Jorja Orrick is a 9-year-old Oklahoman with sense of style. When she cut off her long locks in April 2017, she felt great about her decision.
When Jorja went to school, excited to show off her new haircut, though, bullies took to calling her names. Even the most confident kids can crack under the pressure of teasing and bullying. Jorja took it hard.
Fortunately, though, Jorja has a big sister who doesn’t put up with that nonsense.
Jorja’s sister, Sarah, enjoyed her hair, which hung to the small of her back, but she knew it had to go. The 11-year-old marched over to Hue Salon in Norman, Oklahoma, and asked for stylist Noell Shore.
“Can I just tell you how much love I have for Sarah!?” Shore later wrote. “She is such a cool gal with the most awesome sense of self and style! Every single thing I did today was because she was very explicit with her directions, and boy did we do some fun stuff!!!!”
Shore found this haircut to be especially meaningful. “I have been a victim of bullying and know (all too well) the long term effects of this cruel malice,” the stylist shared on Instagram. “That is why it is so important for me to do what I can to help these girls realize and know—without a doubt—their self worth. Most importantly, I wish to help them let their voices be heard. Our ultimate hope is that we can use this as an avenue to put an end to this needless cruelty towards others.”
Allure described the haircut as “Scarlett Johansson circa 2015,” which is when Johansson was fighting an army of self-aware robots as Black Widow, one of the Avengers. Like the Black Widow, Sarah’s confidence and new ‘do commanded respect.
Shore quoted Sarah as saying, “Nobody bullies my little sister. And I don’t get why girls with short hair are made fun of.”
We don’t get it either, Sarah.
“At first, [Jorja] was a little upset because she wanted to be the only one with short hair,” the girls’ mother, Amy Orrick, told Yahoo Beauty. “But now she loves it.”
Shore hopes that Sarah’s act of solidarity becomes more than just a story about an awesome big sister.
The stylist hopes that this story can encourage people to stand up to and snuff out bullying everywhere, so that little girls like Jorja don’t need to have a really cool sibling to help with their confidence.
According to StopBullying.gov, “In one large study, about 49% of children in grades 4–12 reported being bullied by other students at school at least once during the past month, whereas 30.8% reported bullying others during that time.”
These numbers say two things: First, nearly half of all children are mocked, teased, or otherwise made to feel uncomfortable while in school. That’s horrible! On the other side, though, nearly one in three students are participating in the bullying. That means that many young people—and adults for that matter—need to be reminded of the painful effects of bullying.
They can also just be told that being a jerk isn’t cool. Being a jerk isn’t cool, guys!
“This is a perfect example of the power of social media,” stylist Shore shared in one of her posts about the Orrick girls. “My challenge to anyone reading this is to remember the power of our words. Let’s be diligent with sharing something positive every single day. #StopBullying”
Are you up to Shore’s challenge?