In the first ever YPOC beauty & self esteem seminar, I had participants choose 5 images from a group of magazine cut outs depicting women from various backgrounds, body types, age ranges and hair textures based on who they thought was the most beautiful.
After each participant chose their 5 women they were asked what made them beautiful. Talitha chose her 5 ‘because they were unique in their own way and not letting people bring them down.’ Her choices included a basketball player, a businesswoman, a student and the incomparable Maya Angelou who she described as ‘older and wiser.’
Participants were then asked what they have in common with the women they chose. Talitha wrote, ‘ I chose these women because they remind me of me when I was little.’
When I asked why they don’t remind her of herself now she admitted that her self esteem is pretty low. When I asked why she said she didn’t know. When asked to find similarities between herself and the women she chose she wrote, ‘I’m good at whatever I and the Lord tells me I’m good at. I’m good at sports, soccer and volleyball.’
Students were also asked to choose two words out of a pile which best described them.
Talitha chose ‘strong’ and ‘black.’ She plans to fight for equality when she gets older because she does not like the fact that people get treated differently because of how they look.
She explained, ‘I’m strong because I’m brave.’
Talitha, like all of us finding our way every day in this world, is a work in progress. It is our job as a community who cares to support the growth, health and self esteem of all our girls so that no matter what any individual or societal construct says, they know their worth.
I would appreciate it if everyone left a kind word or two for Talitha below so that I can show it to her. Even the most confident person needs a
Little boost every now and then.