Monday, May 6, 2013

Do Not Be Bullied In To Looking Like Someone You're Not (My Message To Teenaged Girls Living In Homeless Shelters.)

After completing my second workshop with teenaged girls on individuality, beauty and bullying, I felt extremely moved to share my experience.

Please keep in mind that these teenage girls all live in a homeless shelter, for now...

The first question I asked the room was have you ever been bullied? We all raised our hands. The second question was have you ever bullied someone? We all raised our hands...
When asked to describe what it felt like to be bullied, the girls provided answers that were very similar. Some felt sad, their feelings were hurt or angry.  Overall they agreed that it made them feel horrible as often wondered,...why me.

The group opened up as to some reasons they were bullied, be it their hair was too kinky, their weight or their living situation.

I explained my personal experiences being bullied because I was poor, gay or too fair. I further explained how 25 years later I've come to realize that these were the things that make me unique. The things that make Antonio special.
I reminded them that each one of them are different to each other and that uniqueness should be celebrated... from your body size, to your hair to even your teeth (just to name a few.)

We made a promise to be more aware of our actions when it comes to our opinions and to be sensitive to the feelings of others.
I then asked who were their female heros, women that they admired, that they wanted to be like. All the girls praised the women in their lives, mothers, grandmothers etc. One girl in particular replied, "I want to be like my mother, because she stood up for me and loves me. She taught me no matter how difficult things may seem, you deserve to respected."

I end by saying, any challenges I may have faced in my past with the women in my childhood were washed away by the energy and love from these beautiful young girls.

Thank you to all my friends that donated copies of the book The Giver by Lois Lowry, which each girl received a copy of.
 And for all the wonderful cosmetics and hair accessories that were also donated.


newer older