A new video about the power of positive language on student self-esteem was launched today at the NSW Anti-bullying Strategy 2018 Conference.
Teenagers from Nepean Creative and Performing Arts High School involved in the ‘You’re Wonderful’ video that went viral with 3.3 million views to date said the experience had been “life-changing”.
The unscripted video featured students talking about how they perceived themselves, including their insecurities, juxtaposed with other students speaking in positive terms about their gifts and talents.
‘You’re Wonderful’ has attracted national and international interest and has now been followed up with You’re Wonderful, Too.
Students said the success of the video had led to a greater focus on student mental health and a “complimented-based school culture” where giving a compliment was as uplifting as receiving one.
One of the students, Thomas Lenthen, said he was previously worried about what peers thought about him and he was surprised at the positive comments from other students.
“It’s really easy to point out faults in a person . . . but it’s nicer to have the opportunity to look at talents,” he said.
“I’ve been talking more to people and giving them the opportunity to say how they feel.”
Keira Hynes said it was “incredible to hear” the kind words of her peers, which had helped her overcome insecurity and anxiety.
Harrison Brennan said his school had a strong focus on student mental health, with the impact of positive language resonating with the local community. On Mental Health Day students sent teachers emails thanking them for their support.
“A lot of people are giving more attention to these topics . . . how we can create a positive and complimented-based culture,” he said.
Trinity Kitching said students today spent a lot of time on social media, which made the video particularly powerful because it had reached millions of students worldwide.
“Social media is infiltrating our homes and our phones,” she said.
And the students’ advice to other students:
Emily Johns: “Know that you’re wonderful. It just takes one person to make a difference, in your school, in your friendship group, in the world.”
Keira Hynes: “Give out compliments more, let people know what you love about them, and when they’re feeling down, try and bring them up.”