Khari Touré is a spoken word poet whose messages drip off the tongue, sweeter than honey. He has a strong value system and loves his three daughters more than himself, something all parents can intimately understand. As his oldest daughters traveled through school, he began to witness an onslaught of verbal abuse directed towards them. Whether it was their size, skin color, or hair, Ashé, 15, and Nia, 6, began to feel less than their former selves. So, Touré decided to speak to them in the form he knows best–rap. He created a body-positive rap which he flipped into a music video that has now reached thousands of people. Titled “Love Yourself,” Touré penned a song for every child who has been made fun of or who has felt less than themselves because of relentless bullies. “Seeing both my [older] daughters bullied, it made me want to write a song of affirmation for children that they could repeat to themselves. It was a love letter not only to my daughters, but to every child who’s been bullied, made fun of, and made to feel less-than, unworthy, or unattractive,” Touré explained. Not only did he include his precious daughters, but he drew in kids from the community who had real-life experiences that included children with autism, Down syndrome, and ADHD. It serves as a positive reminder that children with disabilities suffer more than your average adolescent. Throughout the video, Touré speaks to his daughters individually and his community collectively reminding them that they are all beautiful, smart, and kind. “I’m beautiful. I’m worthy. And those mean words can’t hurt me. I’m priceless. I’m smart. And I love myself, I’m focused on my health.” His hope is that these lyrics will continue to resonate with children and serve as a constant reminder of their significance. If you’re different, that’s something to celebrate because it makes you unique and truly one-of-a-kind.
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