KENNEDY, N.Y. -- Infrangible: it's a word that means unbreakable, and it's a word that three young girls in Chautauqua County have embraced.
A group of 11-year-olds are taking some of the name-calling they hear at school and are inspiring others to brush it off.
Kennedy, NY, located in a rural part of Chautauqua County, is where Elizabeth Smith and her family call home.
One day, her daughter Lillian came home from school with an unexpected question.
"She came home from school one day and asked me what a certain word meant," Elizabeth said.
"A boy called me a word in school and I did not understand what it meant," Lillian said.
A word Lillian felt uncomfortable saying. A word we won't repeat here.
"It threw me back a little bit,” Elizabeth said. “She spelled it out because she knew she couldn't even say it. She says, ‘What's this word mean?’, and I kept my composure and figured out a way to try to explain it to her."
"I was kind of shocked that someone would say something like that," Lillian said.
"She just said, ‘Oh, OK,’ and went out on the trampoline and jumped like nothing,” Elizabeth said. “No big deal, and I was surprised by that, so I thought…you should show other girls how to be strong against words. Not let them hurt you or affect you or slow down your day."
"She was like, ‘I think it would be fun to do a photography project about that,’ and I was like, "OK, yeah. That would be fun," Elizabeth said.
So, Elizabeth brought Lillian and her friends Laura and Felicia to the train tracks that run through the middle of town.
"Since I have my own photography business, I thought what better way to spread the word about being positive and not letting words hurt you than to have the girls destroy the words that they were told,” Elizabeth said. “So, I decided to have the girls write down phrases that they had heard, and we destroyed them and we photographed it."
They called it #Infrangible, which means difficult or impossible to break into separate parts. The girls say they're now closer than ever, and hope their photos and their story let others know that they can be infrangible too.
"Words do hurt, but you should not let them attack you. Kind of just continue your day and don't show that it bothers you, because then they'll just continue," Lillian said.
"I was in my twenties before I figured out how to not let words hurt me like these eleven-year-old girls have, and that's why I really wanted to push to do something to promote this,” Elizabeth said. “It's a hard process to figure out, but learn to control it and it can be a life changing thing, and I'm glad these girls have helped push that out there."
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