When I get home from school, my favourite thing to do is wait for Girl Power Hour to start on the radio. It’s a special time when the hosts talk about specific issues that affect young women and girls like me and you.
Last week the radio hosts were talking about body image. According to them, body image is one of the biggest insecurities young women have. A local survey carried out said that 1 in 3 girls stop liking how they look once they hit puberty. Some didn’t think they were pretty enough, and the majority felt they weren’t skinny enough. This happens because many girls don’t know how to handle the changes that come with puberty and getting older.
I found this quite shocking! My mum always told me I was beautiful and amazing just the way I am, but I guess a lot of other girls didn’t have this support. I really wanted to do something about this, so I invited my friends over to my house after school to talk about this issue.
We sat together and shared our feelings and opinions on what it feels like to be young women growing up surrounded by images of bodies that didn’t look like ours. Talking about the changes we experienced going through puberty showed me how similar all our stories were. Girls who felt alone in the past realised they weren’t the only ones experiencing this love-hate relationship with their body. You see girl, you’re never alone in what you are going through. Talking to trusted friends about your body and the changes you experience makes you more powerful.
After talking things through, we decided to focus on finding solutions. We spoke about healthy ways to love our bodies more. At the end we made a promise to stop comparing our bodies to other peoples. Our bodies change in different and unique ways and as we’re all going through puberty, that’s totally normal.
My little after school chat has now turned into a fully established girls club where we have important conversations around puberty and our experiences as girls! I started off with 5 girls and now I have 50!
When girls get talking, we teach and learn from each other and there is NOTHING more powerful and magical than that.