Constance Hall’s TedX talk isn’t really about Constance Hall.
It’s about a 15-year-old girl called Jasmine, whose nickname at school is “Poo Smear”. Jasmine cries herself to sleep at night, and doesn’t want to wake up in the morning.
It’s about Jonathan, who’s 13. Jonathan’s face is Photoshopped on embarrassing images online that groups of his “friends” share and laugh at. He feels like he can’t tell his mum, because she’ll blame herself.
And it’s about a young girl who’ll share only that her nickname at school is “Stubbie”. Because, some time ago, she passed out drunk at a party and was sexually assaulted with a beer bottle. All the other kids thought it was funny, and they all still call her by that inhumane name.
These are some of the stories that Constance Hall – blogger, author, business owner, mother, wife, warrior – shares in her 20-minute TedX talk, given in Christchurch, New Zealand just a few weeks ago.
You can watch a snippet below. Post continues after video.
It’s a pretty big deal to be asked to give a TedX Talk. There’s an involved preparation process to result in an original, thought-provoking speech. And, doubtless, Constance’s rabble of haters are confused about why she should have had that honour bestowed on her. Isn’t she – in their eyes and in her own words at the opening of this extraordinary talk – just a smelly hippy? A walking venereal disease? Someone who should consider killing herself because she’s so very worthless to the world?
Constance Hall is none of these things, and she never has been. What TEdX knows, of course, is that she’s a truth-teller, a woman whose voice on parenting and woman-ing and surviving the myriad shit that life throws at us has resonated with millions.
As a blogger, her talent for connection brought her riches – both literally and figuratively. A million-strong army of passionate ‘Queens’. Two phenomenally successful books. The ability to change the lives of abused girls in Kenya through her charity of choice, Rafiki Mweme. A beautiful house in the country. A sexy new husband who loves her unconditionally. A glorious, big, messy blended family of seven kids. A clothing line that celebrates women of all shapes and sizes that sells out within hours.