5 Ways to Love Being You
"You're Perfect Just the Way You Are"
Eighteen seventh-grade girls sit cross-legged on a striped carpet in a classroom at the Young Women's Leadership School in Queens, New York. They're eager to absorb the wisdom of Jessica Weiner, self-esteem expert for The Tyra Banks Show and author of Life Doesn't Begin 5 Pounds from Now. Her latest role: global ambassador for the Dove Self-Esteem Fund. In partnership with Step-Up Women's Network, a national nonprofit advocacy, education, and mentoring coalition, the fund is conducting confidence-building workshops in schools across the United States, Canada, and Europe.
"When you see people on TV and in magazines," Weiner says, "you might ask yourself, 'Why don't I look like that? Is there something wrong with me?' But you're beautiful, perfect, just the way you are." As if on cue, the six-foot glamazon Aisha Tyler, actress, comedienne, and author of Swerve: Reckless Observations of a Postmodern Girl, struts to center stage. "All the criticism and scrutiny you face to be perfect, I face it too," Tyler says. "I have to deal with the same pressures that you do because of the business I'm in. I've been called fat before." (Tyler's, oh, about a size 6.) The girls gasp at her confession. And in that instant, they all become best friends. For the next two hours, they share insecurities about their bodies. But they leave with revelations on how to renounce self-hate for good.
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