At twelve years old, I was diagnosed with Alopecia. With every strand of hair, I lost a bit of confidence until I felt like I was left with nothing. My self-esteem plummeted and I no longer saw a future for myself. I began to wear a wig and struggled with depression and self-harm. As I moved closer to rock-bottom, I knew I had two choices. I could either forego my wig and try to move towards self-acceptance or I could continue to battle depression and suicidal thoughts. Thankfully, I found the courage to accept myself. I started to practice self-care by attending counseling and slowly learning to love myself. Starting my freshman year of high school without my wig initially terrified me, but every day I grew more confident.
My personal experiences inspired me to step up as a leader and help others in similar situations. My wish for this project is that it helps individuals find self-love and self-acceptance.
I hope to host the "International Day of Self Love" on February 13th, the day before Valentine's Day, because it's important to love and accept yourself before you can do the same for others. I want this to be a day that is widely celebrated, printed on every calendar around the world. The International Day of Self Love will be a day where individuals can let go of the one insecurity holding them back. Celebrating this day could mean anything, from going without make-up, practicing self-care, or leaving an abusive relationship. This day will be a day where individuals can love, celebrate, and accept themselves completely, without fear of judgment.
This day will primarily be hosted on K-12 campuses. I will provide schools with program guides that cover several important social and emotional learning topics. Our guide will have activities focused on identity, mental health, courage, vulnerability, and anti-bullying. Once students explore these important topics, they will end their programming cycle by celebrating the International Day of Self Love.
I hope to live in a world where every campus has access to these resources, creating a more open and accepting environment.