In high school, the girls bathroom can be a somewhat intimidating place. I can still vividly remember those days myself — of walking in feeling good, and walking out feeling all sorts of terrible.
It was the same ritual every day: In between class, I’d stop in with one of my friends. We’d go to the bathroom, wash our hands, and meet up back at the mirrors. There, we’d find a spot among a sea of other girls, all vying for a bit of mirror space to fix their hair, reapply lip gloss, or talk in code about someone in their class who was “a total loser.”
And each time, my eyes would drift — to the girl on my left with the perfect hair or the girl on my right with the flawless skin. And then I’d find my way to the person staring back at me from the mirror — in all her frizzy-haired, pimply glory — and my already fragile self-esteem would take another nose-dive.
But for students at Laguna Hills High School in California, the bathroom is anything but intimidating. Or scary. Or self-esteem shattering. In fact, it might just be their favorite place of refuge.
That’s because the girls bathroom at Laguna Hills High doesn’t have mirrors — at all. Instead, the walls are covered with handwritten messages of encouragement, motivation, and straight-up positivity.
“Stay positive!” reads one sign. “You’re doing better than you think!” reads another.
The messages are hung above the bathroom sinks, where mirrors would typically be, as well as taped to the outsides of each bathroom stall. And each one delivers a simple, yet powerful message that aims to remind each girl of her own worth.
You are beautiful. You are capable. You are unique. You are not alone. You are enough.
For teens who so often struggle with self-image, acceptance, and a lack of reassurance, getting positive reinforcement when they stop into the bathroom is likely a huge boost to their overall well-being and happiness. But according to one local mom of two, the girls bathroom at Laguna Hills High isn’t just having a positive effect on students; it’s having one on adults, too. Or at least, it has for her.
As Shannen Lob tells Babble, she was at the high school over the weekend for a Girl Scout event when her two daughters asked to use the restroom. Once inside, she was overcome by the many messages that surrounded her, and couldn’t help but snap a few photos of them before she left.
“When I walked in and saw all the signs posted I was amazed and overwhelmed and delighted as I really needed it at that moment,” she shares. “It’s hard to know sometimes if I’m doing a good job as a leader and reading the signs was like, well, a sign that I was doing a good job.”
At the end of the day, isn’t that something we all long to feel, regardless of how old we are? That we’re doing a good job, that we’re going to be okay, and that yes, we are enough?
Lob originally shared the images in the private Facebook group Pantsuit Nation on March 25, where it quickly went viral, climbing to 52K likes and over 1K comments in just a few short days. And it’s easy to see why.
So kudos to the teachers and administrators at Laguna Hills High. If only we could have more walls of positivity in this world — not just in high schools, but everywhere.More On