When was the last time someone said you're beautiful?
Shea Glover, an 18-year-old actress, writer and filmmaker, conducted an independent "integrated arts" project at her performing arts high school in Chicago, filming her friends and classmates as they reacted to a simple prompt: "I'm taking pictures of things I find beautiful."
Their reactions are heartfelt, bashful, grateful, incredulous, sometimes defensive (even angry, in the case of one subject.)
The video has gained close to 800,000 views on YouTube (as of December 5, 2015.)
In her video response, Shea said she wasn't trying to make a social statement about physical beauty. Instead, her project was more about her genuine attraction to beauty, whether it be someone's energy, spirit or aura.
"It wasn’t really meant to be a compliment, to brighten people’s day, but I’m glad that was a byproduct. I’m glad I could make people happy and realize that so many people don’t hear [that they're beautiful] or tell themselves that.
If you can’t find 20 different people in a school that you find beautiful, maybe your idea of beauty is a bit skewed and a little too small.
I see hundreds of beautiful people all the time walking down the street. I wonder kind of dreams she has, I wonder what kind of fears he has. They’re beautiful, they’re interesting."
Shea, who has a mature sense of self-awareness and says she just "wants to talk about shit," claims that wasn't trying to conduct a social experiment. She just wanted to film beauty. (Although, she also says she's passionate about social justice issues.)
"It wasn’t some fucking social experiment bullshit. I really hate that when people give a homeless man a $100 bill and film his reaction.
Fuck you. That's some vain, shallow shit. If you really cared about the homeless man, you’d take him out for lunch, talk to him for a few minutes. The fact that you filmed it, it's like, 'Look at me, trying to get a bunch of views, I’m a good fucking person.'"
In her words: "It's fucking magic, man."
Watch her full response here: