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Friday, October 17, 2008

Turn Beauty Inside Out!

I'm writing from Minneapolis, where the Turn Beauty Inside Out Leadership Retreat was held today. I was honored and lucky to lead a workshop with a group of 50+ awesome girls ranging in age from 10-17. As usual, what girls have to say continues to blow me away, and I am ever hopeful that since they are conscious of the need to get their voices out in the world (something the prior generation might not have been aware of, despite being told we could be anything we wanted to be), more and more positive change for girls and women will take place.

Together, we thought a lot about identity and how that feeds into our goals. Here are some thoughts from the girls!:

1. Identity is who we are and what we like
2. Identity is your "core" - it's important to hold onto that, since sometimes identity can be manipulated to make others like us more or less
3. Sometimes we feel pressure or expectations to be a certain person that isn't authentic
4. True identity can come out when we can express ourselves freely without feeling judged (like with good friends!)
5. Confidence comes from being touch with your real self
6. Adapting to situations is great; changing who you are to "fit in" hurts

And here are some traits that girls look for in leaders, and hope to lead the next generation with:
1. Courage
2. Self-confidence
3. Strength
4. Good listening
5. Out-spokenness
6. Uniqueness
7. Honesty
8. Focus
9. Cleverness
10. Power

Whoo! I vote for that...

We also talked about how many "leaders" (celebrities) today are simply noticed because they're sexy or appear a certain way - and acknowledged that those aren't really the things we wish the world revolved around.

I was truly touched to hear the girls' final thoughts about how meaningful the simple act of coming together today was. Finding commonalities amongst such a diverse group about how we all struggle to "be real" was very impactful. I love moments when girls and women can find each other and really see each other as allies rather than as competition, and today certainly seemed to be one of them.

And time spent watching girls create vision boards and positive self-messages with pom poms, glitter, and the like never fails to inspire me!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Love Your Body Day is Tomorrow!

My wonderful ladies at Hardy Girls Healthy Women are amongst the many groups celebrating Love Your Body Day tomorrow.  Here's a blurb from them if you want to join in the fun, and otherwise, I hope you have a great day celebrating in your own unique way!

Hardy Girls' Love Your Body Day Celebration and Open House is tomorrow, Wednesday the 15th from 4-6 pm. Stop in anytime between 4 - 6 pm and find out more about what we do, eat some yummy food, and play some games!

Don't Miss:
Door prize drawings every 15 minutes
The Hardy Girls Trivia Game at 5:00 pm
A scavenger hunt for prizes
Fun activities for all ages
Warm cider and yummy snacks

What is Love Your Body Day?

The NOW Foundation's Love Your Body campaign helps raise awareness about women's health, body image and self-esteem. Since 1997, Love Your Body has given girls and women the tools and the encouragement to "just say no" to the air-brushed, cookie cutter images that Hollywood and Madison Avenue are trying to sell.

On Oct. 15, NOW chapters and campus and community activists across the country are celebrating Love Your Body Day with actions and events

Hollywood and the fashion, cosmetics and diet industries work hard to make each of us believe that our bodies are unacceptable and need constant improvement. Print ads and television commercials reduce us to body parts — lips, legs, breasts — airbrushed and touched up to meet impossible standards. TV shows tell women and teenage girls that cosmetic surgery is good for self-esteem. Is it any wonder that 80% of U.S. women are dissatisfied with their appearance?

Women and girls spend billions of dollars every year on cosmetics, fashion, magazines and diet aids. These industries can't use negative images to sell their products without our assistance.

Together, we can fight back.

Celebrate Love Your Body Day with Us!