Average or Beautiful?

Dove released a controversial video that made me think. If you had to pick a door to walk through, Average or Beautiful, which would you choose?

Personally, I prefer Entrance or Exit. I don’t have to constantly evaluate myself. I don’t have to think of all my flaws before justifying that I’m beautiful. While watching this video, I saw women and young girls alike, hesitating. I even saw someone turn around without making a choice. But I also saw confidence. I saw women leading and encouraging others to walk through the door marked Beautiful. Which door would you choose? Would you hesitate or would you confidently walk through Beautiful?

I know this, I would lead my daughters, my family and my friends, without hesitation, through the Beautiful door! I would be shocked and my heart would break, if those in my life ever thought of themselves as average. They are kind, warm, funny, smart and beautiful! Most people will tell you [inner] beauty is more important than looks, but do we really believe this about ourselves? I believe beauty is more than looks. But THIS DOOR…THIS DOOR, made me think about my flaws, and not all of the beauty I possess. So, how do we change this?

I don’t have all answers but I’m confident in this: if we aren’t actively nurturing our own confidence we stop progressing. So how do I plan to change this? I vow to keep growing, getting stronger, and finding and sharing my beauty because if I ever come across the Beautiful door, I’M WALKING THROUGH IT! As a matter of fact, beginning this very moment, every time I walk through a door it’s marked… Beautiful!

Will you join me in a lifelong commitment to confidence?

-MayLynn

A Gateway To A Better You

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When I was 13 I had the worst day of my life. In one day I found out that I hadn’t made the soccer team and I had also failed my PE test (It’s only today that I can appreciate the irony of those two synchronized events). At the age of 30, after a break up, I found myself having an even worse day than the one I had when I was 13. I let one bad day turn into a bad time in my life. I found myself in a rut.

Luckily for me, a better, stronger, happier me was waiting right around the corner. I joined the Junior League shortly after my 30th birthday and at first I didn’t see the direct connection between helping my community and how that would eventually help me get out of my personal rut. At first there were things that I thought I couldn’t do or that I was afraid to do, regardless, I did them. I quickly learned that I could accomplish great things. I could become a part of a bigger mission.

I spent my first year in the league learning more about myself that I had in the 29 years prior. By focusing on improving my community, I was improving myself. I recently attended a meeting where a prominent speaker in the world of philanthropy spoke about her personal journey and how she is still learning. It was during this speech when I realized that I too am continuously evolving. There are multiple versions of who I am and each of them improves upon itself. I now look forward to future versions of myself as I now have the tools to dig out of any rut.

My challenge to you is to identify where you are today and improve upon the current version of yourself. I am challenging my 13-year-old self by running a half-marathon in three weeks. I challenge you to find what it is that will make you a better version of yourself. “We all have it in us to perpetuate greatness.” These are words that I live by and I dare you to do the same.

-Katy K.

Mark Your Calendars — Confidence & Me: A Toolkit for Empowering To-Be-Teens!

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The Junior League of Long Beach is hosting the inaugural Confidence & Me: A Toolkit for Empowering to-be Teens! on Saturday, April 25th, 2015 from 10:00 am to 2:30 pm at Addams Elementary School in Long Beach, California. This workshop will be on Goal Setting and Decision Making as students are planning for summer and their next steps in schooling. All 5-8th graders and their caregivers are encouraged to attend!

The workshop will include a panel discussion for adults and 5th-8th graders on the importance of making good decisions, setting goals and the ability each person has to change their path no matter the previous decisions made. Following the panel discussion will be lunch, an activity and a nutrition demonstration. After lunch the adults and children will be separated to learn life skills and practical ways to make decisions and to help their children make good decisions.

RSVP is required and the event attendance will be capped. We anticipate a full session so please RSVP early! Please contact community@jllb.org or click Confidence & Me for more information!

JLLB is building upon the success of Especially Me! and expanding to working with community partners in Long Beach to combat bullying through character development and life skills programs for 5th-8th graders and their caregivers that encourage relationship building and respect for self and others. The Confidence & Me Free half-day workshops are held around Long Beach four times a year and include topics on:

  • Self-esteem building
  • Anti-bullying (including cyber-bullying)
  • Leadership skills
  • Communication skills training
  • Conflict management strategies
  • Decision making/goal setting/life skills
  • Healthy lifestyle choices

Take The 12-Day Love Yourself Challenge!

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BuzzFeed really inspired me this week! The popular entertainment site is challenging me to love myself.  This is not as simple as saying: “Yes, I love myself” — this is a 12-day challenge with specific tasks, that appear to be simple, fun, and effective! I am excited to get started. Will you join me in taking on the 12-Day Love Yourself Challenge?

-Lauren T.

#DearMe

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Remember these moments. Ten years from now what would you say to your younger self? What decisions have you made in your life that has helped you become who you are today? This is the theme that women of all ages in places all over the world have reflected on in this YouTube campaign celebrating International Women’s Day on March 8th.

After watching this short video, I thought about how each of these women felt the same feeling when I was growing up. Currently, I am 25 years young and can happily say that I’ve been doing my best to make each moment of my life positive and memorable. I’ve definitely have made my share of mistakes in the past—from making friends with the wrong people, to my poor attitude with my parents—but despite this I’ve realized the importance to learn from these experiences. Also, this video helped me realize how I have a unique opportunity to actually share my advice from the lessons I’ve learned in life with my younger sister Lauren, who is currently 15 years young! Ideally, I’d want her to learn these lessons from my own mistakes instead of her own, but I know that it doesn’t always work out that way so I’ll just do my best to help her.

From my current experiences some lessons I’d like her to learn are not to limit herself from achieving her goals and dreams, the importance of speaking up about what she believes is right, and above all, never missing a day to laugh and enjoy the presence of her loved ones because that’s what makes life so amazing.

Watch #DearME on Youtube. You can also explore more #DearMe advice at http://youtube.tumblr.com/.

– Giorgina R.