Fireworks in October

28 Oct

While we all know that social media has the power to persuade the minds of millions, it is always inspiring to see it used for a worthy cause. In honor of the recent suicides by bullied gay teens, hundreds of thousands of people pledged to wear purple on October 20. Purple was chosen because it represents spirit from the rainbow LGBTQ flag, thus Spirit Day was created. The event was created by Canadian teenager Brittany McMillan, who wanted to bring attention to the struggles gay teens face everyday with bullying. She started the event on her Facebook page, which quickly gained huge attention and sparked other pages that vowed to wear purple.

This viral message led other organizations to join the cause. The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) created a Spirit Day application on Facebook and Twitter that changed the color of your profile picture purple and encouraged users to change their status and/or tweet the tagline “I’m wearing purple to end anti-LGBT bullying – make your profile pic purple today #SpiritDay http://glaad.org/spiritdayI’m wearing purple to end anti-LGBT bullying – make your profile pic purple today #SpiritDay http://glaad.org/spiritday.” This definitely grabbed the attention of many. After changing both my Facebook and Twitter pictures, I received comments in support of the cause and was happy to see friends’ pictures sporting a purple tint after.

It is also heartening to see celebrities use their fame to support serious issues. Singer Katy Perry just released the video for her song “Firework” on Thursday, which is an uplifting anthem about “what it means to be an underdog and have the courage, if you’re on the outskirts of society, to be your own person,” as described by video director, Dave Meyers.

The music video features several different young people that get picked on by society more often than not, including the geek, the chubby girl, and the gay teen. The premise of the video is that fireworks start erupting from these kids’ hearts when they find the strength to publicly be proud of whom they are. Aside from it awkwardly looking like there are sparklers igniting from Katy Perry’s breasts, the concept of the video is heart-felt and encouraging. The premier of the video also launched with a contest to win a trip to London to meet Katy Perry. The rules to enter? Upload a video to YouTube describing what the firework in your life is. If that isn’t effective social media public relations than I don’t know what is.

The best part is that Perry announced on her heavily followed Twitter account that she dedicated the video to the It Gets Better Project, a website where LGBTQ teens can share their stories and experiences and support each other. And for a social media cherry on top, Perry added a hashtag with the word “firework” to her Twitter post asking followers to Tweet the fireworks in their lives. Mine is my favorite person in the whole world, my Mom #firework.

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