Archive for Body Image

My New Site & Life Coaching Offerings

Hello Smart Girls!

I’m so excited to show you what I’ve been up to for the past few months! Some of you know that a year ago, I began training with the fabulous Martha Beck to become a life coach so I could take my work with teen girls and young women to a whole new level. Today, almost one year to the day from when my training began, I’m happy to announce that I’m a certified Martha Beck Life Coach and I’ve just launched a new website and a bunch of special life coaching packages just for teens!

I’ve also written a brand new ebook, What Smart Girls Know: 10 Truths to Discovering You, which I’m offering for FREE to people who sign up for my new newsletter over at This book is a passion project I’ve had in my mind for years, but never published with a traditional publisher. I’m thrilled to be able to make it available to you now…gotta love technology!

Oh, and if you’re interested in life coaching, here some of the one-on-one coaching offerings I’ve put together specifically for teens and 20-somethings. You can get all the details on my new Coaching Page:


In a world where teens are bombarded with mixed, and often harmful, media messages, face ongoing pressure to be a “perfect good girl,” and are stuck somewhere between their big dreams and their current reality, it can be challenging to figure out what sparks their passion, let alone where they want it to take them in their lives. This eight-session one-on-one coaching program is aimed helping girls tune into what makes them uniquely them, identify their values and passions, understand the limiting beliefs that get in their way, and build a personal toolbox for moving forward in life in an authentic, purposeful, and powerful way. For motivated teen girls ages 13 – 19.


Today’s overscheduled, overprogrammed teens are dealing with unprecedented stress levels in their quest to be and do it all. This six-week one-on-one coaching program offers motivated teen girls ages 13-19 simple strategies for juggling it all, managing their stress, and creating more balance in their lives.


Today’s teens are big dreamers, and as a collective, they’ve been told their whole life that they can do and be anything they can imagine. But many are missing the concrete strategies and skills they need to shift from imagine to action. This six-week one-on-one coaching program helps motivated teen girls ages 13-19 working toward a specific goal or goals imagine the possibilities, tackle fear and procrastination, create a foolproof plan of action, and set achievable goals.


For the busy teen juggling schoolwork, extracurriculars, and other obligations, a little organization can go a long way. This six-week one-on-one coaching program helps teens ages 13-19 understand the benefits of organizing all different aspects of their lives and give them solid organizational strategies and tools that will help them prioritize, save time, reduce the chaos in their life, and ultimately create a less-stressed life!


Senior year of high school is an exciting, interesting, and often challenging time as big transitions are looming and teens find themselves at the intersection of their familiar high school existence and the unknown of what comes next. This six-week one-on-one coaching program helps motivated, college-bound high school senior girls hone in on their personal values, discover their voice, learn how to tackle fear, and create a strong foundation for personal self-care.


Project You is a twelve-week coaching program for 20-somethings who are feeling stuck, trapped, and limited by their current reality. This intensive program helps 20-somethings hone in on their limiting beliefs, rewrite their personal story, reconnect with their purpose, imagine their ideal outcome, and gain the strategies and tools they need to make it happen.

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With the start of my new site, I’ve also launched a new blog which will feature less newsy news and more insight and reflections for young women. Therefore, I won’t be updating Smart Girls Know any longer. I will, however, keep this site up so you’ll continue to have access to the past 4 years worth of content, interviews, book reviews, affirmations, and more. Thanks so much for being a part of the Smart Girls Know community, and I hope you’ll join me over at!

XOXO Debbie

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Actionist Jess Weiner Gets Real About Body Acceptance

My dear friend and mentor Jess Weiner, author of and the Global Ambassador for the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty, is in the national spotlight again, this time with an important, and some say controversial, article in this month’s Glamour Magazine.

In her very honest piece, “Loving My Body Almost Killed Me,” Jess writes about her personal journey of body acceptance. In the past several years, Jess examined her approach of encouraging overweight women to accept their bodies at any size after discovering she had some health-related challenges, including being on the verge of becoming diabetic. That fateful doctor’s visit resulted in Jess developing the Conscious Weight Wellness ™ movement, in which Jess encourages women to use their knowledge of their weight as a barometer of their health, not their value as a person.

After the piece came out, I checked in with Jess to find out more about how her journey can positively impact teens. Here’s my question and Jess’s answer:

Me: Body acceptance is just one of many factors most teens struggle with – acceptance to fit in, acceptance into certain cliques and groups, acceptance for sexual orientation, acceptance to be seen as who you are. How might your message of Conscious Weight Wellness translate into these others aspects of teens’ lives?

Jess: My hope with Conscious Weight Wellness is that teens focus on the word Conscious – which is to be aware – to be awakened to your bigger purpose – and to gently inquire within. Whether you are dealing w/ weight, sexuality, or other identity issues that can seem overwhelming and put a lot of pressure on you to ‘fit in’ the consciousness I want to encourage is one that allows you to see your true worth – to ask hard questions of yourself and others – and to know that while you really are valuable just as you are, there is also nothing wrong with seeking to enhance, shift or change areas of your life (or beliefs) as you grow. We are fluid. Our lives are not static. We change and grow – and that includes our beliefs about ourselves, our bodies, and others. Don’t be afraid to allow that growth – be gentle with yourself – and be conscious that the changes you are making are coming from deep within and not a desire to solely please someone else. In particular with girls and weight – I want girls who struggle with being overweight to know that wanting to lose weight is okay as long as it is in combination with the other numbers associated with their health (cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugars, etc.) – and that they recognize that their worth is not just about a number on the scale – they are worthy of full and complete confidence which comes from taking care of yourself inside and out!

I love that answer and the openness with which Jess is going about this shift. In putting her story out there, Jess is so powerfully demonstrating one of my core beliefs: When you speak your truth, challenging though it may be, everyone, including yourself, benefits.

Though Jess admits she has been concerned about a backlash from some about her change in philosophy, she knows it was worth it to boldly speak her truth about body acceptance. Jess’s willingness to have the hard conversations, model beautiful authenticity, and be vulnerable as a way to inspire others is what makes her one of the most powerful role models I know.

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Airbrushed Make-Up Ads Featuring Julia Roberts are Banned in Britain

Julia RobertsMost people are so used to airbrushed advertisements that they don’t even give them a second thought. But Britain has decided to take a stand against such ads – last week the country’s Advertising Standards Agency banned Maybelline and Lancome ads featuring Julia Roberts and Christy Turlington.

The ASA found that the magazine ads (see pics at left) were misleading, and exaggerated the ability of the products they were promoting to cover lines, wrinkles and blemishes. “On the basis of the evidence we had received we could not conclude that the ad image accurately illustrated what effect the product could achieve, and that the image had not been exaggerated by digital post production techniques,” the ASA said.

Even though L’Oreal admitted the photographs it used had been digitally manipulated and retouched, they claim the pics “accurately illustrated” the effects their make-up — Maybelline‘s The Eraser anti-ageing foundation and Lancôme‘s Teint Miracle –could achieve. They described the picture of Julia Roberts as an “aspirational picture.”

The ban was sparked by Jo Swinson, an activist who campaigns against the use of unrealistic images in fashion and advertising.

Kudos to the ASA for sending such a strong message to advertisers and marketers. Such extensive airbrushing on ads is not only essentially selling a lie – there is no product on earth (other than Photoshop software) that can achieve the kind of flawless skin shown in these ads – but it’s also selling girls and women short, by reminding them that they’re not beautiful just the way they are. These “aspirational pictures” send the message that we should “aspire” to look like these beautiful women, even though the look they’re selling isn’t actual real. Where’s the beauty in that?

What do you think about the practice of airbrushing images?

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Turn Beauty Inside Out Today!

Today is Turn Beauty Inside Out Day, an annual event hosted by Mind on the Media to celebrate healthy media images that promote critical analysis of sexism in media. It was created in 2000 by a group of girls ages 8-16, the Girls Editorial Board of the fabulous New Moon Magazine.

In honor of TBIO, people everywhere are invited to celebrate Inner Beauty–the beauty of conviction, caring and action. Says, Mind on the Media, “Girls and boys (not to speak of women and men) need a definition of beauty that focuses on who we are and what we do, not on how we look.”

Why is it so important to take the time shift our focus on the external to the beauty within? Here are just a few reasons:

  • Eighty percent of 10-year-old American girls say they have been on a diet
  • The number one magic wish for young girls age 11-17 is to be thinner
  • Females cite the media as the most important source of pressure to be thin
  • Studies show that reading “teen magazines” and having exposure to thin models creates lower self esteem, body dissatisfaction, decreased confidence and potential eating disorder symptoms
  • By age 13, approximately 53% of American girls are “unhappy with their bodies”

So how exactly does one go about celebrating our inner beauty? Here are a few of my ideas:

  • Make a list of at least 10 of your personal values. (Values are those things that determine how you conduct yourself in the world, how you act towards those around you, and how you treat yourself). These might include things like honesty, trust, optimism, reliability, humor, cooperation, knowledge, adventure…and so on.) Know that when you live by these values you will be your best, most authentic self.
  • Describe a cause, social justice issue, or volunteer organization you care about and why.
  • Keep a journal for a day of all the things your physical body enables you to do (walk to school, play a sport, house your brain, protect you, and so on) and thank it for all it does!
  • Make a list of the different, wonderful qualities you bring to your friendships. If you want to take it a step further, spread the the love and write a note to a friend thanking her for being there for you.
  • Take a media vacation for the day (or the week!) to tune out negative media images. To fill the void? Indulge in your hobby, spend time with friends that make you feel good, or work towards a personal goal you’ve been putting on hold.
  • Remember that you have worth and value simply by being you!

What ideas do you have to add to this list?

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New Moon’s Inner Beauty Mirror Uncontest

What do YOU see when you look in your personal “Inner Beauty Mirror?” That’s what New Moon Girls wants to know. The magazine’s Inner Beauty Mirror Uncontest is aimed at challenging girls to stop focusing on what they notice about their outward appearance when they look in a regular mirror, and instead celebrate what makes them beautiful on the inside.

To participate, visit the New Moon Girl uncontest page online and write down seven statements about your inner beauty strengths, pride, and talents. Oh, and like any good “uncontest,” it isn’t actually a competition because no on is going to be judged. New Moon is most interested in hearing all kinds of different Inner Beauty statements from all kinds of girls!

Here are all the official deets straight from New Moon:

What do you see in your Inner Beauty Mirror?

When we look in a regular mirror we just see our outward appearance –it isn’t anywhere near all of who we are as people. In the Inner Beauty Mirror Uncontest we challenge you to create a different mirror, the Inner Beauty Mirror. This mirror reminds you who you are and shows all the things you care about, all the things you are proud of, and all the things you do.  Isabel Rasmussen invented the Beauty Mirror for Girls iPhone app.  And then she asked NMG to work with her on this Uncontest!

It’s an uncontest because no one is going to be judged and there will be no votes to determine a winner.  We are all uniquely beautiful and we each win when we are able to see our own beauty and enjoy it without comparing ourselves to someone else.   All complete entries will be  will be entered into a prize drawing, names will be randomly chosen, and prizes given.

Follow these 5 steps to enter the uncontest (also watch Phoebe’s video about how to enter here) :

Step 1Write 7 Short Inner Beauty Mirror statements about You: The statements are about all your inner strengths that make you uniquely beautiful.  What are you proud of about yourself? Sometimes it’s hard to think of nice things to say about ourselves.  If you’re stumped, think about a friend’s inner beauty. Then see which statements are true about you.and  A way to start can be to write things about your friends like “Eva is a good listener and is a good friend because she always includes me.”  Is that statement true about you too?  Could you change Eva’s name to yours?

Step 2: Make a video of you saying your 7 statements. Or make a poster with your statements on it and take a photo of you and your poster.

Step 3: Read aloud and/or watch the video of your Inner Beauty Mirror every day for 10 days in a row

Step 4: Write a short story about your Inner Beauty Mirror and your feelings about it. Minimum is 250 words and maximum is 500 words.

Step 5: Enter the Uncontest: Go here and complete the form there before midnight central time April 30, 2011.  That’s all you need to do.  All complete entries will be entered in a random drawing on May 19, Turn Beauty Inside Out Day.

Did we mention you can win an iPod Touch with the Beauty Mirror For Girls App, a 1 year membership to New Moon Girls, and other cool prizes?

And Remember, You Are Beautiful!!!!

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Smart Girls Know is an affiliate of New Moon Magazine and is offering a $10 discount off the price of a year subscription, which includes 12-month unlimited access to New Moon’s informative site. To take advantage of this special offer, click here.

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Again Abercrombie…REALLY?

What will it take for Abercrombie & Fitch to stop its obnoxious and offensive practice of oversexualizing young girls and women and generally encouraging low self-esteem and body image everywhere? First we had the t-shirts that said things like “Do I Make You Look Fat?” and for men, “Female Students Wanted for Sexual Research.” There are the Abercrombie & Fitch Quarterly catalogs that were full of so many nude bodies one would be hard-pressed to actually identify any clothes they might want to purchase. Remember the catalog cover in 2002 that had the words “Group Sex” splashed across the cover? Classy! (Not!). Or how about the time they decided it was a good idea to produce thongs for young girls. Oh, and then there was the employee who was banished to the stock room where she wouldn’t interact with customers, as it seems her prosthetic arm didn’t fit the “look” of the store’s brand.

So I guess I shouldn’t be surprised with Abercrombie’s latest, and perhaps most offensive, turn. Padded push-up bikini tops for tweens. That’s right. Now second graders can wear bikini tops that will make them look “sexier.” SERIOUSLY?

There are so many things wrong with this that it’s hard to know where to start. But here are just a few obvious problems. ONE: Girls, no matter how old they are, should not be treated like sex objects. TWO: Sexualizing young girls encourages boys and men to see these young girls as sexual objects. THREE: Padding bikini tops for young girls sends the message that they should grow up faster. FOUR: Padding bikini tops for girls sends the message that their bodies aren’t perfect and beautiful just the way they are.

Here’s what child psychologist Dr. Michael Bradley had to say on ABC News when asked about the impact of Abercrombie’s latest fail:

“We’re actually teaching them that this is their primary value in this culture, that’s what they’re all about. We’re shaping their behavior. We find that kids that get into this stuff do get into high risk early-onset sexual behavior. We whack their body image. We tell them “You’re not okay as you are. You have to use this kinda stuff”. Finally, we’re taking their childhoods away from them. At age eight we throw them into this pressurized, high anxiety world they’re not ready to handle and we think it’s part of why we see so much depression and anxiety in kids.”

So, I ask again…what will it take for Abercrombie & Fitch to stop this harmful practice of pushing the envelope at the expense of young girls and women? Hard to say, especially when the company’s profits jumped 95% in the fourth quarter of 2010.

We can boycott the store, for starters. And then we can tell everyone we know to boycott the store. And then we can sign petitions like this one over at that tells Abercrombie to stop selling padded bikini tops now.

What do you think? Do these padded bikini tops send the wrong message? What do you think is the most effective way to get Abercrombie to change their tune?

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Every Word Counts

I wrote yesterday’s post about this being National Eating Disorders Awareness week a few hours before taking my six-year-old son to see the new animated kids’ movie, Gnomeo and Juliet. This rated G spoof of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, though occasionally violent and sometimes off-color, was fully aimed at kids.

So you can imagine my horror (and yes, it truly was horror) when during a scene in which Juliet, the heroine of the movie, was standing on her best friend’s back (a frog) to catch a better glimpse of her love interest (Gnomeo), the best friend spoke these words:

“You know he’s going to ditch you when he finds out how much you weigh!”

Wait a sec…had I heard that correctly? I did a double take and looked around the theatre. Happy little faces, mostly of girls between the ages of four and ten, stared gleefully at the screen. I guess the more important question was, had they heard that?

“You know he’s going to ditch you when he finds out how much you weigh!”

And that’s how it starts. A little line from a movie, a thoughtless commercial, a mother’s look of disapproval at her own reflection in the mirror, magazine ads, billboards, snide comments…they all add up. The seeds are planted and bit by bit, word by word, message by message, girls slowly internalize the notion that thin is good, thinner is better. That thin will bring you happiness, love, approval, and worth.

And it’s messages like the one in this movie that contribute to these very scary statistics:

  • 42% of 1st-3rd grade girls want to be thinner
  • 81% of 10 year olds are afraid of being fat
  • 46% of 9-11 year-olds are “sometimes” or “very often” on diets

So my question to the writers of Gnomeo and Juliet is this … REALLY? The best you can do to try and elicit laughter from an audience full of children is to deliver a fat joke? The best you can do in your attempt to be funny is remind girls that their weight matters when it comes to getting what they want in life?

Next time, how about trying smart humor? You know, the kind that isn’t offensive and makes the audience actually feel good about themselves making their ribs ache with laughter?

And the next time? Remember that every word counts.

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It’s National Eating Disorders Awareness Week

National Eating Disorders Awareness WeekThis week is National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, a special week aimed at preventing eating disorders and body image issues while reducing the stigma surrounding eating disorders and improving access to treatment.

The theme for this year is “talk about it.” As the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) explains, “We live in a culture saturated with unrealistic body-image messages and almost all of us know somebody struggling with an eating disorder. Because this is true, we urge you to talk about it and do just on thing to raise awareness.”

Here are three things NEDA wants everyone to know about eating disorders:

  1. Eating disorders are serious illnesses, not lifestyle choices. Eating disorders are complex conditions that arise from a combination of long-standing behavioral, emotional, psychological, interpersonal, biological and social factors. As our natural body size and shape is largely determined by genetics, fighting our natural size and shape can lead to unhealthy dieting practices, poor body image and decreased self-esteem. While eating disorders may begin with preoccupations with food and weight, they are about much more than food. In the United States, as many as 10 million females and 1 million males are fighting a life and death battle with an eating disorder such as anorexia or bulimia. Approximately 15 million more are struggling with binge eating disorder.
  2. Education, early intervention, and access to care are critical. In the United States, we are inundated with messages telling us that thinner is better, and when we “fit” our culture’s impossible beauty standards, we will be happy. Did you know that 80% of all ten year olds are afraid of being fat? As a culture, it is time for all communities to talk about eating disorders, address their contributing factors, advocate for access to treatment and take action for early intervention.
  3. Help is available, and recovery is possible. While eating disorders are serious, potentially life-threatening illnesses, there is help available and recovery really is possible. It is important for those affected to remember that they are not alone in their struggle; others have recovered and are now living healthy fulfilling lives. Let the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) be a part of your network of support. NEDA has information and resources available via our website and helpline: 800 931-2237.

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If you or someone you know struggles with an eating disorder, please check out my friend and fellow member of the Confidence Community (TM) Johanna Kandel’s book, Johanna struggled with her eating disorder for ten years before finally getting help. She founded the Alliance for Eating Disorders Awareness in 2000 to do community outreach, education, awareness, and prevention of various eating disorders, to share the message that recovery from these disorders is possible, and make sure that those suffering from eating disorders don’t have to recover alone.

In her powerful new book, Johanna offers tools and insight for those with eating disorders so they can:

  • Stop self-sabotage and sidestep triggers
  • Quiet the eating-disordered voice
  • Strengthen the healthy, positive voice
  • Let go of all-or-nothing thinking
  • Overcome fear and embrace change
  • Stay motivated and keep moving forward

Complete with inspiring true stories from others who have won their personal battles with eating disorders, this book provides the help you need to break free from your eating disorder and discover how wonderful life really can be.

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Vogue Paris Magazine Gets It Wrong. VERY Wrong.

A photo shoot featured in the December issue of Vogue Paris has many girls rights advocates, including yours truly, up in arms. The photos feature extremely young girls dressed up in women’s clothes, covered in makeup and jewelry, and displayed in oversexualized poses. For the record, “sexualization” was defined by the American Psychological Association (APA) as occurring “when a person’s value comes only from her/his sexual appeal or behavior, to the exclusion of other characteristics, and when a person is sexually objectified, e.g., made into a thing for another’s sexual use.”

I’d say this editorial qualifies: Throughout the 13-photo spread, in which girls are “modeling” women’s clothing, shoes, jewelry, makeup, and other “gifts” (the spread is called “Cadeux” which is French for “gift), the young girls are shown laying down in provocative positions on a bed, on the floor, on a tiger fur (see pic above) and more, all while looking seductively at the camera. You can see all the images here.

I find these images so disturbing, so wrong, that I have to wonder: What is the point of this photo editorial spread? What was Vogue Paris thinking? Seriously…I don’t get it. Do the editors actually believe that women, the ultimate consumers of the products being modeled, are more likely to purchase these items if they’re modeled on pre-pubescent girls? Do they not realize how these images aren’t only in poor taste, but they actually perpetuate the harmful notion that girls should be objectified and that their real value is in their beauty and sexuality?

I can only assume that Vogue Paris hasn’t read the APA’s recent report on the oversexualization of adolescent girls, which found that the proliferation of sexualized images of girls and young women in advertising, merchandising, and media is undoubtedly harmful to girls’ self-image and healthy development. Here are just a few of the negative outcomes for girls:

  • When girls repeatedly receive a strong message that a girl’s worth is primarily determined by how beautiful, thin, hot, and sexy she is, over time many girls view their bodies and their appearance as objects to be evaluated by others. (Instead of evaluating themselves from a first person perspective – “How do I think I look or feel?”, they focus on themselves from a third person perspective—as they believe others will be judging them -“How are others judging my body and appearance?”)
  • Girls as young as age 11 who are preoccupied with self-monitoring and fear of not meeting others’ expectations are more likely to experience negative psychological outcomes including shame, anxiety, poor self-esteem, depression, and eating disorders.
  • When middle school girls spend their mental resources on body monitoring, self-evaluation, and concerns about others’ negative judgments, they have a decreased capacity to fully engage in challenging activities, including academic tasks. As a result, girls often emerge from middle school with a lowered sense of self-esteem, a discouragement with school, and a school performance that does not match earlier achievements.
  • As girls are objectified, they are more likely to be treated in sexually degrading ways, resulting in sexual harassment or even sexual assault. Girls who are sexually harassed at school experience significant negative outcomes including difficulties in concentration, avoidance of specific individuals, changes in school attendance, and lower self-esteem.
  • There are far more female role models in popular media who are in sexualized roles such as beauty pageant contestants, plastic surgery patients, video vixens, or reality television stars. In efforts to please others and to gain male attention, many girls make educational and career decisions that could negatively impact their futures.
  • Girls who judge themselves on cultural standards of sexiness may have lower esteem and self-worth if they feel they do not meet those standards.
  • As girls internalize media messages which portray sexual images that are “devoid of emotions, attachment, or consequences” messages, they increasingly present themselves socially in overly sexualized ways. Due to these sexualized Internet and media influences, many girls today may not know what a healthy sexual relationship is and how to garner respect in a caring relationship.

I’m sure that if Vogue Paris knew these findings, they wouldn’t have published their offensive photo essay in the first place, right? Well, maybe we should fill them in. If you want to take a stand against this oversexualization of girls in the media, let Conde Nast, the publisher of Vogue Paris, know that they’ve gone too far. Join me in signing this petition created by!

And to read more on this issue, please check out my friend and media guru Amy Jussell’s Shaping Youth blog post, “Children are Gifts: Not to Be Wrapped and Sold.”

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Texas Teens Redefining Beauty

Redefining Beauty

This past weekend, seven girlfriends and I rented a house on Whidbey Island for a girls getaway weekend. There was lots of chill time – reading, playing pool, lounging by the fire, wearing pajamas until well past noon.

I think it was late Saturday afternoon while sitting in the hot tub when I turned to my friends and announced with a mixture of surprise and glee, “I don’t think I’ve even looked in the mirror today!” In that moment, it suddenly occurred to me that no comb had gone through my hair, no concealer used to dilute the circles under my eyes (which I could only assume were there), no mascara brushed across my eyelashes. There was something so liberating about just being with this group of confident, amazing women as we shared painful memories, laughed until our ribs ached, and spazzed out to 80s music (well, I think that was mostly just Sara and me), all without considering once what I looked like on the outside.

So I loved hearing about this inspirational group of Texas high school students who started a movement at their school called Redefining Beauty. One day a week, girls participating in the growing movement come to school makeup-free, with the goal of promoting self-confidence and female empowerment.

The founders of the movement, which has grown popular within their Texas high school and has started to spread to other schools in the area, are Samantha Gibbs, Lauren Gilby, Laura Kelly, Nina Smith, Emily Gates and Caroline Tessler. The girls say the inspiration for the campaign was Operation Beautiful, a campaign founded by friend and honorary Smart Girl Caitlyn Boyle, which encourages women and girls to post anonymous notes in public places for other women to find with a goal of reminding women that we are all beautiful, that we are all enough, just the way we are.

Says Redefining Beauty co-founder Samantha Gibbs, “We wanted to do something like that at our school and makeup is just one way for us to make girls feel like they are beautiful, and to shake that image that everyone sees, and know that you, yourself, are really beautiful.”

What I love most about this movement is that these girls aren’t just talking about the old adage, beauty is only skin deep – they’re owning it in a powerful way. By making the choice to not wear makeup, even this one day a week, these girls are getting to experience the same thing I experienced this past weekend – the joy of looking beyond appearance within a supportive community. And hopefully this is a community that will continue to keep growing and growing and growing…

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