Healthy Girls Let Go of Negativity

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It was just after 8 a.m. on March 28, a cold morning, when I found myself in a bright, bare room in the Carolina Union, surrounded by yawning middle school girls. It brought me back to when I was their age. I could see in their eyes that they all were here for the same reason: to see change, either for themselves or their friends. I think I needed the change for myself, too, and so did my fellow leadership team members. I guess there’s always room for a little positive change, regardless of one’s age.

I find working with Healthy Girls Save the World fulfilling because of my passion for making a difference in the lives of young girls. With today’s generation being bombarded with images from the media, it is no surprise that we are seeing an increase in the prevalence of eating disorders, interpersonal violence, and a lack of positive body image. HGSW is especially relevant now because we address and seek to prevent the perpetuation of these frequent social problems.

Although this is my first year on the leadership team, my fellow team members have made it so easy to transition into the chapter position of co-lead counselor. For HGSW’s most recent event we focused on healthy relationships. First, we learned what it means to have a strong relationship with a team by learning how to play ultimate Frisbee! This made for a great bonding experience between counselors and participants. During the latter half of the day, we discussed healthy relationships as a large group. My co-lead counselor, Rachel, and I lead a lesson related to ego-tripping, self-love and the importance of having a positive self-image. In order to start our ego-trip, we listened to empowering music and asked the girls to look deep within themselves in order to challenge negative self-perceptions. I asked them to tap into their inner selves and find what they didn’t like about that young girl inside – bringing everything negative to light.

We threw all that negativity away.

For a successful ego-trip, I needed them to see themselves as I did – beautiful and capable of conquering the world!

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It was time to focus on the positive. We provided the girls with booklets, and they wrote empowering poems about themselves, talking about how smart they felt or their capability to care for others. This exercise helped us all get into contact with who we really were as individuals. Finally, to end our event for the day we allotted time to talk about what we liked about each other. Admiring others allows room for personal growth because it helps to combat a key factor that plays a role in many young girls’ negative self-images – jealousy.

My work with Healthy Girls Save the World has not only impacted the lives of our participants, but it has allowed me to grow in my very own personal life. Spiritually, mentally, and emotionally I’ve connected with each project that we have moved forward. I must say that serving as co-lead counselor has been a life-changing opportunity, and I encourage anyone to see for themselves the differences that can be made by getting involved in our mission because healthy girls can SAVE THE WORLD!

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