Friday, August 30, 2013

What To Wear on Girl's Night? Your Self-Esteem!

Act #242:  Go out with the girls.

Fifteen years ago, my idea of a night out on the town with the girls included 4-inch heels, cranberry juice , triple sec and a splash of lime, and a purse so teeny that would only fit one single car key, an ultra-thin make-up compact, a credit card, and my driver's license.

It's been a while, but tonight, I'm hitting downtown once again - and I can hardly wait.  My girl and I are hitting up some hot dinner spot and we have tickets to a controversial theater production.  But unlike the mid-90's, there will be no heels, no cranberry cosmopolitans, and these days one could fit a small mini-fridge in my purse.  And my girl is my 13-year old niece, Abby.  We have tickets to see The Girl Project, a year-long culmination of a pilot arts and activism program designed to improve the self-esteem of girls.

The Girl Project aims to make a fundamental positive impact on the lives of young women during a crucial stage of their development.  Over the past year, 18 local girls were recruited through social media, theater contacts and schools, and engaged in weekly creativity workshops, relationship-building exercises and mentoring by positive female role models.   Why am I spending my first free night this week with a 13 year old?  Because six times as many girls 18 and younger underwent breast augmentation surgery in 2007 than in 1997. Because 95 percent of the 8 million Americans with eating disorders are girls and women ages 12 to 25.  Because there is a line of Victoria's Secret underwear specifically marketed to middle school girls.  Because as she enters high school next year, I want my smart and tender-hearted teen-age niece to have permission to talk about these things.  To be aware of these things as they are portrayed in mainstream media.  To challenge these things.  To reject these things.  To forgive herself for feeling these things. To know that she's not alone, that we've all been through these things.  And most importantly, to realize that her self-worth is higher than all the main female characters on Nick Teen combined.

I've never been so excited about girl's night.

For those in the Lexington, Kentucky area:

The Girl Project

What: Theater and multimedia piece that is the culmination of Kentucky Conservatory Theatre's yearlong project exploring teenage girls' self-esteem and their place in society.

When: 7 p.m. Aug. 29-Sept. 1

Where: Downtown Arts Center, 141 E. Main St.

Tickets: $15 adults, $10 seniors, students and children. Available at (859) 225-0370 or

Learn more:

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