Proud2Bme Rock Star: Brette Baughman
Over the course of NEDAwareness Week, Proud2Bme is honoring the work of five young activists. Today, Brette Baughman tells us about her work on the first-ever Confidence Walk, which brought together over 100 people and raised funds for NEDA.
Proud2Bme: Hi Brette! Tell us a little about yourself.
Brette Baughman: I am 17, and a senior at Sacred Heart Academy in Louisville, KY. I live with my mom and my dog Smidgen. Yes, a house full of girls! This unconventional yet amazing environment is where I have spent all my adolescence, and it has taught me how to be a very independent woman. Me? I love photography, diving, spending time with my friends and traveling. I enjoy school, and being around encouraging and positive people.
Proud2Bme: How did you first hear about Proud2Bme?
Brette: I first heard about Proud2Bme after Fight for Confidence hosted its very first Confidence Walk. Fight for Confidence is a young women’s organization that my friend Kendall and I started during our junior year. It promotes positive body image and self-esteem and combats the unrealistic portrayal of young people in the media. Proud2Bme reached out to me via Twitter after our last event, and I have been an active fan of the community ever since.
Proud2Bme: You hosted a Confidence Walk with your school recently. Can you tell us more about your walk and what you learned from the experience?
Brette: When Kendall and I chose to host the Confidence Walk, we knew it was going to be a lot of work. During the process of planning I learned to always take initiative and never be discouraged by occasional setbacks. I stayed positive and remembered everything happens for a reason. It drew a crowd of 100+ people, three guest speakers, a bake sale and media coverage from two local news stations. And, of course, I got the amazing opportunity write a blog post for Proud2Bme, all of which allowed us to get our message of confidence out even further in the community.
Proud2Bme: What are you doing currently (school, job, volunteer work, etc.)?
Brette: Currently I am very, very, busy! I am diving (because it is a winter sport in KY), volunteering, coaching, teaching, taking pictures, and (oh yeah) focusing on school. I volunteer with an organization in Louisville where young mothers and future mothers go to get their lives on track. I love watching their children and seeing the impact God has on their lives. I coach Girls on the Run, an afterschool program for 3rd-8th graders that focuses on positive body image while teaching healthy exercise and lifestyle tips. I also assistant teach a chorus of 3rd-5th graders at a local elementary school.
I also spend a lot of time at school. I am very involved with student council, and (you guessed it) Fight for Confidence because I enjoy meeting new people with the similar interests. I also enjoy photography; I’ve taken a number of my classmate’s senior pictures, friend’s Christmas cards and I even shot my mom’s boyfriend’s 30th high school reunion (he’s convinced I should start my own business). In my free time I babysit, attend sporting events, study, work on the last of my college applications and hang out with my amazingly loving friends.
Proud2Bme: What are your future goals/plans?
Brette: The future? One word: College. I’m not sure where I want to go, or, frankly, if I want to go, but I know that I want my future to be about interacting with others. I am energized being around like-minded, similar-spirited people, and I feel I have a unique ability to help make their lives better. I enjoy talking people through tough times and celebrating the happy times. I also would love to continue spreading the message of positive body image and confidence, so maybe I’ll study to be a counselor of some kind. We shall see.
Proud2Bme: How has Proud2Bme/NEDA shaped your way of thinking?
Brette: Proud2Bme and NEDA have helped further my self-confidence and belief in my pursuits. I have always been very independent and outgoing, but I used to be tentative when it came to standing up for what I believed in. Proud2Bme and NEDA have encouraged me to speak my mind and given me confidence to voice my opinion.
Proud2Bme: What advice do you have for aspiring body image/recovery activists?
Brette: As far as advice for aspiring body image/recovery activists, I would simply say, “Be open.” Be an open book, learn as much as you can. Master what interests you, then share that knowledge with others. Volunteer. Teach. Emphasize the positive. Never lose hope in yourself, because you hold so much more power than you think you do. And always remember that you are here to help others.
Proud2Bme: Tell us something about you that might surprise us!
Brette: Something about me that might surprise you is that I am a vegetarian, except for...bacon! Yep, that’s right. I’ve never had any other non-vegetable in my life, ever, except for bacon. My mom says that even as a baby I wouldn’t eat meat. And I don’t see that changing anytime soon.
Do you know an activist who is committed to building a nation where confidence rules? Are YOU that person? Nominate a Proud2Bme Rock Star!