“When you are a confident girl,
you can do anything and everything.”
— Dasia B., Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s
2019 National Military Youth of the Year
Growing up, I was surrounded by some of the very best female role models — my mom (gosh, I love my mom) and Ms. Cherie from the Boys & Girls Club.
I started attending the Club at age 6. It was my home away from home, and it was also where my journey toward self-esteem-building began.
My hair was one of my biggest challenges. In the Black community, hair is a big part of our culture. It was difficult for me to bond with other girls and make friends because while I felt my personality was great, my hair wasn't always up to par. I didn't have a new style or the coolest hairdo every two weeks, and I was self-conscious about it.
Ms. Cherie helped me with that. She would do my hair, but most importantly, she would always remind me, “You look pretty no matter what.”
Those are words I wish every young girl could hear and take to heart.
A Look Behind the #Selfie
This year, I am proudly serving on the Dove Self-Esteem Project’s Youth Board. Our primary focus is social media because it’s where a lot of girls spend their time.
It’s such a complex arena. Girls see other girls online and think, "Oh, she looks so nice," but they don't know everything that goes on behind the scenes to produce that one picture.
And for most, especially social media influencers, they’re not just snapping a quick picture of themselves — they have professional lighting, makeup, even room staging. You never know everything that went into creating the photo, and I think that's the broader message I want to tell girls: Everything online is not completely real or authentic.
In an age when social media has become such a big part of our daily lives and a significant influence on how we view ourselves, how do we, as girls, build our self-esteem? I’m so glad you asked...
Five Tips to Help Young Girls Become More Empowered and Confident
- Start journaling.
Journaling helps you de-stress, self-reflect, understand your emotions, and express yourself. Once you begin working through those areas on a consistent basis, you’ll see your confidence start to grow. And with more confidence, ooh, child, so much more is possible. When you are a confident young girl, you can do anything and everything.
- Surround yourself with empowering people.
My mom taught me how to be self-determined. She never handed me anything. She would show me something once and say, "You have to do it over and over again to get it right because I'm not going to be there all the time to do it for you." Surround yourself with people who will help you and push you.
- Say a daily affirmation.
Every morning when you wake up, tell yourself something positive to set the tone for your day. Whether it's in a room with other people, in a room by yourself, outside, anywhere, just take 60 seconds to sit down and say an affirmation such as, "I am beautiful. I am awesome. I'm a queen. I'm amazing." Think about something you know you need to work on and find a good affirmation that aligns. Then say it OUT LOUD every day.
- Pay attention to who is on your “followers” list.
Do you follow a lot of women? Are those you follow inspirational? Are they motivating? We all have different interests and follow people for different reasons, but we need to pay attention to who we follow and the impact they have on us and our self-esteem.
- Take a social media break.
When was the last time you took a break from social media? Maybe it’s about time for a quick reset.
In closing, my friends, I’m challenging you to start taking intentional steps to build your self-esteem and to help other girls along the way. Let’s be the “hype girls,” the girls who encourage each other and uplift other girls and women.
Give More Girls a Great Future
Every girl deserves to believe in herself and reach her full potential. Your donation to Boys & Girls Clubs of America will provide more girls with positive adult influences and life-changing programs to overcome today’s obstacles and achieve their great futures. In honor of International Day of the Girl, the Dove Self-Esteem Project will match all donations made to Boys & Girls Clubs of America through Monday, October 11, 2021, up to $10,000, to provide meals, academic support and self-esteem boosting programs to help give more girls a great future.