Harnessing the Power of Women
By Patty Turrell and Joan Wise
It is startling to know that on an average, women don't describe themselves
as being beautiful. While 75 percent of 8- and 9-year-olds said they liked
their looks, that figure dropped to 56 percent among girls ages 12 and 13.
This continues to drop as girls mature into adulthood.
Even more disturbing is the fact that 7 million girls and women have eating
disorders, compared with 1 million boys and men. Ten percent report onset at
10 years or younger; 33 percent ages 11 to 15. Almost half the female
population suffering from eating disorders started when they were young
Role models for these young ladies are often Women who are living lives
are busier than ever before, juggling careers, relationships, and
motherhood. They often totally lose sight of their own needs and well being
in deference to their roles as professional, wife or mother. Raising strong,
young women who will be leaders in our communities is a goal that I
think most everyone can support.
Oprah's website wisely suggests that "Being a good wife and mother means you
must take care of yourself; otherwise you will ultimately be harming all the
people you love in your life." Unfortunately this is not the message we are
sending to our youth. The message we model is one of acceptance of the
women's role as the sacrificial lamb.
Furthermore, women of all ages are consistently bombarded by media messages
that present unrealistic, unnatural representations of how a woman's body
must look in order to be beautiful.
According to Jane E. Brody in her article, "Girls and Puberty: the Crisis
Years," Girls were particularly likely to be critical of themselves, and
one-quarter of older girls reported they didn't like or even hated
themselves. In contrast, only 14 percent of boys said they felt this way.
It has also been found that 90% of girls want to change at least one aspect
of their physical appearance, with body ranking the highest. In addition,
72% of girls withdraw from life-engaging activities due to feeling badly
about their looks.
With all this said, there are solutions. The first step is acknowledging
that these issues are more common than we realize. Next, is to take the
steps to change our perception in how we view ourselves. Self-esteem is a
core identity issue essential to personal validation and empowerment is the
key to a woman's sense of confidence.
As women we can help one another through support and education: Helping each
other educate ourselves to empowerment through workshops and seminars;
assisting each other to make the connections to programs and services that
will provide women with the tools to rebuild their confidence and self
worth; encouraging our youth to reach out to find programs and social
settings that teach and encourage
self respect and self love.
May of 2009, The Center for Spiritual Living, Newport-Mesa, will be
hosting the 7th Annual Women's Festival, a powerful day of education and
empowering women of all ages to initiate positive changes in
their lives, enabling them to build a better future for themselves and their
The Women's Festival is an opportunity to touch the lives of women in a
powerful and meaningful way by presenting speakers who:
- Build and enhance self-esteem by providing a forum for women to address their concerns
- Teach skills for everyday life
- Provide information about issues that touch women
- Offer insightful programs for young girls.
The Women's Festival also provides a fun and lively atmosphere for all our
participants to enjoy:
- Music and entertainment.
- A boutique shopping experience providing a wide variety of gifts and
services of interest to women
- A gift bag with discounts, giveaways and samples
The Women's Festival is very proud to have the endorsement of The Girl
Scouts of the USA. This organization is the world's pre-eminent organization
dedicated solely to girls - all girls - where, in an accepting and nurturing
environment, they build character and skills for success in the real world.
In partnership with committed adult volunteers, girls develop qualities that
will serve them all their lives, like leadership, strong values, social
conscience, and conviction about their own potential and self-worth.
Founded in 1912 by
Juliette Gordon Low, Girl Scouts' membership has grown
from only 18 members in Savannah, Georgia, to 3.7 million members throughout
the United States, including U.S. territories, and in more than 90 countries
through USA Girl Scouts Overseas.
Women's Festival 2009 is a day dedicated to women of all ages, shapes and
sizes. This is a day to celebrate our feminine nature. It is a time to
re-establish ourselves as self reliant, empowered women, and to recapture
that beautiful, confident spirit that is women. It is a day not to be
For information on how to participate in this event, please contact Patty
(714) 754-7399 or
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