Latinitas - A Strong Voice for Latina Youth

I run one of Latinitas' after school camps for girls at the Kennedy housing center every Wednesday. This past week we discussed body image, which is the way you think you look depending on the way other people view you, and the credit or discredit you give yourself. So as the girls walked in together laughing I thought they were the cutest things and super pretty with their hair done showing their big smiles. I was super excited to start the lesson, surely these girls had confidence.

When I asked the girls what Body Image was to them they said it's the way you look, or the way you dress or do your hair. After explaining to them what it really is, I asked the girls for their definition of beauty. One girl said, "I think beauty is about your personality, like being nice, or a good person with everyone else." The other girl said, "Bellesa es como uno se viste su cuerpo y como actuan su personalidad." So when I asked the girls if I thought they were beautiful they both answered no.  Then I asked them If they'd change anything about their bodies and they said yes, everything.  I was heartbroken, I thought these girls were beautiful and they sold themselves waaaaay short.

After continuing the lesson I told them to think of some good things they've done throughout the day, then throughout their lives. It turns out these girls are super amazing when it comes to family. I told them to list five things that make them beautiful, one listed:

I help people; I help my family; I am a nice person; I am a good friend; I am beautiful because I like to eat flautas!

The other girl listed:

Ayudo a mucha gente, soy amable; ayudo mucho a mi familia; me gusta compartir cosas con mis amigos; me gusta la comida china!

The girls also came up with inspirational phrases to put in a mini video on how to boost your body image. The quotes are, "no qupeas en lo que te dice la de mas jente, estas perfecto como eres." "Don't think negative things about yourself, think positive, YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!" Hopefully they are able to use their own advice in their own lives and realize how beautiful they really are.

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