire others.
O’Connell noted that she never knew she was capable of “looking something in the face” and conquering it. She hopes that the picture will change the life of anyone who has experienced bullying.
So far, the photo has been shared more than 4,000 times.