“#WeSmileToo is important to the new wave and helps shape the world in ways that haven’t been done, haven’t been thought of, haven’t been implemented. THAT’s the first step to creating world peace. Campaigns like this can open eyes to people seeing others for who they really are, regardless of color: our fellow man.

Society represents bodies, in general, as unrealistic. Men of color are either used as sex symbols, blueprints for the rebellious, or comedic relief. In a lot of cases, all three. There’s so many hues, shades, and walks of life. I felt, growing up, there wasn’t many people to look up to, because I didn’t see many people “like me.”

My mother, a white woman, raised me in “black influence.” I grew up listening to R&B and rap (sex symbols and rebellious folk). Though I enjoyed the music, I did have troubles relating. Being half one race, and half another can push and pull you in all kinds of directions. When you WANT to coast the middle but are told a drop of black makes you black, it’s hard to identify yourself in the same way others can.

Body type, purpose, and personal style can be difficult on it’s own; throw race into the mix and you have yourself a real conundrum. Living in the United States is supposed to be great BECAUSE we’re a melting pot of ethnicity and physical appearances. Everyone should feel accepted. More types of people should be represented in the media, so more types of people can grow up with a clear idea in mind of the diversity that exists around them. That clear idea should also be to accept who you are, what you look like, what you like, what you’ve been through, and thrive as a person, not just a race.

#WeSmileToo challenges stereotypes. I got to meet people of all walks of life, all faced with their own challenges. These campaigns prove that you don’t need to be a cookie-cutter version of what media portrays. All people should smile. And all colors, in all hues, should be celebrated. Hopefully, this campaign will change a lot for a lot of people.”