This Is Us fans, grab the tissues, because the actor who plays young Randall recently delivered a powerful message that will bring tears to your eyes. On Monday, Lonnie Chavis stood up to trolls for making fun of the gap in his teeth. It's hard to understand why people choose to spread any kind of hate, let alone to a 10-year-old boy, but it happens daily. As unfortunate as it is, Chavis channeled his inner Randall Pearson and handled the negative situation in a way that would make his TV dad, Jack Pearson, super proud.
In an Instagram video, the young actor explained how he was receiving criticism for the gap in his teeth, but he didn't allow the haters to bring him down. Instead, he spoke his truth in an uplifting way. "I could get my gap fixed," Chavis said. "Braces can fix this, but like, can you fix your heart, though?"
He then dove into the sad situation of how bullying can sometimes contribute to individuals dying by suicide. According to StopBullying.gov, "Research indicates that persistent bullying can lead to or worsen feelings of isolation, rejection, exclusion, and despair, as well as depression and anxiety, which can contribute to suicidal behavior."
As Chavis said in the clip, "There are kids out there killing themselves just because of y'all hating and trolling and doing just crazy stuff." He continued,
"I mean, It’s stupid. Is it fun? No. It hurts people. People kill themselves, and you’re the one who’s making them doing it. Fix your heart, though. For real. I’m happy that I can handle this. I can handle this. I’m not tripping. But there are kids out here. If y’all kids are watching this, don’t trip. Be who you want to be. Do what you want to do. Do you. Be you. Believe in yourself."
In the caption accompanying his video, Chavis also let every know that he will be able to get braces eventually, but right now, he's embracing how he looks in this moment. And who knows, maybe he won't even end up getting braces. Either way, he loves himself for exactly who he is and how he looks. He wrote,
"PSA! Yes I have a gap in my teeth, that braces can fix when all my baby teeth fall out. I’m gonna keep on smiling though STOP TROLLING STOP BULLYING! Fix your heart! To all those being bullied or being trolled YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL, YOU ARE AWESOME, and YOU MATTER!️ #FixYourHeart"
What a smart, brave, and inspirational young man. He really is like a real-life Randall. The fact that he was able to defend himself and influences others in the process is catching the eyes of many, including Michael Strahan, who also has a gap in his teeth. The Good Morning America anchor praised Chavis on Twitter. "@lonniechavis you are an inspiration my man!" the former NFL player tweeted. "You make me proud to rock my gap and your message is exactly on point. Embrace your uniqueness and live your life with happiness! No one is perfect and who really wants to be. #rolemodel".
Chavis responded to Strahan, "We kids need role models like you that will show support in our time of need thank you so much for this I really appreciate it! #rolemodel #FixYourHeart."
He's a true inspiration who is showing other young kids to embrace their differences. Like Jack once told young Randall on This Is Us, "I want you to stand out. I want all of you to be as different as you can possibly be in all the best ways."
It's amazing at only the age of 10, Chavis is spreading so much goodness. There needs to be more people in this world like him. Just imagine what kind of impact he'll make as he gets older.
If you or someone you know are experiencing suicidal thoughts, call 911, or call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or text HOME to the Crisis Text Line at 741741.