For those that have been a part of my journey for the last few years, it’s been an uphill adventure into working towards instilling confidence, encouragement, and positive energy in young women. With the completion of my fashion show productions this past winter, I decided to take the program that the show became for the participating ladies to a whole new level.
Because I have the opportunity in this blog to give a little bit of a backstory, I will share a piece of my own experience here as to why this has been so important to me. As many know and I’ve stated in previous entries, I’m a firm believer in everything happening for a reason. Sometimes this is a very difficult concept to grasp when you’re going through something extremely hard, things that seemingly don’t in fact happen for any reason at all. Over the years of “growing up,” (I put that in parenthesis because I still am young at this point and, don’t we all have growing to do anyways?) and looking back on my experiences from now at age 26 to God knows how long, I had always been harassed and teased by boys/men. At one point in my life, I thought this had finally come to an end, and I only discovered within the last year that it hadn’t. So I had to step back and wonder what was is that I was doing? How could I possibly be an example for other young women like myself who need to find their voices and their grounding when I myself was one of those women? What I learned was that it wasn’t necessarily that my energy had been attracting these things to happen to me. What I did know was that this feminist voice inside of me that was telling me to speak up began to grow louder with every experience…that with everything I went through, my personal healing was in helping other young women learn and heal. What I began to understand when I was producing my last fashion show was that I believe I was given a gift, a gift of communication, understanding, empathy, and compassion, for these girls that the show had attracted. My belief is now that I was not put through these experiences throughout the course of my life because I somehow attracted it; I was put through these experiences because God made me a strong women, stronger than many. God knew that I was strong enough to handle these experiences without making me completely fall apart, and the best teacher is experience, right? So in order for me to learn how to TRULY be compassionate and empower other women, I HAD to go through everything I’ve been through.
Find and strengthen your inner voice, gain experience, and learn to hold your head high from the inside out while surrounded by a compassionate and supportive group of like-minded young women
All that being said, I designed this program to serve as a haven and a teacher for ALL young women. I’ve learned that there’s a very powerful thing that happens when you’re forced to see who you REALLY are, when you put yourself on the line, showing your authentic self, becoming vulnerable to criticism and judgement and then pushing right past all of it. Lucky for me, a beautiful way to do this is to put them in front of a camera. A small example of this I’ve witnessed throughout the mini photoshoots I did with the girls during the fashion shows. So many times when we were on-location, I would show them the raw image straight from my camera, completely untouched and unedited. Nine times out of ten, the girl would look at the image on the camera and respond with, “Oh my God, that’s me???” This is both uplifting and heart-wrenching to hear because, YES, that IS you, and you should see that ALWAYS!! Young women are being raised with the idea that they should feel shame. Us young women are surrounded by all this media that gives us a completely false and unrealistic expectation as to what/how we should be. We have become our own worst critics and have lost the powerful voice inside of us that encourages our genuine, feminist spirit. It is about time that we help our sisters and lift each other up.
This program runs for four weeks, from Wednesday June 1st to Wednesday June 29th, every Wednesday and Sunday of the month. Each Wednesday is a meeting from 5:00-7:00pm with varying topics of discussion, including one week of a guest stylist and makeup artist. Each Sunday runs from 10:00am-4:00pm for an official photoshoot at different locations with a corresponding theme from that weeks meeting. The end of the program comes with a photo CD of ALL your photos from the photoshoots, along with a certificate of completion. Click here for the program website and/or to apply.
Enrollment is now open! Contact today to register (401.340.7667 or firstname.lastname@example.org)