PALO ALTO, June 17, 2022 – The Cybersmile Foundation and Urban Decay Cosmetics have announced their latest initiative to fight cyberbullying through “WORDS HURT IRL,” a new campaign debuting with a powerful, call-to-action video starring “Tall Girl” actress, Ava Michelle.
WORDS HURT IRL, debuting today in conjunction with Stop Cyberbullying Day, features a series of videos starring Michelle, a firsthand victim of bullying, both in real life and online. The videos share an impactful synopsis of her personal story and inspire viewers to “stop giving hateful words power” and to “cancel online hate together.” Michelle’s career debuted as a star on “Dance Moms,” where she was dismissed from the show as too tall, given her 6’2” stature. She went on to find success on “So You Think You Can Dance: The Next Generation,” and as the lead actress on Netflix’s hit show, “Tall Girl” and its sequel, “Tall Girl 2.”
“I feel that one of the best things that you can do with the hardships you have faced, is to truly share those experiences with others and be able to learn and grow together,” said Michelle. “We make assumptions that we are alone in what we are going through, but it’s so important to know that we aren’t and it’s going to be ok. I am so thankful to Urban Decay for asking me to be a part of such a wonderful project and for always being a company that wants to do good. I am beyond proud of what we made!”
“We are excited to welcome the ‘WORDS HURT IRL’ campaign to mark Stop Cyberbullying Day. This campaign will help to further raise awareness of cyberbullying and its impact on people around the world. Through our partnership with Urban Decay, we have been able to develop comprehensive educational resources to help thousands of people learn about the impact of cyberbullying, and are grateful to Ava for sharing her personal story, having been affected by online abuse firsthand,” said Dan Raisbeck, Co-Founder of The Cybersmile Foundation.
WORDS HURT IRL is the newest element in Urban Decay and Cybersmile’s ongoing pledge to champion a call-to-action denouncing cyberbullying, one of the most destructive forms of mental health abuse plaguing the world today, with more than 50% of young adults personally subjected to harassing behavior online. In 2021, Urban Decay committed to a multi-faceted campaign against cyberbullying, initiating a three-year partnership with The Cybersmile Foundation. Given Urban Decay’s formative stance as a leading digital marketer in the beauty industry, the allegiance to fight cyberbullying was a natural one, designed to ensure the brand’s online community – and beyond - is always a welcoming, inclusive and safe space.
Urban Decay’s collaboration with The Cybersmile Foundation was designed to develop education and support resources for important issues associated with cyberbullying and mental health. The first element premiered in February 2022 with six interactive Urban Decay x Cybersmile Education Modules and an accompanying digital changemaker toolkit, available for free to users of all ages. With the goal of reaching 500,000 people online, this education walks users through simple, impactful materials on everything from “Allyship on Social Media” to “Dealing With Online Bullying” to “Becoming a Changemaker.” The entire program can be found at https://www.cybersmileeducation.org/urbandecay and in the resources section of The Cybersmile Foundation website. The partnership also features a three-part $300,000 donation from Urban Decay to The Cybersmile Foundation, to be used towards furthering its work and efforts in the fight against cyberbullying.
About Urban Decay Cosmetics
Urban Decay Cosmetics appeals to those who relish their individuality and embrace what makes them different. We have challenged the industry’s definition of beauty since 1996, when we disrupted the sea of pink dominating makeup counters everywhere. Badass cruelty- free, high-performance makeup. Reinvention over perfection. Inspiration without replication. Kindness over cruelty. Unsubscribe from beauty telling you to be pretty. Be whatever you want to be. For more information, visit urbandecay.com or follow @urbandecaycosmetics.
About The Cybersmile Foundation
The Cybersmile Foundation is a multi-award-winning nonprofit organization committed to digital wellbeing and tackling all forms of bullying and abuse online. We work to promote kindness, diversity and inclusion by building a safer, more positive digital community. Through education, research, awareness campaigns and the promotion of positive digital citizenship we reduce incidents of cyberbullying and through our professional help and support services we empower those affected and their families to regain control of their lives.
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