Strong women are beautiful women.
That strength, inner beauty, and strength of character is what we celebrated at our recent “Galentines Party” with my Team17 girls. We crafted our own valentines, celebrating the things we loved about one another and ourselves. I asked the girls beforehand what made them feel strong and beautiful and validated (makeup, boys, and clothes were not viable answers!)…Instead, what they had to say blew me away. This is the next generation.
These are the leaders of tomorrow…and based on these, we are in good hands.
“I feel strong mentally when I can overcome any barrier in my way. When I ace a test, I feel powerful, and having the highest grade in my honors pre-calculus (over 100%) shows that I am just as mentally powerful as any of my male counterparts in a subject that women have been historically viewed weaker in. I feel beautiful when I receive acknowledgment for a nice gesture I had made the effort to give or when I am complimented on my kind and thoughtful personality.” -Sienna
“My ability to do whatever I set my mind to helps me feel strong as a girl. I am able to find a goal and stick with it, no matter the circumstances. Along with that, being surrounded by those who I love helps me feel strong because they support me in any choices that I make, and with any obstacles I may face. Music is what makes me feel beautiful. Although I’ve never learned the notes or how to play, I love to hear music. I love to hear the voices and what they can do, while making a rendition of my own as it goes along. Although I know many of the words, the ones I don’t get replacements and I sing along as if they belong there. I feel beautiful while dancing and singing to the music that people spend so much time perfecting”.
“Achievement makes me feel strong, and when I say achievement, I don’t mean only with school or sports, but accomplishing anything that I might have perceived to be difficult before I began the task. It is incredibly empowering to look back on what you’ve done and say “I did that”! I definitely believe true beauty comes from within, and I feel beautiful after doing something that is undoubtedly good for myself or another person”. -Sam
“I feel strong in the little things: driving at night with the windows down and the music up. Watching the sunsets and the sunrises, seeing the sun’s fuschia fingers barely reaching up over the horizon. Hiking up mountains and looking out over the hills and city, and realizing that the possibilities are endless. Being able to drive from the valley to Snowflake all by myself. Motivating myself to study and learn and grow, and because of that, succeed. Stepping onto a stage and knowing I have command over the audience’s emotions for the remainder of the evening. And possibly most importantly, when I am able to let myself try new things or go new places, especially if it’s by myself. I am very much a person who likes familiarity and feels uncomfortable out of my zone when I am alone, but every time I do it, I prove to myself that I am strong.
I feel beautiful in the little things as well. When a child I babysit begs their mother to let me stay longer or come back the very next day. When I am able to make people smile and light up because of jokes I make or compliments I give. When someone says I am kind or funny or smart or friendly, because those are actually all synonyms for beautiful. When I look around at the amazing, complex world we live in and I feel overwhelmed by it’s beauty and then realize that I was made by the same creator. Showing others THEIR beauty. The hour after a show when the audience meets the cast and I get to see the impact of what I performed for children, teenagers, adults, and the elderly. And possibly most importantly, spending days in sweats and no makeup with my hair in the same bun it’s been in for a week and then realizing that when I am out and about or in my home that I am still the exact same me, and I am beautiful in my own skin.”