acceptance

The Power of Your Vulnerability

by Caitlin D'aprano, CEO of Willpowered Woman. Originally published here.

Vulnerability is about being honest about our past life events that have shaped who we are and what we may be feeling in the moment. Personally, admitting how much I want something and going for it makes me feel vulnerable.

Let me put it in to context. Five years ago I booked a one-way flight from Melbourne to London. I went there to start a shoe business and to work in the fashion industry. I landed amazing jobs with the Headquarters of Burberry, Harrods and REISS. I ensured that I got different jobs to gain experience for my shoe business. After I gathered enough experience, I ventured to do the shoe business alongside my own sales and business consultancy. I worked hard to make these things a success, but then came “my quarter life crisis”. I started to question everything, I felt like my life had no meaning, so I started searching. 

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Teaching Your Child To Learn From Failure: 4 Steps To Success

by Rebecca Temsen, guest blogger for Dr. Carol. Originally published here.

The old adage holds true: We learn from our mistakes. Making mistakes is especially how children learn. Unfortunately, too many kids (and even some adults) have never learned the value of making a mistake. I plead guilty too.

Too many fail to realize successful people find new routes to their goals and they don’t let setbacks derail them. Succeeding ultimately depends on sticking with their efforts and not letting setbacks hold them down, especially with kids. 

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Book Review of Naomi Katz's Beautiful: Becoming an Empowered Young Woman

by Paulina Sicius, Public Relations Intern at Alliance for Girls

Image result for beautiful becoming an empowered young woman 

In her book, Beautiful: Becoming an Empowered Young Woman, Naomi Katz is right: being a teenage girl is one of the most stressful things in the world. Naomi perfectly captures the anxiety associated with fitting in, cliques, alcohol and drugs, sex, and insecurities.

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#ShareHerStory: How I Worship My Body and Accept My Disability

by Gigi Giscome. A version of the article was published on Blavity and Wear Your Voice

Is this what it feels like to feel absolutely beautiful? I look at my reflection in the mirror, studying every nook and cranny of my face, blushing slightly while everyone and everything in the room completely disappears. I see the mixture of love, sacrifices and ancestry it took to make me, Me. In that moment, I didn’t want to be anybody in the world but me. I felt nothing but self-love and gratitude.

Photo: Courtesy of author

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Turning to Self-Love in Times of Tragedy

by Jessica Diaz France, originally posted on The Body Positive on July 9, 2016

It seems that every day the world feels the reverberation of another tragedy. Gun violence, race relations, war, changes in the economy, poverty, inequality, gender gap…the list changes daily and also stays the same. The world is hurting. From whatever vantage point you have on whichever continent—if you look for the negative, you will inevitably find it.  

I asked myself after the third shooting in a week that was blasted on every social media platform, and on every news source: In a world that is hurting, is there a place for self-love?

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Looking Ahead

by Nakia Dillard, Founder and Director of Y-LEAP


I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to not only attend Alliance for Girl’s 3rd Annual Conference but to have had the amazing opportunity to speak on stage. This experience was so empowering for me as it was my first time speaking to a large crowd about Y-LEAP and the importance of investing in girls and young women. After I spoke I was surprised to get a standing ovation and to see so many people approach me afterwards. Not only did people come up to me to speak about future collaborations or to share their thoughts on my speech, people also followed up within a few weeks of the conference through Facebook, LinkedIn, and email.

Some of the manifestations that came forth after the conference included:

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Menstruation in the 4th wave: How my period helped me find my (feminist) voice

by Emma Sachat, sophomore at Wheaton College and intern at the Red Web Foundation

In most cultures, a girl’s first period is emblematic of womanhood. Her first period not only indicates that she is fertile, but welcomes her into the world of women rather than girls. For me, my first period was not so sacred. I began to realize I was a woman not because I was met with admiration and respect, but because my body and my ability to menstruate were regarded as vulgar and obscene. My period marked my coming to womanhood in that I learned how I was meant to feel about being a menstruating woman. And it was because I was so angered by the old-world attitudes towards my period that I began to grow into my feminist-self and develop my feminist thought. My period marked the beginning of a new awareness of unjust attitudes and language regarding women.

Despite being slightly embarrassed when I came home to the raspberry-topped cupcakes my mother had made to commemorate my coming into “womanhood”, my period was not initially a source of shame. I did not share the horrific first-period story as do so many women--bleeding through white pants onto a classroom chair, staining a bathing suit. Rather, my first period was uneventful, almost, it seemed, of no consequence at all. I did not regard my period as a great source of shame, nor did I see any reason to. I did not question my own body and my right to menstruate and talk about menstruation openly until I found myself in the presence of boys at my coed high school.

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STOP

by Robin Weathers, Jenna Cheli, Jessie Marshall, and Soli Tays, students of Cloverdale High School who won Best High School Film at the Alexander Valley Film Society for their film, STOP


Insecurities are something that everyone faces no matter the age, race, or gender. This unifying theme connects us all together throughout generations and will continue to connect us. Then why do we target these insecurities within other people? Why are they one of the most frequently used topics to hurt others with? People throw words at each other that target these insecurities whether they know it or not. Friends even make comments to them as jokes. These jokes are sometimes the ones that hurt the most.


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The Duck Syndrome (Anxiety and Perfectionism Among Young)

by Carol Langlois, Teen Advocate: Youth, Culture & Self-Esteem Expert at Dr. Carol


Recently, I learned about the duck syndrome from a friend of mine at Stanford University. The duck syndrome is apparently running rampant at many colleges (and from my research) at many high schools as well. What is the duck syndrome? Well, think of the duck gliding along the water. She looks very serene, calm and pleasant. Then, look under the water and s/he is paddling frantically. That is the duck syndrome. Too many students on the outside are appearing calm, cool and collected while on the inside they are completely stressed out. As women, we want to see ourselves being able to have it all. To be the great student, great athlete, and well-liked by her peers, which typically means being social. But what price do we pay? Proving we can do it all has transformed into an ugly state of unattainable expectations and extremes, which are unhealthy for any girl of any age. It’s a recipe for disaster that goes against what feminism truly stands for.

I believe high school is where this syndrome starts to formulate. Many of the girls that suffer from the duck syndrome in college were probably “big fish in small pond” at their high school. Most teens want to be popular, and to be popular these days means that you can do it all. I see high school students staying up ridiculously late doing homework, always wanting the A, playing on one if not two sports teams, and also expecting to go out every weekend. All this can lead to anxiety, depression, and unhealthy habits. When they get to college, which could have 12 to 20,000 students, being big fish is not so easy anymore so the stakes get higher.



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From Body Hatred to Self-Love

by Connie Sobczak, Co-Founder and Executive Director of The Body Positive, originally published in Media Planet


At age 19, I was forced to drop out of college by a life-threatening eating disorder, dashing my plans to become a computer engineer. Thankfully, I conquered bulimia and graduated from college. My sister Stephanie was not so lucky. Her obsession with thinness led to her death in her mid-30s, leaving two young children without a mother and our family shattered and grieving.

A Dangerous Path




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Practicing Self-Love

by Sara Cerami, Senior at Berkeley High School & President of the school's Body Positive Club


In high school, the pressure to fit in intertwines with stigmatization, creating an experience of body shame and guilt for far too many students. Unfortunately, many do not escape the anxiety and feelings of inadequacy created by our culture’s narrow perception of beauty. High school serves to amplify this cultural toxicity. Judgment and constant comparison permeate my high school’s atmosphere, making it difficult to see and declare one’s authentic beauty. I experienced this type of judgment and internalized it, which led to body hatred and self-deprecation.

However, I thankfully found The Body Positive and learned that it was possible to be free to love myself holistically; in a way where I no longer needed to try to fit a malleable, ever-changing beauty standard. My confidence grew and I started being authentically myself without shame. Learning about intuitive self-care made me recognize how important it is to treat myself kindly and with care in order to be able to accomplish all that is possible in my life. I am a strong feminist, and I realized that if I could not respect my own body and mind, I could never help other women find empowerment. This awareness motivated me to create a foundation of self-love, and to reach out to those who have not yet developed theirs.

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Why do girls apologize for everything? Stop saying you're sorry!

by Carol Langlois of Dr. Carol


When a person says they are sorry, they are telling someone that they are remorseful. The message sent is that they feel badly for what they have done. The word sorry isn’t hard to say for many people, but for some people, mainly young women, they seem to say sorry way too often. The big question is: Why do young girls feel it is necessary to say sorry for things that don’t require an apology?

Generally speaking, girls are typically more apologetic than boys, but it doesn’t mean they are any more remorseful. Girls seem to give out apologies within the broader context of a conversation, where boys typically do not. There is also a cultural expectation that girls will be more accommodating than boys, and sadly many girls live up to that expectation. Overtime, apologies become repetitive, habit-forming and expected by others. Girls can lose sight of why they are even apologizing.



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