Letters to Our Daughters: Because I know you are watching the messages the world is sending

January 10, 2016

 

Dear Girls,


Let me first start by saying that I am not writing this letter to throw hate or shade.  I believe every woman to be beautiful in their own right.  I am writing this letter to simply present the case that in all things, we have options.


This morning I woke up and began to read the news and engage in social media as I often do.  Before 10 am, I saw two pictures of two women who I consider beautiful creatures and very much influencers in today’s society that encouraged me to write this letter to you.


The first photograph was a swimsuit clad Kim Kardashian.Kim was “giving life” and showing that motherhood is a beautiful thing.  After having a baby and taking a great deal of heat from the mainstream media about her weight, I believe that she deserves to have a moment of glory to bask in the fact that she still looks amazing. If you ask me, every new mother deserves this opportunity.

 

Here is an example of where you have options.  In the event you wish to celebrate your body, you don’t really need an audience to do so.  If you feel the need to share with others, you still have an option to wear something that looks amazing but doesn’t reveal all you have to the world.  You have options. The ability to wear swimwear and feel good about ourselves is a celebration alone in a world that tells us that we have to be perfect.  It is your option as to how you share these moments.  Am I saying that ladies should not post pictures of themselves at the beach or poolside, “No”.  I am simply saying that you have options.


The second photograph that grabbed the media’s attention was Nikki Minaj in true Barbie Doll fashion, giving fierce face and more than a handful of cleavage. In my opinion, Nikki is an amazing business mogul.  She has taken control of her business and brand. As an entrepreneur, I can only say salute.   Whether Nikki reveals her chest or not, she will still be a powerful force in the music industry and any other business endeavor that she touches.

 

Whether you aspire to rise to the top of a male dominated field such as rap or any STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) field or any field for that matter, you have options as to how to get there. You don’t have to be naked to be your best.It is without question that pictures of ladies showing excessive skin garner a great deal of attention; but I have to ask: “What is mainstream media teaching our girls about their value”? Does our value lie in our ability to be naked? Do we only get more likes, fans, followers, love on social media when we show more skin? Consider the little girl who posted her first “selfie” on Instagram or Facebook and is fully clothed; has society taught us that this means that she is not “turned up” enough? Is she worth less in today’s society?

 

 

I know that comparing celebrities to everyday superstars is like comparing apples to oranges but I still believe the point to be valid. Celebrities are at a heightened level of attention as they capture our hearts, minds and spirits with their music and contributions to the arts but I also want little girls watching to know that it is ok to keep your clothes on. It’s ok if you don’t earn the award for best twerker in your school. It is and should be normal to aspire to earn the highest grades and not the highest number of followers. The pursuit of your dreams has absolutely nothing to do with your ability to show your skin and everything to do with your willingness to work hard for it. I am not saying that the ladies above are not hard workers because that is clearly not the case. I am simply saying that this is not the only way.

 

Just know that things are not always what they seem. There are many ways to the top and you have to be certain to choose the one that will make you the most happy and that will allow you to be true to who you really are, not who the world says you should be.As an adult, I have the option to filter the things that I want to receive in my spirit and into my life. As I continue to come of age, I have a much better understanding of who I want the world to see me as. You don’t have that choice. You are still very impressionable which is why I was so compelled to write this letter.

 

I write this letter in tears because I so desperately want women and girls to know that even though the media is only obsessed with you when you take your clothes off or do things that don’t speak to your brain power, this is not the true determination of your worth. You, with all your clothes on and all of your flaws, all of your heartbreak, triumph and ambitions are enough.

 

I know you are watching the messages that the world is sending you but believe me when I say: ”You are enough”!Just remember love and light will find you, not because you took off your clothes but because you loved yourself first. Keep believing in yourself and as I always say, “stay turned up to follow your dreams”. Never forget, in all things, you have options.

 

Consciously Beautiful,

 

Ardre Orie

 

Learn more about Ardre

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ABOUT Letters to our Daughters

 

Letters to Our Daughters is a B2F Girls! campaign that aspires to empower girls with the courage to overcome obstacles and follow their dreams as they learn from women who have overcome many challenges and have positioned themselves to live a fierce life. We hope that the stories will be healing and empowering for both the writer and the reader.
 

ABOUT B2F Girls!

 

B2F Girls! is on a mission to equip girls nationally with healthy self-esteem so that they can be the best version of themselves. When this happens, everyone benefits. B2F Girls! offers a robust certification program and training intensive, complete with resources, implementation guides and support for women who have a calling to mentor girls. We also produce national female empowerment events.

 

 

OUR HISTORY

 

B2F Girls! initially started as an organization called Tween Style Power that offered free local workshops for girls ages 10-17 that addressed the areas of self-worth, body image and leadership. After our first successful year of implementation, we began to notice we were receiving an influx of women from various parts of the country asking how they could implement a similar program for the girls in their communities. It was then that we recognized a gap that required a systematic and accessible way of providing the training we were already offering. This made way for the launch of B2F Girls!

 

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