Shout It Proud: “I’m a Girl!”

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Marlo Thomas – Huffington Post – Tuesday, 29 October 2013 (originally published

Nothing is more inspiring to me than a young girl who has found her strength and confidence, and has a healthy self-image. Which is why I’m so proud of New York City for launching its new NYC Girls Project, a public awareness campaign designed to remind girls, ages 7 to 12, that self-esteem isn’t built by slipping into a pair of designer jeans or cool shoes, but by celebrating who they are inside.

Not since we at the Ms Foundation launched Take Our Daughters to Work in 1993 has there been such an exuberant celebration of what it is to be a girl.

“I’m a girl. I’m adventurous, friendly, healthy, curious, creative and brave!” cheers one poster featuring a young girl with sparkling eyes and a radiant smile. Never mind that she’s seated in a wheelchair; and never mind that the other girls in the campaign posters — which will appear on busses, subways and phone kiosks throughout the city — wear eyeglasses, or carry a little extra weight, or sport hairdos and outfits that are less than “stylish.” These girls look confident and happy because, as all of the posters announce, “I’m beautiful the way I am.”

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