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Folk working towards a brighter future.

Mission ... To empower teenage girls! 10 mins with Esteem Designz creator Ruth Lewis-Jones. By Samantha Jane.

Society and the media has a lot to answer for. Television programs, the news, the internet, social media and magazines are all culprits. Each industry adding to the unrealistic story being fed to girls on how they are expected to look and act, providing them with an expectation that is not only unhealthy, in some cases, it’s lethal. Studies performed in 2009 analysed the effect this ‘societal’ expectation has on teenage girls, and the results were alarming. The studies revealed that one in five teenage girls were suffering from emotional or behavioural problems due to low self-esteem. They were experiencing self destructive behaviour, like; depression, anxiety, substance abuse and poor mental and physical health, to name a few. Local Shire woman Ruth Lewis-Jones came up with a solution. She designed a program that has the ability to equip and empower teenage girls. The program is called Esteem Designz and it’s purpose is to encourage a sense of identity, giving self-esteem strength. I AM: Why is this program so important to you, have you experienced low self-esteem yourself? Ruth: I definitely experienced low self-esteem throughout my school days and beyond. The main attributor to my low self-esteem (and many others) was a lack of understanding and confidence in my real identity. I didn't know who I was, and therefore never felt secure in myself, always feeling the need to prove myself, never fully accepted, trying to 'fit in' instead of just fitting with alike people. This is a struggle that the majority of teens face and something I witnessed within my girls group at youth, which makes it even harder to challenge the deceiving messages through the media, peer pressure, high expectations, perfectionism etc etc. Seeing my youth girls struggle is what inspired and motivated me to create something to help be a solution to these ever-increasing issues that leave girls feeling trapped in low self-esteem and unaware of their value, purpose and strength. With the focus on helping girls explore their identity throughout Esteem Designz and develop key coping mechanisms, I hope for girls to develop a deep sense of security in who they really are, knowing their value, unique characteristics, strength and ability to face these pressures head-on, standing firm in confidence. I am thankful for my experience of low self-esteem and lack of confidence, as devastating as it was, because it has given me the drive and passion to make a difference and help others escape this dangerous trap.




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