On the surface, Lauren Paul and Molly Thompson do not look like they were once the victims of bullying; both filmmakers and activists are not only accomplished, but they also appear to be confident and well-spoken change-makers.
As teens, however, both were also the victims of cruel and unnecessary girl versus girl harassment. Whether it was being outcast because of boy-related rumors or just inexplicable female jealousy, both women felt insecure and uncomfortable around their peers.
Sadly, their story is not uncommon amongst young girls and teens. When Paul and Thompson met as undergraduates at Pepperdine University and discovered their shared experiences, they decided that something needed to change. Today, the two have made it their mission to spread the message of kindness amongst young girls. From 2009-2013, Paul and Thompson crisscrossed the nation in a minivan and spoke at over 450 schools about bullying, and what girls can do to promote kindness amongst their peers.
Understanding the root cause of cruel behavior among girls and young women is a key part of creating change, according to Paul and Thompson.
“We go into a room of middle-schoolers, we go into a room at a university, and we ask the question: raise your hand if you have something you’re insecure about. And every single hand in the room goes up,” says Thompson. “Because we all have these insecurities. And unfortunately oftentimes they come out by treating other people negatively, really negatively.”
Finding Kind - Girl-on-girl hateOn the surface, Lauren Paul and Molly Thompson do not look like they were once the victims of bullying; both filmmakers and activists are not only accomplished, but they also appear to be confident and well-spoken change-makers.
But both women are on a mission to turn those insecurities into shared experiences. Their movement, the Kind Campaign, has resulted in one highly-acclaimed documentary film, four national tours, and an education on the impact of actions and words for young girls around the country.
Full Frame host Mike Walters sits down with Paul and Thompson to learn more about what drives their movement and the changes they have witnessed along the way.