Proud2Bme | Confidence Creates Change

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Confidence Creates Change

By Brette Baughman--Confidence. It’s just a word. One of more than one million in the English language. But I believe it’s one of the most important words we have. Without it, getting through even the simplest of tasks can be a struggle. With it, anything is possible.

My name is Brette Baughman and I have confidence.  

A few years ago, however, I wasn’t so sure. While I have always been outgoing, I was hesitant, even uncomfortable, when it came to making positive statements about myself. Once I reached high school, I realized I was not alone in feeling this way.

High school. A place where many people look to start over. Where girls transform into young women in four short years. Where moments present themselves for you to become who you’re destined to be.

Early on, such an opportunity presented itself and I ran with it. It didn’t take long for the pressures of high school to start affecting my friends. Their self-esteems were plummeting. Some were even developing eating disorders. People around me needed help and I couldn’t just sit back and watch.

So, my friend Kendall Baumrucker and I started a club called Fight for Confidence. Our mission is to promote self-esteem through positive body image. To show girls that what they see in the media is not what they should expect to see in the mirror. Why? Images fed to us via advertisers and entertainment are almost always retouched, enhanced or in some way superficially altered, so that the end result rarely depicts reality. The flawless skin and perfect bodies our generation has grown up watching online and on air give girls unrealistic expectations of what they should look like, and form the foundations for why so many men objectify women.

How are we supposed to feel confident when every popular magazine we pass in the supermarket trumpets a new way to diet to look like the Photoshopped cover model? The sooner we open our eyes to the truth behind this “ideal” look, the sooner we will start to feel more confident about ourselves.

Fight for Confidence was an instant success because it resonated on a basic level with so many people. At our inaugural event we had a small group gather to listen to guest speakers and also attend the NEDA Walk. For our second year, however, we wanted to grow. Do something bigger. “What if we had our own walk?” we wondered.

With a lot of hard work, planning, and help from outside sources, we hosted the very first Confidence Walk to promote self-esteem and positive body image. To show that nobody is alone in their search for confidence. For admission we sold bracelets saying “Confidence Walk 2015… I AM Beautiful.” We had three speakers and a bake sale, with all proceeds donated to the National Eating Disorders Association.

The walk was a success, but the real victory was how people felt afterward. Everyone was happy. Smiles and laughter were everywhere. Me? I was gleaming with pride. The idea that so many people had come together for a cause that I care so strongly care about was astonishing. I learned so much from the experience. Just because we are young adults doesn’t mean we don’t have a voice. Most importantly, I was reminded that no one is alone.

If you want to do something, if you have a dream you want to pursue, if you want to stand up for a cause, you can. It just takes confidence.   

About the blogger: Brette Baughman is a senior at Sacred Heart Academy in Louisville, Kentucky.

For more on teen activism, check out:

5 Ways to Challenge Damaging Media Campaigns

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About Us

Proud2Bme is an online community created by and for teens. We cover everything from fashion and beauty to news, culture, and entertainment—all with the goal of promoting positive body image and encouraging healthy attitudes about food and weight.

This site was developed in partnership with Riverduinen and made possible by generous contributions from JPMorgan Chase, Globant, the University of Delaware, and The Hilda & Preston Davis Foundation.

Proud2Bme was first launched in the Netherlands by Riverduinen, a mental health organization that has licensed the concept to the National Eating Disorders Association. Unless otherwise noted, all original content on this site is copyright The National Eating Disorders Association. The Proud2Bme brand, logos, and trademarks are property of Rivierduinen.