Did you know that more than half of girls experience a drop of confidence during puberty and most of them never fully recover?
Last week I attended the Confidence Summit presented by Always. Held at the Google Offices, it was a day of female empowerment, especially for our young girls. Have you ever been told that you can’t do something because you are a girl? Yeah, me too. In fact, when I was 9 years old my best friend went away for 2 weeks during the summer. I didn’t know what to do with myself. Everything on TV was extremely boring and the cartoons were finished at 10am. One day I decided that I would teach myself the game of baseball. I fell in love with the sport. I learned everything from what a strike count was to why it was great if a pitcher had a low ERA. The men in my life couldn’t believe how much I knew about the sport. When I told them that I wanted to become a sportscaster—I was laughed at. There is NO WAY I could get on ESPN after all I was a woman AND I was black. I buried that dream and pursued others—I wish I hadn’t. There are countless other stories just like mine, and it is our duty to make sure that it stops here.
We had a fantastic lineup of speakers. The first one was Michele Baeten Associate Brand Manager of Proctor & Gamble. Last year, Always produced a viral video with the hashtag #likeagirl. The video has since gotten millions of views and it has helped reduce the stigma of the term and promote the positive message of doing anything like a girl. The Always brand wants to help young girls feel unstoppable, they want young girls to have the strength to do whatever they want, they promote young girls feeling like they can be whoever they want to be, even if it’s in a male dominated field.
[Tweet ““It’s a movement that offers solidarity. We want young girls to know: You are not alone” #LikeAGirl” @always]
As we all know and have been talking about a lot here recently on the blog, the body is a primary source of confidence. More than half of girls experience a drop in in confidence during puberty. Social conversation matters especially at a formative age. Since puberty is such an unstable time, young ladies are more likely to keep those limitations. This is where we need to step in and make positive change for our girls.
In the new video by Always, Girls are encouraged to be brave, strong and confident. They were given blank boxes to write their limitations on and afterwards kicked the boxes and destroyed them. Externalizing the boxes and the feelings took away the power. This kind of public awareness through social change can make a huge difference with our young girls.
One of the speakers, Dr. Carissa Romero spoke about Fixed vs. Growth mindset. As seen in the graphic below our young girls are often caught in a fixed mindset. Our responsibility is to make sure they stay in a growth mindset. We need to encourage them to understand that they don’t have to have limitations on their dreams.
Always is also partnering with TED-Ed to continue the conversation on making girls feel unstoppable. TED is now using its platform for kids to teach other kids on important topics. It has now become a powerful platform for kids to learn from other kids all over the world.
The most impactful speaker in my opinion was a 13 year old girl that exuded confidence and knowledge as soon as she hit the stage. Zuriel Oduwale, a Documentary Film Maker spoke with grace and intelligence as she explained calmly how she met several prime ministers and that she wasn’t done yet. I watched her in awe. I didn’t learn how to publicly speak with a shred of grace until I was 25 years old. She spoke without notes, and her speech was incredible. Although I this was my first time knowing her, my heart beamed with pride. She has done some BIG things at 13 and she is a fantastic role model for young girls everywhere.
My own personal story is reason enough to support this movement. If I had this kind of support back then I might have been a famous sports broadcaster—or a fireman. Who knows? The point is to break the barriers that our young girls are feeling trapped by. We are responsible to help kick over the boxes and empower our young girls to feel unstoppable at all times. Whatever the challenge, whatever the passion.
You can join the movement by tweeting #likeagirl with your accomplishments and positive actions. Together we can create a new world for our young girls! To check out the full Confidence Summit you can click here.