Peterson on Positivity


Elena Ackerman

Ashlyn Peterson

Ashlyn Peterson has a unique way of spreading positivity in her community; through her Instagram page. Peterson says, “I was a really mean kid. I wanted friends so badly, I let myself act like that.”

Peterson noticed the way she was acting and wanted to change. Peterson notes, “Not only did I need positivity, others around me needed it too.”

She decided the social media platform was something she could control and put out images and messages. “I use Instagram because it’s a basic platform that a lot of people use. It’s an easy way to reach people.”

Peterson was inspired by Project Love People. The whole project is encouraging others to spread positivity and love throughout their communities. “He mentioned his social platforms,” Peterson said. “We need to be more REAL, and not just post the picture perfect moments,” she said. “It’s so easy to compare our lives to others. Why do we need more of that? I know who I am, and I love it.”

During the month of November, Peterson pushed herself to wear no makeup; calling it No Makeup November. “I started No Makeup November because I was always bullied for my acne. I feel we are all judged on our face.”

Peterson makes a valid point. “People’s negative comments dig deep, and I had been hearing them since fourth grade.”

By challenging herself and the way others perceive her, she hoped to be setting an example. “Maybe I’ll grow. At first, I was nervous because I liked doing my makeup and I knew I would be self conscious.”

One of the bonuses was better sleep. “Total Plus! Peterson recalled that I got to sleep in more and  I started to accept myself a little more.”

Leading by positive example is key. “I want the fourth graders that I lead to know that they are loved and cared for,” Peterson said. “You never know what people are going through at home, they might not have a good role model.”

Peterson says we can spread positivity through our community through little things; including keeping track of the way you talk to others. Peterson says,”You want to make sure people feel heard… I feel like when you feel listened to, it makes you feel special and important. “Simple things matter,” she said.