the i am project :: what it's really all about

May 2, 2011

hubs and i watch the today show every morning while getting ready for work. it appears that bullying is getting some serious press these days. a couple of weeks ago, they highlighted a story about two fourteen-year-old girls that took their own lives during a sleepover, seemingly due to being bullied and ridiculed by other kids at school. if you keep up with the news (in the U.S.) at all, you know that this is the umpteenth time in the last year or two that kids are caving to societal pressures in extreme ways. they're taking their own lives.

i don't know about you, but that's heavy to me. sit-down-on-the-end-of-the-bed-sobbing kind of heavy. perhaps i'm oversensitive to the subject? as a step-mother to a ten-year-old that has made mention of being bullied, friend to countless girls and young women that face(d) the same pressures, and as a woman that considered extreme measures once or twice as a teen myself, i hurt very deeply for these girls. what are we doing wrong that kids think it's appropriate to beat their peers emotionally?? what do we need to be teaching our babies and ourselves about appreciation for individuality, rejoicing in who we are, taking care of our hearts by taking care of others' hearts? while this blog clearly proves that i'm all about finding ways to make ourselves and our world amazingly just so, it goes without saying that we all have moments of weakness, vulnerability, bad judgment...i have to imagine that we all wish we were a little more polished, a little more stylish, had a bit more expendable cash so we could rock that latest-and-greatest statement of status. we all find ways to fake it. then, at the core, we are still left feeling just a little bit inadequate because we couldn't measure up. someone out there is always "better" than us.

and so the i am project was born. friends confiding in friends about weakness, mistakes made in our youth, insecurities that continue to plague us as (mostly) successful and confident adults.

we have to find a way to reach these girls, friends. if you have a daughter, a niece, a sister, a student, a friend that confides in you, make sure she knows her worth every single day. remind her that who she is, is exactly who she was meant to be. that she's -- gasp -- perfect just the way she is. and keep telling her that until she believes it, and then tell her some more in the darker moments. because it's not entirely about the bullies here. it's about how much we're willing to let other people tell us our own worth.

apologies if this post seems heavy. and on a monday morning, no less! we want to be clear about our purpose behind the i am project. it's both deeply fulfilling to the three of us in a healing way as well as a helping way. we hope that these posts serve as great reminders for us all.  ox

The I Am Project on Facebook || Etsy Shop

The I Am Project :: Our wish is to affirm and inspire the beauty in every woman, to celebrate the uniqueness in each of us, as well as the commonalities that unite us as women. We want to create a space to confront the dark places that come with growth; to witness women being valued for more than their bodies, clothes, or societal projections; to feel inspired by stories and images; and to become more deeply rooted in who we are as women. We want to become a net of resources that will nurture and fortify each other's confidence, and fill women with awareness of the extraordinary beauty that each of us uniquely brings to the world.

Questions, thoughts or feedback about The I Am Series? Send them to We would love to hear from you!

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Unknown said...

Tobe I read every word and I absolutely feel the same things- it worries me already with only a 5 year old little girl and I try everyday to make sure she knows her quirkiness is her gift- thank you for this VERY inspirational project- I just adore what you're doing!!

Michelle said...

Beautifully put, Tobe. It is so inspiring what you girls are doing! Keep it up :)

VL - victoriaINkansas said...

It is a good post - and perfectly timed - it's teacher appreciation week! A good reminder of why my work with 8th graders matters.

laura said...

love this post and what the i am project stands for. thanks for reminding me of what i can do for the women in my life, to build them up and remind them they are perfect just the way they are.

Tobe | BIA said...

thanks so much for the kind words, ladies!

VL, you have yourself a very big job, lady. thanks for what you do! ox

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