JustBeU: a journey of self-discovery
For years, I felt called to write a program for teen girls to address how the dangers of eating disorders can affect the mental, emotional, and physical development of young women. This was very personal, because for many years I suffered from an eating disorder.
As I talked with teen girls about their own experiences, I was surprised to learn that in this generation self-harm often accompanies eating disorders. This was new territory for me. As a teen, I had never heard of self-harming actions like cutting or self-mutilation.
As the girls shared their feelings with me, I realized something. They may be a part of a new generation facing challenges that I never did, but a common theme was clear.
Feelings of loneliness and insecurity, longing to ﬁt in and be accepted, the pressure to be perfect, and the need to feel beautiful are timeless and surpass eating disorders. As a result, I knew this project needed to encompass so much more than a discussion of eating disorders, and the targeted age needed to encompass K-12.
JustBeU is a journey to help young girls realize there are times when we all feel inadequate, ugly, and unworthy. But underneath those self-defeating thoughts, we all possess many strengths and abilities waiting to be revealed.
Too often, we try to ﬁt within certain molds or ideals, and in turn, we never uncover our unique gifts. We hide behind masks and pretend to be something we’re not just so we can be accepted and loved. This method works for a while, but in the end, it always fails. The masks must come off. And that’s when the real work begins.
My ultimate goal is for all women to realize their worth, to stop thinking that “everyone else is so much better” or “if I just had this (ﬁll in the blank), then my life would be perfect.” I want each of us to be happy and free to celebrate the uniqueness of being a woman. Most importantly, I want you, yes, you, to JustBeU.
All the best,
Creator of Just Be U
For more information about Harriet visit her website
Here's what others are saying:
I love this Curriculum! It's been so amazing to see the girls I work with open up and accept each other and strengthen each other as well! It's super easy to use and I would recommend it to anyone! I'm so glad I found it!
- Brooke Carlson, Girl's Club, Tapestry International
Our girls responded great to the material and were willing to discuss the topics openly, which in-turn helped the mentors learn about the girls and build relationships. It was so nice to have this type of curriculum available to us because of the wide age range of the girls we reach (ages 6-16).
- Amber Smith, IGAN Program & Event Director