The low psyche of teenaged girls has long been a topic of concern for moms. Particularly worrisome is evidence that their fragile self-esteem has lingered despite women making strong gains in virtually all areas of public life.
Girls Inc., a national non-profit organization devoted to inspiring and empowering young women, conducted a study which revealed that 69 percent of girls report being concerned with their appearance, while 44 percent believe that the smartest girls in school are not popular. Named “The Supergirl Dilemma,” the study highlights a big problem according to Girls Inc. board member and Access Hollywood co-host Shaun Robinson. She says,
“They’re receiving so many messages on television that tell them you don’t measure up to this, so therefore you’re not pretty or valuable. I think there has been no other time where girls have been given more messages about female empowerment but yet are still feeling so badly about themselves.”
|Courtesy Shaun Robinson|
To that end, Shaun recently authored the book Exactly As I Am.
“I gathered and hand-picked women that I thought would be good role models for the girls,” she recently explained to Hot Moms Club’s Tania Luviano, “and give them advice on reaching into finding a place much deeper than what you see in the mirror and pulling from that.”
In the book, successful women like Oprah Winfrey, Nancy Pelosi and Céline Dion open up about how their lives have at times been plagued by insecurity, while others like Alicia Keys share their ideas for how to make things better.
“We need more variety in how we depict beauty and define intelligence — there’s so much more than what is often featured,” the 28-year-old Grammy Award-winning songstress says.
The topic of girls and self-esteem “is very close to my heart,” Shaun reveals, and it is what drove her to become involved with Girls Inc. With origins dating back to 1864, Girls Inc. operates at all times under the guidance of its Girls Bill of Rights.
Through a variety of research-based informal education programs, Girls Inc. encourages girls to take risks and master physical, intellectual and emotional challenges. Major programs address math and science education, pregnancy and drug abuse prevention, media literacy, economic literacy, adolescent health, violence prevention, and sports participation.
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