Sponsored by Netflix
Hannah Baker was a typical high school student. As the new kid in town, she struggled to navigate her school’s social ecosystem and make genuine friends. Before long, false rumors ruined her reputation. Gossip, microaggressions and harassment left her feeling isolated and depressed. Hannah never got the support she needed. At the age of 17, she ended her own life.
Hannah’s story is all too common. While she might be a fictional character, the protagonist of the best-selling young adult novel-turned-Netflix-series “13 Reasons Why,” Hannah represents the thousands of teens who are bullied and attempt suicide every day in the United States. Luckily, her story isn’t without hope. As her struggle is revealed to her classmates through a series of confessional tapes, they begin to realize that their words and actions mattered.
Inspired by the message of “13 Reasons Why,” #ReasonsWhyYouMatter is a social campaign aimed at helping young people express themselves and feel valued. While it’s easy to go through life communicating through acronyms and emojis, it’s so much more powerful to tell your friends, family, teachers, and classmates directly how much of an impact they have on your life.
What if Hannah had told people how she felt when she was still alive? What if they listened? What if, instead of passively agreeing with their peers, Hannah’s classmates told her that she was valued?
#ReasonsWhyYouMatter aims to accomplish exactly that, stripping away shyness and assumptions to encourage young people to tell their loved ones exactly how they feel. It works like this: teens around the country write a letter, or list of “reasons why you matter,” to a friend or sibling. In a series of short films (directed by wunderkind Claire Jantzen), the teens surprise their person by revealing the letter and having them read it aloud. Surprising, inspiring and tear-jerking, the results are a testament to the power of kind words.
Because the world needs your voice, your talent and most importantly, YOU.?? #reasonswhyyoumatter
Want to spread the love and raise awareness? Use the hashtag #ReasonsWhyYouMatter and tweet a friend why you’re glad to have them in your life. Maybe you love their good luck texts before a game or their goofy Instagram stories at the end of a rough day. Maybe your life wouldn’t be the same if they hadn’t talked to you that one day in math class. Whatever it is, let them know. You’ll never regret making another person feel good about themselves. You can also practice a little self-love and tweet a reason why you matter out into the world. Haters have nothing on kindness and a healthy self-esteem.
Life moves quick. Don’t wait to tell someone you couldn’t live without a few #ReasonsWhyYouMatter. Together, we can make sure every Hannah Baker knows how much she or he is loved.
For Hannah Baker’s full story, don’t miss “13 Reasons Why” now streaming on Netflix.