Back to school is so stressful on young girls and teens to stay in style. The first day of school is almost like a beauty pageant with peers picking apart your look or style. There is very little consideration for the reality that many girls from low-income families cannot afford new clothes. That embarrassment may inhibit their ability to attend social and extracurricular actives. The end result of those bullied or embarrassed of the way they look is missing out on important milestones and furthermore lowering their self-confidence.
I suffered this first hand when I was in school. Maintaining 3 kids clothing with rapid growth spurts was difficult for my parents even though they both worked. The first day of school was the worst for me when I didn’t have any new clothes and I’m sporting high water jeans during a time when that was not cool. I overheard people making fun of me and my brothers all the time, we didn’t even have cyber bullying at that time. I can only image how hard the first day of school is for girls nowadays with social media. I wish Believe In Yourself was around when I was in school.
What is Believe In Yourself?
Believe In Yourself (www.believeinyourself.org) is a foundation launched in January 2017 that provides brand-new, never-worn dresses to low-income girls around the country, while at the same time works to promote positive body image, to reduce cyber bullying, and to inspire girls to believe in themselves and their dreams.
Clothing donations are tied to the girls’ progress in achieving goals.Each girl who wants to receive a dress is entered into a system where they are then tracked to see their progress, whether towards improving their academics or pursuing an extracurricular interest such as music, dance, sports, etc. and Believe in Yourself provides the girls dresses for any upcoming events they have during the school year.
The Believe In Yourself Project goes into community centers, after-school programs, and low-income housing centers and provide designer dresses for underprivileged girls to wear at upcoming school dances.
The charity also brings in Mentors and speakers to motivate the girls to believe in themselves. These mentors also provide tips if the girls are experiencing a negative body image or bullying of any kind, and they counsel the girls to help them achieve their dreams and goals.