W4 Guest Contributor Pooja Kochar is the Founder of PhotoblogHER. Pooja is challenging body shaming, addressing the root causes, through her workshops on ‘positive body image’ in schools across India.
Find out more: www.poojakochar.in
Here’s a simple vision: a crisp white shirt, bag full of books, and endless dreams.
I write this article as a woman who was once a girl. What if I jumped back from 30ish to 13ish? This is the conversation I would have with myself.
Don’t be afraid of your body changing; this is going to make you more beautiful.
Don’t fear uncomfortable attention; you are strong enough to deal with it.
Don’t let anyone make choices on your behalf; you are brilliant.
You are a diamond, a rose, a shiny ball of fire, god’s best creation.
You are loved.
Life Hack: Each time a woman stands up for herself, she stands for the entire race.
Photo credit: Pooja Kochar
A girl’s self-esteem seems to peak at 9 and drop at 12. If she is empowered, it jumps up again at 20. We met these stunning and fiercely intelligent young girls and asked each one to select a word that defines her. The girls picked words like strong, fire, power, smile, beautiful. It was striking: they were completely unafraid and beyond inhibitions. Girls don’t decide to hate their bodies. We teach them to.
A girl is not going to turn 25 and just suddenly bloom into a confident young woman. We have to assure her at every vulnerable stage of her life that she is beautiful in all the most important ways.
PhotoblogHER is my attempt to talk about and promote positive body image.
For the rest of our lives, we will make decisions influenced by these precious years of growth. A self-assured child is the most powerful source of inspiration. Let girls be ambitious, creative, and independent.
Take everything that is bright within you and share it with someone. As privileged, strong women, we should inspire the next generation to live fearlessly.
I dedicate this article to our change-makers, our dreamers, our visionaries. It’s my passion and mission to allow every girl child to have the same breadth of opportunities that I did. “You are beautiful. Not like the magazines, but because of the way you think, the way you love, the way you focus, the way you stand strong.” Every girl’s self-worth matters. Every girl makes a difference.