Increasing girls' self-confidence

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A group of young women studying Women's and Gender issues at UNCC have been through a lot.

"I remember what it was like in elementary school and people used to pick on me and that stuff sticks with you through your whole entire life," said freshman Hannah Kahl.

They've all grown up struggling with self-esteem.

"I definitely think it comes from society," said senior Victoria Pizarro.

But the college students are using what their life experiences to help other young girls.

"I think that we can provide a lot of advice for the girls and I think that it's going to be really cool because you can relate to them since you've been there," said Kahl.

The ladies and their professor have partnered with DOVE Real Beauty Campaign to empower young girls through a workshop.

"We are working on self esteem issues and trying to get young girls to really start analyzing media images at a young age," said Gender Activism and Leadership Professor Jennifer Byrd.

"I hope they realize that not everything they see is real, like ads and media," said freshman Olivia Neal.

The campaign aims to help girls believe their value comes from their character, skills, and attributes not appearance.

"Media has influenced they way that they see themselves even from a young age," said Byrd.

"These beauty images infiltrate our society and infiltrate young impressionable minds and they don't realize they're not realistic images that they're inspiring to be."

The workshop will also offer girls the opportunity to know they are not alone.

"Part of doing this is to help the mother-daughter bond and it's ok to reach out for help," added Neal.

And although the workshop is only one day, the overall message of this campaign is positive and, for some, that's a start.

"Because it's always important to have confidence in yourself and not let other people bring you down," said senior Ashley Abee.

This self-esteem building event is free for girls 7 through 12 and their parents.

The workshops are fun, educational, and interactive sessions.

They take place this Saturday November 23 at the UNCC campus from 10 am until 1om.

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