I was walking down the street in 5 inch wedges when a lady around 6’ tall stopped me and told me that “she loved my confidence and could never be brave enough to wear heels.” I thanked her for the compliment and told her that she was "beautiful and could rock anything from flats to heels." She looked at me like nobody had ever given her a compliment. She said thank you VERY much, gave me a hug and walked away. I didn’t even get her name.
I have had interactions like this with tall women before but the look she gave me really stuck with me. I teared up many times throughout the day thinking about it. Had she never heard a compliment before? Was she teased as a kid and never recovered? What happened to her for her to feel like she couldn’t wear heels?
I love my height now however I thought back to my adolescence and how hard it was for me. I was teased left and right. Felt awkward and ugly. Never felt like I fit in. I Cursed my height many times but my mother NEVER let those feeling become permanent. She knew it was hard for me because it was hard for her growing up tall and no matter how long it took, always brought me back to a place where I knew I was special.
In addition to my Mom, there were many people and programs that God placed in my path to reiterate that our differences are what make us beautiful. I am thankful for each and every one of them and pray that every person that struggles with self-confidence will have an amazing influence placed in their path.
The following are 5 examples (in no particular order) of AMAZING programs to help our youth become strong and confident. Thankfully, there are many brilliant programs. You have a suggestion? Please share:)
Girls Inc. – Girls Inc. was created in 1864 and “inspires all girls to be strong, smart, and bold through a network of local organizations in the United States and Canada.” Through a series of programs developed through research, thousands of girls are strengthened and educated. Over 1,000 affiliates world wide provide classes from self-defense to finance to athletics, all aimed to promote self growth and awareness. Follow: @Girls_inc Friend: http://on.fb.me/1aEBan Visit: http://bit.ly/SpnP Watch: http://bit.ly/145qJH
Women’s Sports Foundation – Founded by Billie Jean King in 1974, the Women’s Sports Foundation’s mission is to ‘advance the lives of girls and women through sports and physical activity.’ They give endless grants for many things including; education and sport participation. They fight for gender equality in all sports. Endless women and girls have been empowered by the countless endeavors of the Women’s Sports Foundation. Follow: @WomensSportsFdn Friend: http://on.fb.me/lpmKGA Visit: http://www.womenssportsfoundation.org
Girls of Height Inc. – Girls of Height Inc. is a mentoring program for tall girls ages 9-17 years old. The program provides “motivation, inspiration and the know how to help our young ladies to move forward in the right direction.” In addition to the mentor program, Girls of Height Inc. has amazing books. According to founder Rae Ashe,“each book gives great everyday advice & tools for adults on how to address their daughter, niece or sister when approached with a sensitive situation such as bullying or other children making them feel bad about their height. Each are also filled with some of my very own personal experiences growing up as a tall girl.” The Girls of Height Inc. is an amazing program that is on the rise and already changing lives. Follow: @GirlsofHeight Friend: http://on.fb.me/lgMRXt Visit: http://www.girlsofheight.org
The Hall Pass Tour – The Hall Pass Tour presented by College for Every Student “uses music to advance education” and provides “a creative space for communities to support their youth.” Hosted by Holley Monelle, The Hall Pass Tour is a series of after school concerts featuring artists SienZe, j.RENEÉ and DJ Kraff Swagger. Students are selected to participate in the concerts showcasing their own talents. Through music and performance, The Hall Pass Tour uses music as a platform to uplift countless kids and provide a path to continued education. Follow: @HallPassTour Friend: http://on.fb.me/fD8vjM Visit: http://www.hallpasstour.com Watch: http://bit.ly/fgO2Lz
T-Zone Foundation– The T-Zone Foundation is a “fierce cause for girls.” Founded by Tyra Banks in 1999, the foundation “empowers girls and young women to live their dreams, discover new possibilities within themselves and take on life's challenges with fierce determination and drive.” Since its inception, T-Zone has “provided resources to a network of community nonprofits recognized for their impact on girls and young women; they share TZONE's mission to empower girls to take control of their lives and pursue their dreams. Whether through community activism, dance, film making, leadership, sports, writing, or as young entrepreneurs – many girls are creating their best futures.” Endless girls have been uplifted and strengthened due to the countless efforts of T-Zone. Visit: http://tzonefoundation.org