Girls + Self Esteem

by Kim on April 10, 2012

I think most (if not all) girls struggle with self esteem issues at some point in life. I was no exception.

For starters, I was homeschooled in middle school. Homeschooling can be a great option for some kids–it allows the flexibility for them to focus their studies on what they love and are good at, it can promote independence and ownership of learning, and it gets them out of incredibly long 8-hour school days.

But it can also prevent them from learning about the world they live in and can interfere with the development of social skills, as it did in my case. When I reentered public school in ninth grade, I felt completely lost. Everything and everyone had changed so much since fourth grade (I know, you’re thinking “duh”…but somehow, this was such a shock to me) and I had no idea how I fit in, if at all. I spent the next four years moving through different social circles, trying to find my niche, and had barely started getting comfortable by graduation.

I was also heavier in middle school and high school–not obese, but not as healthy as I would have liked to be. Not knowing a thing about healthy living, I would do things like skip meals and take diet pills to try to lose weight (lots of my friends were doing the same things, so unfortunately I was in good company)…but I ended up with nothing but digestive problems and more weight. I wish I could go back in time and teach my younger self the things I know now.

Today, because of my experiences, I feel very passionate about girls’ self esteem issues. I think often about how I would help my daughter, should I have one, through the highs and lows of girlhood. And I think it’s probably about time I start acting on this passion more aggressively. For starters, I’d like to get involved in Girls on the Run. This fantastic organization combines two things I dig: helping young girls and running. I’ve been thinking about joining for a long time, but just haven’t had the time to commit to it. But that will be changing soon–stay tuned!

In the meantime, Huffington Post is doing something pretty awesome right now to promote positive messages about self image for girls, and we can all help out. For every positive comment about herself that someone leaves on this page, Huff Post will donate $1 to Girls Inc, up to $5,000. And they’re hoping to hit their goal by tomorrow (April 10). As I write this, they only have 108 comments, so let’s get on it!!

Of course, it’s a little embarrassing to post self praise on a website for the whole world to see. But it’s good practice–these are the things that should be in our heads (no more “fat talk”!). So suck it up! I wrote: “I have a great sense of humor and love my womanly hourglass figure.” Booyah!

Much more on this topic in the future…but for now, make sure to get your comments posted! Only 4,892 to go…

~Kim

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