It’s very rare that I look in the mirror and I’m happy with everything I see. More often than not, my thoughts aren’t a hundred percent positive. It may be that I’m having a great hair day, but I think this dress makes my ass look fat. Or maybe that pimple on my cheek is preventing me from even noticing how on point my eyebrow game is today. Almost all of us send ourselves negative messages when we look in the mirror, but two middle school girls are aiming to change that.
As seventh grade students at Rock Creek Middle School in Happy Valley, Oregon, Avery Burn and Genae Vanek became concerned when they noticed girls in their class standing in front of the mirror and complaining about what they saw, as well as classmates body shaming each other. So as part of the Destination Imagination Challenge, which challenges kids to come up with a creative solution to an issue they see in their community, and with the help of a local beauty store, which donated 100 compact mirrors, Avery and Ganae started their “Love My Reflection” project. Each of the donated mirrors was emblazoned with a handwritten message, such as “You are inspiring,” “You are brilliant,” “You are beautiful” or “You are gorgeous,” along with a sticker of the project’s logo, and handed out to the girls’ classmates.
“We came up with this idea because we saw other girls in our school with this problem with body image and what other people think of them,” Avery told TODAY.com. “We thought if we did a project that involves people our age, it would help us and help them.”
The result? Genae says,“It’s definitely made a big difference. I definitely see more smiles on their faces. I see them complimenting themselves. That was a positive thing to see.”
The pair has been asked to bring mirrors to other schools in their area. The girls have launched a GoFundMe campaign to expand the project nationwide. The mission of the project is “to help develop positive self-esteem and body images in middle school girls by engaging in peer to peer interaction and giving out mirrors with encouraging statements written on them. Our hope is that girls will be accepted for who they are and feel good about themselves from receiving uplifting words from other girls.”
Genae told TODAY.comthat “This project helped boost my confidence to see that I can make a difference. It makes me feel better about myself.” As it should, ladies. Because YOU’RE inspiring.