February 26, 2009
Quiz: What’s Your Self-Esteem?
Here’s a quick way to find out how well your doing with self-esteem. At Girls With Dreams, we’re redefining self-esteem. It’s not just about how you feel about your looks. It’s much bigger than that. Take out a sheet of paper and get ready for the quiz…you’ll see what we mean!
Write down the following words…
Beauty, Boys, Friends, Family, School, Challenges
Now, on a scale of 1-10 rate how you are doing with Self Esteem in each of these areas. For example,
Beauty: Do you feel confident and beautiful? Do you feel good about your body? Do you put yourself down?
Boys: Do you value yourself based on boys comments or opinions? Do you feel confident when talking to boys?
Friends: Can you stand up to your friends if you disagree? Do you feel like equals? Do your friends build you up?
Family: Do you feel confident around your siblings and parents? Do you say positive things about yourself?
School: This has 2 parts (Grades and Social Scene). How do you feel about your academic abilities? Do you feel confident? Are you embarassed about your bad grades or good grades? Do you ever play dumb? Socially, do you feel like you fit in somewhere? Do you feel good about yourself at school?
Challenges: How do you deal with stress? With peer pressure? Do you have confidence in your abilities?
Next, take a look at where you scored the highest and lowest. You want to build off of your strengths. Maybe you’re really confident about your grades, but you feel useless around your friends. You can change that. Sometimes it means it’s time to find new friends, but it could also mean you need to assert yourself more.
February 26, 2009
Having a close group of girl friends to talk to or hang out with has tons of benefits. A new study shows that having a close-knit group of friends might protect you from harmful relationships. Here are a few other reasons to start your own Girls With Dreams Friend Circle:
- It’s a ton of fun!
- You have friends ready to help you deal with whatever comes your way.
- It’s a great way to share ideas about life, from boy drama to preparing for college.
- You can give back to the community, like Molly did with Polar Swim.
- It’s a great excuse to get creative and do activities you might not try on your own.
Have you started your Friend Circle yet? We’d love to hear what you’re up to!
February 24, 2009
Since this is Eating Disorder Awareness Week, it seemed like the right time to share a personal story about eating disorders. It starts small; first it’s just a few pounds, but you gradually begin to think that you’re not thin enough when you look in the mirror. You even start to think that you look fat despite your actual appearance. Everything becomes a calculated decision: no more French fries, sodas, sweets, or any other kind of food. Food becomes your enemy and it becomes a complete obsession. This is my eating disorder began.
I was about 5 feet 8 inches and dropped from 135 to 118 pounds. I wasn’t quite bone thin, but I was bordering on becoming too thin. I didn’t reach out for help. Everything was “fine” although I was still fat and never thin enough in my eyes.
I wish I had gotten help for several reasons. First, I wasted so many years thinking and obsessing about what I looked like. Second, I didn’t realize how unhealthy I really was. Even though I was thin, I was sure I wasn’t eating a healthy or balanced diet. Third, I didn’t truly realize my own worth or beauty. I wish that teen girls knew that there is so much more to think about than our size. Hopefully you’ll find tips from other girls like Thu’s post, Do you like your body? We also have a few videos about self image eating disorders on YouTube.
If you think one of your friends has an eating disorder, follow these steps from the National Eating Disorder Association:
Make time to talk. Set aside a time to talk privately about your concerns with your friend. Be open and honest. Make sure to pick a place without distractions.
Express your concerns. Give your friend specific examples of when you were worried about her eating or exercise behaviors. Explain that you think these instances might mean that she needs professional help.
Ask your friend to open up about how she’s feeling. She could talk to a counselor or doctor who knows about eating issues. If you feel comfortable, offer to help your friend make an appointment or go with her to her appointment.
Avoid conflict. If your friend doesn’t admit to a problem, share your feelings again and the reasons behind them. Be a supportive listener.
Don’t place shame, blame, or guilt on your friend. Do not use accusatory “you” statements such as, “You just need to eat” or “You are acting irresponsibly.” Instead, use “I” statements such as, “I’m concerned about you because you refuse to eat breakfast or lunch” or “It makes me afraid to think about what you must be going through.”
Avoid giving simple solutions. Don’t say things such as, “If you’d just stop, then everything would be fine!”
Offer your unwavering support. Remind your friend that you care and want her to be healthy and happy.
February 23, 2009
February 22-28 is National Eating Disorder Awareness week.
Look at yourself and appreciate the life you’ve been given. There is beauty in everyone, and I hope you see that health is a gift. If you can make the oath to yourself to be healthy, then you will influence yourself and others around you for life.
The most important thing you can do this week is compliment your friends. Set a goal for yourself and see if you can give three compliments a day. Love yourself and your body!
February 23, 2009
Don’t let your budget stop you from having an awesome Prom dress. If you’re going to Prom this year, you don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars to look great. Find out how other teens found great bargains! Check out our new video on How To Find a Great Prom Dress on a Budget.
February 19, 2009
A friend and I were looking at photos of ourselves as teens (now in our 20’s, it doesn’t seem like that long ago) and my friend made a comment about how thin she looked in her photo. She said she didn’t see herself as thin back then. Although she wasn’t super skinny, she was in great shape and looked really healthy and happy. Now, she’d love to look like she did in the photo from only a few years ago.
Right away, I told her that a lot of women probably feel the same way looking back at their photos. I know that I have at times. Why is that? Why can’t we realize how beautiful we are all the time?
For those of you who are still teens, take a good look in the mirror and celebrate your beauty. For those of you beyond your teen years, make sure to appreciate your beauty as well. You don’t want to wish you knew how beautiful you were when you were in your 20’s.
February 19, 2009
Thu attends high school in Missouri and hopes to major in Business at the University of Missouri-Kansas City in 2010. She loves participating in DECA, a marketing association, and many extracurricular activities at school. During her free time, she enjoys writing, playing sports, and spending time with friends. Thu hopes to impact everyone she meets.
February 19, 2009
One of the better things I’ve found on Facebook is a group called “Modest Girls Are The Hottest Girls.” After skimming through the blog, I found many girls who take pride in presenting themselves as confident women without revealing too much in an effort to grab a guy’s attention.
Here’s a challenge that I’m throwing out to everyone: Dress modestly. Wear clothes that you’re comfortable in, are not see-through, and cover your bra straps. The truly beautiful girls are the ones who are comfortable in their skin, and can be beautiful without showing off every inch of their body. Don’t get me wrong, It’s fine to wear shorts or a skirt during summer. Just know your limits and choose to dress appropriately. In the end, men will appreciate you for the best part of your body: your mind.
Don’t cake on make-up. Stick to a little eyeliner, and a little lip gloss.
Balance what you show. Wear a skirt with a quarter-sleeve t-shirt, or a strapless top with jeans.
Test your clothes in the light. Wear a tank top underneath light shirts to make sure your bra stays hidden.
February 19, 2009
Carrie wants to start a movement and revolution for girls to build each other up instead of putting each other down. She wants a fun, creative place where teens can share new ideas and support for some of their toughest problems while also hanging out with other girls who are up to really BIG things.
Carrie loves being outside and hanging out with her family. She is married and has two boys and two dogs. She stays active by walking, boating, water-skiing, practicing pilates, and hanging out anywhere near a beach, even though she currently lives in St. Louis. She loves healthy eating, and is a bit of a flexitarian, but you’d be surprised to find out chocolate is one of her favorite foods.
Read more about Carrie here.
February 16, 2009
The most important part of starting your own Girls With Dreams Friend Circle is choosing who you want to be with. This might take some time. It’s okay if you don’t have the group decided on today. Here’s how to get started:
Decide what type of people you want to surround yourself with. Imagine a circle full of positive and supportive girls who lift each other up! Start a new journal for your Friend Circle stuff and dedicate a page to writing down what’s important to you.
List 3-7 girls who meet your criteria. If you only know one person, that’s okay. You can start by talking to her. If you’re not sure who you want to invite yet, that’s okay too. It’s really important to have the right group of people surrounding you instead of rushing into forming it.
Open up. Be clear about what you want and remind yourself of the type of people you want to be with. Next, ask yourself if you are living up to the same criteria. Ever hear of that idea you atract what you are?
Start inviting! When you find someone you want to be in your group, ask them. You might even share the links here to show them more about it. You can also watch the videos at www.youtube.com/girlswithdreams
Pick a time to meet. Your group will officially be ready to start when you have all 4-8 of you. Feel free to start informally before then, though. If you don’t all live near each other, decide when you can call and talk. And, if you do live in the same town, decide where you want to talk and how often. You might decide once a week or maybe it will be only once a month.
We’ll be sharing more tips here.