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    Strong Girls Blog

    How we LOVE and adore Generation Z.

    How we LOVE and adore Generation Z.

    Dearest Generation Z,

         You, quite possibly, are the most amazing generation yet... You love like no other, you have empathy like no other, you want to rescue anything alive from having to endure pain.  You're also brave and are ready to be entrepreneurial and start your own businesses at young ages.  Generation Z, meet your biggest cheerleader... eaChica.  

         We were asked by a fabulous company, Tribe of Women, to give "tribe tips" on the second half of their most recent podcast.  We were honored and said YES!  The first half of the podcast is the editor of Teen Boss magazine Brittany Galla.  Listen and enjoy!  We can't wait to hear your thoughts.  Click the link below!

    https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/tribetalk/episodes/2017-06-27T08_04_53-07_00

    TRUE to yourself.

    TRUE to yourself.

         Let's not pretend we don't know what is going on here... True AWESOMENESS is going on here.  There is so much change happening and I can feel it in my heart.  It's so exciting.  The article I suggest you read to day is out of Glamour Magazine.  "Glamour set out to celebrate the people who are rewriting the rules and fighting to put old ideals to rest."   Highlighting people who are TRUE to themselves.   Now, I'm not saying I agree with everything being said... or how people decide to rewrite rules, but I'm not scared to learn what makes them tic... Generation Z, this is for you.  eaChica LOVES the way you choose to love people.  Dropping walls and pressing on with compassion.   Enjoy this article. xoxo

     

    YARA Shahidi

    Photo by: Petra Collins  Styling Djuna Bell

    What irks her most about traditional beauty standards
    I feel like it's no big surprise to anybody that traditional beauty standards are very Eurocentric, which do not reflect nearly the majority of our society. So rather than trying to base them off one type of person, it’s about redefining them by not defining them. If there's a definition of what it means to be beautiful, that means there’s a definition of what it means to not be beautiful.

    How her generation is creating change
    [The license we've been given] is a combination of the work of generations before us. What we're witnessing right now with the protests and movements going on, it's not new. It’s the reemergence of all of the movements that have happened in the past, and it's just now been mushed into one thing. Because my generation is dealing with both an excessive amount of hate and an excessive amount of unity at the same time, it's forced us to figure out how to project where we want to be.

    What she thinks it means to be "beautiful"
    It may sound clichéd, but so much of it is a personal mentality. We all define when we feel most beautiful for ourselves. For me, it's confidence.

    read more at

    http://www.glamour.com/story/american-beauty

     

    True friends are HONEST (and compassionate).

    True friends are HONEST (and compassionate).

         We all want true, honest, strong friendships.  Let's face it... having just ONE true friend by your side can change EVERYTHING!  You can tell her anything and know your deepest secrets are held safe.  She loves how weird you are and your quirky sense of humor. She would never turn her back on you. The foundation of a friendship like this is honesty.  We want to help you build strong friendships. We have found 6 tips to help you communicate with honesty and compassion.  Enjoy xoxoxo

    1. Get Yourself Squared Away First

    Make sure you really know what’s going on. When we’re worried we can make things larger than they really are. I think that’s actually been the definition of worry in my life sometimes, freaking out. Don’t freak out. Make sure you understand their point of view. Make sure you’re not just worried because it’s not your idea of what their life should be.

    Everyone has their own path and we should only stop one another when there’s a real and true reason.

    2. Don’t Be Cruel

    Okay so now you’re sure that they’re making a mistake and you’re ready to say something out of love. Never blame, ever. Yes, it’s true, we’re often our own worst enemies and that’s on us but blaming your friend for doing things that are going to ruin her life can take you from besties to enemies quickly. Everyone hears advice differently and understand that they may be just as passionate about the thing you think is hurting them as you are.

    Say your piece, be kind, and never be cruel.

    3. Don’t Hold It Against Them

    So, they didn’t listen to you. Are you surprised? I’ve ignored good advice lots of times in my life because I didn’t see what people saw. Luckily, the people who gave me the advice I didn’t take weren’t the kind to hold it against me.

    You’ve said your piece and that’s all you can do. Go on loving your friend, even help them take the next steps that their heart is set on if that’s appropriate. Love them and don’t bring it up again unless they initiate it.

    4. Don’t Ever Say “I Told You So”

    So, it didn’t work out for them. Their heart is broken or they’ve got a serious setback in their life now. This is an incredibly vulnerable time for them as it would be for you.

    Never, ever bring up that you told them it wouldn’t work out. Don’t even bring up that you were ever even worried. The truth of their lives stings like a thousand wasps right now and you shouldn’t add to it. They’re counting on you to be there for them so be their rock if they need it. Remember how many times you’ve needed it.

    5. Admit You Were Wrong

    So, it DID work out for them. It was a good decision after all. They’re happier than they’ve ever been and you completely misjudged the situation. We’ve all done it. Now is the time to make sure they know that you know you were wrong. Now’s the time for you tell them how proud you are of them for following their heart or taking a risk.

    Let them know that they’re amazing and they made the right decision. This way they’ll know that you really did have their best interests at heart and that their happiness is what you care about.

    6. If You Were Right, Be There For Them

    Again, be their rock because this is what being true friends is about, accompanying one another through the ups and downs of life, the mistakes, the heartaches and heartbreaks, the successes and failures. This is what friendship is about. Hold them up, carry them, let them lean on you. Be the kind of friend that your friendship needs. They can’t survive otherwise.

    by Madeline Forsyth

    Girl activists in school systems....

    Girl activists in school systems....

         When girls stand up together as activists for each other, SO many good things happen.  We are so excited to be starting our Strong Girl programs in schools next fall.  Through this program, girls will learn to build and maintain inner strength, stand up for each other, and be culture CHANGERS!  You are going to love this article.  Eight great reasons to empower girls in schools.

    1. Activism moves girls from passive consumers to active citizens. Media and marketers sell girls a pop-culture version of power in which their primary project is to fix themselves. Inherent in activism is the challenge to look beneath the surface of outside messages and no longer accept them at face value. Girls who question the justifications of media and policies laced with sexism, racism, and homophobia are psychologically healthier.

    2. Activism invites girls to voice their thoughts and feelings. Plugging girls into prefabricated civic-engagement programs and encouraging them to succeed on someone else's terms fails to give them what they need most: practice developing and voicing their own solutions to problems, trusting their own perspectives, and experiencing what it means to stay true to themselves even as they risk dissent.

    3. Activism makes schools safer for all girls. Participating in girl-led activism helps to create a school climate where gender diversity is visible and valued. When more girls challenge qualities traditionally associated with girlhood (such as compliance) with assertiveness and agency, they make schools safer for all girls to do the same. When more girls publicly say what they think, it opens up space for others—especially for those who, because of race and social class, are more likely to be discounted or disciplined for outspokenness or resistance.

    4. Activism affirms the power of diversity. Effective change requires a coalition of people from different backgrounds, experiences, and skills who share passion for a common cause. Girls engaged in activist work see how differences in social class, race and ethnicity, disability, and gender expression alter their individual experiences with sexism. They come to recognize how, together, they can create more effective and inclusive solutions.

    5. Activism helps girls negotiate a "culture of power." To advocate for change successfully, girls must think about how their school system operates and who has the power to make change. When girls are aware of existing networks of power, it enables them to communicate effectively and makes space for their opinions in school and beyond.

    6. Activism invites belonging and creates trusting relationships. Engaging in activism gives girls a sense of community and brings them together for a shared cause. This can help dissolve what is often a culture of distrust between girls, as well as subsequent bullying. Activism decreases girls' feelings of alienation by offering them connections that help counter all the justified reasons they can feel numb, angry, alienated, and powerless.

    7. Activism is an important form of supplementary education. Activist work can offer students on the margins educational opportunities that are often readily available to more-privileged students. Students can identify a problem they care about and study it deeply, brainstorm solutions, and engage in student-led discussions and exploration of solutions.

    8. Activism is the most effective form of leadership training. Through activist work, girls learn to lead by actually leading and fully participating in what matters from the ground up. There are opportunities to think critically, speak up, and take risks—all leadership skills. They aren't learning skills to take advantage of some future possibility, but rather practicing leadership in the present tense.

    Supporting student activism is not easy work. It disrupts assumptions of how students—especially girl students—should behave. It asks adults to see youths as experts on their own experience and to recognize the value of student-generated solutions.

    by Lyn Mikel Brown

     

    Being authentic... it's the best thing you can do.

    Being authentic... it's the best thing you can do.

    Authenticity

    GIRLS!!!  As we know, perfection DOESN'T EXIST!  Say that three times fast!  I don't know about you, but I think this is a breath of fresh air.  As girls, I believe we are daily sliding into the trap of trying to be perfect.  What is possible???? Being authentic... now this is possible.  Not only is it possible, it will be the best thing you can give the world.  I hope you enjoy this article.  xoxo

     

     Have you ever met someone who becomes a totally different person depending on his or her surroundings? Perhaps they become condescending in a conference room, sarcastic and judgmental with one group of friends, and insecure and approval seeking with their significant other. You’ll be having a normal conversation with them, and then they suddenly shift their body posture, tone of voice, and vocabulary the moment someone else enters the conversation. Now be honest…Have you ever been this person?

    The truth is that we have all had moments of in authenticity. It can be difficult to maintain authenticity in uncomfortable or unfamiliar situations. You may worry that your “real” self isn’t good enough or appropriate for the situation at hand, and you fear rejection. So instead of showing up as yourself, you show up as the person you think everyone else will like.

    While adapting to your environment is certainly beneficial in some situations, shifting your personality completely is problematic. Simply put, people can tell if you aren’t being authentic, and that’s a turn-off. Cheesy, phony, fake, insincere, pretentious, disingenuous are just a few words we use to describe inauthentic people. Notice that none of them are a compliment!

    Ultimately, people are attracted to authenticity. It makes us feel comfortable, safe, and respected. We want to be around and associated with authentic people. Here are four techniques that help you be your most authentic self, even in uncomfortable situations.

    Be Keenly Self-Aware: As with many paths to self-improvement, you must start with observing yourself. As you meet new people, engage in work meetings, and spend time with different social groups, try to observe how you feel in each situation. When do you feel most comfortable? When do you feel like you are squirming in someone else’s skin? Learning to be more observant and self-aware will allow you to recognize when you are feeling uncomfortable, understand why you are feeling uncomfortable, and signal to yourself to intentionally draw upon your authentic self.

    Find Genuine Connections: Because we are all humans, we all have something in common. Seek to truly understand the people you around you. Ask thoughtful questions, and listen intently. By developing a genuine understanding of and connection to the people you are with, you are more likely to feel genuine and authentic yourself.

    Don’t Be Perfect: What’s wrong with being perfect? It’s impossible. Therefore, if you try to be perfect or act perfectly, you are already being disingenuous. Embrace your imperfection and dare to be a bit vulnerable. You’ll be amazed where vulnerability can take you.

    Be Present: It is easy to be in the middle of a conversation with someone, and while they are talking, your mind wanders to crafting the perfect response. Once the other person finishes their thought, you re engage and share your perfect rebuttal. While the other person has no idea what you were actually thinking about while they were talking, people intuitively can sense another person’s focus and presence. Try to be more present in your conversations and relationships. Be an active listener, and give people your full attention. Mastering the art of presence perhaps is the single most effective way to ensure authenticity in any situation.

    Gregory L. Jantz, Ph.D