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Tweens Aim to Boost Peers' Self-Esteem with Mirror Project

The Short of It

Two Oregon seventh grade girls noticed their peers suffering from low self-esteem. To combat their negative feelings, they launched the "Love My Reflection" project.

The Lowdown

I remember how brutal it was in middle school to feel good about the way I looked. It seems not much has changed in 20-plus years, as Avery Burn and Genae Vanek from Rock Creek Middle School were recently struck by how badly their female classmates felt when they looked in the mirror.

"We saw other girls in our school with this problem with body image and what other people think of them. We thought if we did a project that involves people our age, it would help us and help them," Burn told Today.com.

So the girls decided to hand out compact mirrors, donated by a local beauty shop, with inspirational messages written on them like, "You are inspiring," "You are brilliant," and "You are beautiful."

The girls' idea actually started as part of an educational contest called Destination Imagination that aims to foster innovation and leadership in young people. No matter how far their innovation advances in the contest, Burn and Vanek say they have already noticed positive changes in their classmates.

"I think one of the changes was people are making more friends and talking to each other more; that surprised me," Burn said. Vanek adds: "I definitely see more smiles on their faces. I see them complimenting themselves. That was a positive thing to see."

The Upshot

The mirrors are so popular, other schools have asked the girls to work with their students to help boost self-esteem. The tweens say their eventual goal is to spread their positive project nationally and perhaps even internationally.

Burns' mom told Yahoo Parenting the big picture is about even more than the mirrors: "They also had an idea where they wanted to host events or themed nights for middle school girls where it would be a fun, positive atmosphere. But the ultimate dream would be to start a non-profit where they could partner with other organizations to not only get mirrors out around the world but to hold events that focuses on middle school girls' self identity and girls lifting each other up!"

The girls say the success of the project thus far has boosted their own self-esteem.

Find out more about how you can help project "Love My Reflection" on the girls' GoFundMe page.

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