-- These aren’t your ordinary middle school girls’ bathrooms.
The colorful messages covering the walls at Fayetteville Academy in North Carolina are spreading positivity, inspiring the girls to “be kind always.”
Shari Jackson Link, a local artist and mom of two, said she painted the motivational bathroom murals because of the “drama that comes with middle school.”
“I thought to myself, if a little girl is coming into the bathroom, she needs to know to not be a bully, but also be OK if she is bullied. I wanted the murals to talk to both sets,” Link told ABC News. “It’s not only, ‘Hey, you’re beautiful on the inside,’ but I also wanted inspire them to be nice to others. It would be hard to leave those bathrooms and be mean to someone.”
Link’s children don’t attend this school, but she was contacted by a parent of a current student who does.
“She said, ‘I’d like to hire you to paint some motivational quotes,’” Link recalled. “She gave me the freedom to do whatever I want. I attached some pretty colorful visuals to the quotes which were inspiring.”
And boy did they take off. Photos of her creative final product have garnered nearly 65,000 shares on Link’s Facebook page.
The head of school, Ray Quesnel, said the paintings “strike a chord with everyone.”
“We’ve all been through middle school, and I don’t care where you are or who you are, it doesn’t matter, that’s just a hard time of life,” Quesnel told ABC News. “Everybody can remember back to good stuff, but everyone remembers tough things too.”
He was thrilled to have Link liven up the boring bathrooms by sending positive messages to his students.
“We thought it would be a nice, pick-me-up, quaint thing, and it just resonated with virtually everybody,” he said of the school’s positive messages. “It’s been really cool.”
Link is painting the middle school boys’ bathrooms and the elementary school bathrooms next week.
“I hope it inspires them to be comfortable in their own skin, realize that there is always a reason to smile, and most importantly, to see the power in simple acts of kindness towards others,” she said