Self-Esteem Program Reveals True Beauty at MJHS

Seventh-grade female students at Valley Stream Memorial Junior High School had the opportunity to discover a new admiration for individuality and positive qualities, thanks to the Hance Family Foundation’s Beautiful Me program. The initiative has made a positive impact at North High School for many years, and for the first time, was recently brought to the classrooms of Memorial.

Representatives from Beautiful Me held sessions with the seventh-graders on three days in January. Each visit featured a different workshop and enabled participants to explore the true meaning of beauty in a variety of ways.

The second day of the program, which took place on Jan. 12, focused on interpreting body language and defining uniqueness. In small groups, students analyzed the many forms of body language and learned that something as simple as posture or arm positioning can lead to misinterpretations about a person’s mood. Together they reviewed examples of how assumptions based on body language can be false and problematic, and concluded that it is best to ask someone how they feel directly before bringing others in.

The students then considered the significance of uniqueness. They discussed the word and described it as meaning “different” and “special.” “It is what makes us who we are,” said Beautiful Me Consultant Karen Finn. “No two of us are the same.” The seventh-graders were encouraged to accept their unique characteristics. “We all have positive parts of us and then there are other parts that are not the most pleasant,” Finn said. “There might be room for improvements, but they are honest.”

According to the Hance Family Foundation, only 2 percent of women believe they are beautiful. The Beautiful Me program works to build self esteem in girls of all ages and help them to appreciate genuine qualities in themselves as well as others. Other components of the program at Memorial involved redefining beauty and accepting compliments.