Do you remember the excitement of planning for your senior prom? Did you think it would make international news? When Madison Haulter ordered her sequined pink dress for prom, she had no idea that it would be the first step on a journey that would make her and her boyfriend internet-famous. Their story is a lesson to anyone dealing with body image issues and shows the importance of having a good support structure in place so you can stand up to bullies. Let’s start by getting to know Madison a little bit. From the first picture, you’re going to have a hard time believing why anyone would treat her so badly.
Meet Madison Haulter, a senior at Pike High School, Indiana. Recently this lovely senior accidentally became an internet sensation. You see, Haulter posted a photograph to her Twitter account, which is not uncommon for a teen. What was surprising was the comment from a complete stranger that traveled way past the boundaries of social conduct, even on social media!
This is Madison’s boyfriend, Tre Booker. Much of the internet has gone soft and gooey after reading how he stood up for his girlfriend and you’ll be surprised at how far their story has traveled. When you see slide four, you will be astonished at the photo that sparked such emotion and passion.
Having seen photos of both Madison and Tre, you might assume that the offensive comment was because the young lady is white and the young man is black, but you would be wrong. The unpleasant tweet that started things was directed only at Madison, but then after that first tweet, Tre became a victim of hateful messages.
Madison and Tre were attending their high school prom on April 29th. Like other young couples across America, they had carefully planned their evening and were looking forward to a fun night. This is them posing outside Madison’s home before driving off to enjoy their prom. It is one of the photos Madison posted to her Twitter account.
The happy pair had celebrated the one-year anniversary of their relationship just six days before. Here are the matching boutonnière and corsage that topped off their coordinated outfits. The evening was soured when Madison got home and saw the Tweet you can read on slide 7. You’ll be shocked at what it says.
It’s hard to believe, when you see these images of Tre and Madison, how anyone could think anything other than positive things. Fortunately for our faith in humanity, these teens are made of much better stuff than the internet trolls. Starting on slide nine you’ll see how they handled things. You’ll be inspired.
When Madison got home from a beautiful evening at the prom with Tre, she went online. Expecting to see a reply or two from her friends maybe, Madison was shocked to see this comment from a stranger on her Twitter post. Nobody should think something like this, let alone say it to someone they don’t know.
Even if this was said without malice it is the kind of thoughtless, throwaway comment that could destroy someone’s confidence. Grown women have been devastated by less, let alone young women who may be sensitive. How would you deal with this? What do you think Madison’s response was?
Many young women would have been too upset to reply. Others teenagers might have lowered themselves to the level of the troll and become involved in an online argument. Madison Haulter is made of much stronger stuff, though. This was Madison’s short, simple and straight-to-the-point reply.
Support for Madison began to pour in immediately. People told her how beautiful she looked and what a lovely couple they were. Not only that, they told the troll exactly what they thought of her. The story took on such a life of its own that even some celebrities got in on it as you’ll see in upcoming slides!
Madison was not the only one to be on the receiving end of negative tweets. Tre was asked online if he had “lost a bet.” They both had to put up with distasteful comments about being an interracial couple. Nothing will prepare you for Tre’s tweet – wait until you see it on slide 13.
People from around the world weighed in with their own points of view. At the time of writing, Madison’s tweet has been retweeted more than 43,000 times and liked more than 224,000 times. As well as her own tweet being liked and shared, Madison has had support from a range of people, including Chelsea Clinton.
Madison’s original reply garnered a lot of attention, but what really sent the internet into a frenzy was this. Tre could have kept his head down online, been supportive in person and the whole thing might have blown over. He had other ideas. Instead of staying quiet, Tre posted this tweet.
Tre’s message of love and support for his woman had more than 33,000 retweets and 64,000 likes. His tweet brought attention to Madison’s original message and they became a couple who showed their love for each other is stronger than anything. Stick around and find out what happened to them next and discover their future plans.
Both Madison and Tre became sought after radio and TV guests. Their maturity, love, and strength of character were the kind of example that everyone wanted to showcase. The fact that they haven’t even graduated high school yet made them even more popular. Interview requests came in for them both from around the world.
People magazine featured the couple, and their story was published in newspapers and magazines from England, France and Italy, to Austrailia, Japan and beyond, not to mention the extensive coverage across the United States. Read on to hear what Madison’s dad thinks. First though, read what Madison had to say.
“Tre and I love each other unconditionally and don’t see any physical factors as a deal breaker. We see each other’s heart, and that’s what actually matters. It is past time to treat everyone equally and not judge someone based on their skin color, gender, culture or weight. Love sees none of those things. Love is love.”
Madison’s dad had this to say. “Tre is a young man full of integrity with a genuinely good heart and treats her like a queen. They both have good heads on their shoulders, and it’s fun watching them grow together. That’s all her mother and I could ask for concerning our daughter’s relationship.”
These fabulous teens have their lives mapped out. Madison will attend Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis in the fall, and she plans to major in psychology. Her dream is to become a school counselor. Tre will be going to Ivy Tech to earn his associate’s degree. Their final word on all the fuss?
Madison and Tre “just want people to realize that you can be curvy and still be beautiful. And you can be an interracial couple and still be beautiful.” This is a picture of what happiness, confidence and maturity look like, and the world has a lot to learn from them. Next time you spot a group of superficial teens and begin to despair about the next generation, think back to Madison and Tre. Some teenagers are exactly the kind of thoughtful, mature and forward-thinking people we need. These young adults are an example, not only to their peers but to all of us.