Pillars of Girl Nation
The attitude and belief that girls often have – that everyone should be the same – is stifling individual thinking. Girls who participate in Girl Nation will reflect on what makes them unique and extraordinary, and embrace these differences. Don’t conform to the norm, but rather stand out and be an individual. If you wish to dress differently from others, then do that with confidence and conviction. Celebrate our differences!
Navigating the complicated girl world is a challenge and often can be very stressful. We will discuss the differences between a healthy and unhealthy friendship and when to walk away from a relationship that no longer serves you. Surrounding yourself with friends who treat you with respect is important, as is having a voice in your friendships and being able to stand up for yourself without feeling mean or guilty. Girl Nation will help the girls better express their feelings and communicate their needs when conflicts arise. Since a girl may spend many hours of her day online, we will also discuss the digital world and some tips for keeping friendship healthy.
Mind and Body
Girls often are overcome with feelings of fear that they don’t fit in, fear that they will fail, and fear that they aren’t good enough. Yoga offers a chance for teens to prove to themselves that they can, in fact, achieve things that once seemed impossible. In some cases, a teen will be weary that they aren’t flexible enough to do certain poses, or worry that they will look strange or silly trying, particularly with challenging poses such as inversions and balances. However, when the teen realizes that they can lift themselves up, or achieve balance, they become liberated of that fear. As a result, they can carry that confidence into other aspects of life, approaching difficult situations fearlessly and achieving their goals.
Nutrition is an important part of Girl Nation. There is a famous and true saying, “We are what we eat.” Therefore, it’s incredibly important that our girls feed their bodies with the right foods.
Healthy eating is not about strict nutrition philosophies, staying unrealistically thin, or depriving yourself of the foods you love. Rather, it’s about feeling great, having more energy, and keeping yourself as healthy as possible all which can be achieved by learning some nutrition basics and incorporating them in a way that works for you.
By introducing girls to the concept of healthy eating – balancing the food you eat to keep your body strong, energized, and well nourished -they learn that when you eat well, you are taking good care of your body and mind. This helps girls avoid “diet thinking” and teaches them the dangers of fad diets.
We aim to encourage independence and empower our girls to feel in control and accountable for their health. To accomplish this, we teach them in a fun and interactive way how to make their own healthy snacks. Plus, recipes are provided to take home.
You must have heard the old truth that we cannot love others if we cannot love ourselves. Love flourishes when we give it to other people, but love always starts with us. Our girls are constantly bombarded with messages that they are “not enough.”
Even as women have made enormous strides in education, politics, and the workplace, girls report struggling with body image and self-esteem at younger and younger ages.
Girls’ dissatisfaction manifests around body image, particularly weight, at an alarmingly young age:
- Over 80 percent of 10-year-old girls are afraid of being fat.
- By middle school, 40-70 percent of girls are dissatisfied with two or more parts of their body, and body satisfaction hits rock bottom between the ages of 12 and 15.
We discuss the media and the unrealistic expectations placed on our young girls to be perfect and look a certain way, along with the photoshopping and the filtering process that takes place to create these fake images. In each of our programs, the girls participate in an art project with the theme of self-empowerment and loving yourself.
Acts of Kindness
Acts of kindness are essential to our well-being. As they liberate us from self-obsession, selfishness, and isolation; they are the effect of an open and loving nature. True generosity is giving without expectation, with no need to be repaid in any form. This is the most powerful act of generosity, as it is unconditional, unattached, and free to land wherever it will. Whether we give to our family, friends, or to strangers, it is the same. The after school Girl Nation class has a community service project to teach the girls the importance of “acts of kindness.”
Dance is a form of self-expression, and most girls love to move to music. Our final after school class is a dance party where each girl is allowed to pick a favorite song that empowers them. We use dance in our day classes to let the girls bond and sing to their favorite songs.
Ready to join Girl Nation?
Gwyn came home so happy and inspired from the workshop! I can’t thank you enough for bringing such an excellent program focusing on empowering girls with self-confidence and good vibes to Vegas! Also, I loved her project!! It’s hanging up at home! She doesn’t usually show too much excitement easily — when I asked her how it went she told me “Mom, it was amazing!” Thank you Carli!