Jennifer, 22, is an Occupational Therapist and the founder of an online media platform called She Aspires, which focuses on uplifting and celebrating women of today.
Being a young Black woman, Jennifer has learned that the art of building self-esteem and boosting your self-confidence is based on accepting who you are and using it as a tool to make yourself stand out. A self-described shy and self-conscious girl who hates speaking in public, Jennifer has joined the Be Real Ambassador team to showcase that there is beauty in diversity and to help uplift more women to feel comfortable in their skin.
“I first started to be conscious of my looks when I was around nine years old.
“I started to compare myself to my peers but it never really manifested until I went to secondary school where I really felt like I wasn’t pretty enough.
“I remember school picture day when we received our pictures and my teacher put them up on the projector for everyone to see. I felt so embarrassed. I didn’t think I looked as good as any of the others girls.
“My biggest challenge has been to accept that we all go through that awkward stage of not exactly liking the way we look, or wanting certain features that we think are deemed ‘beautiful’ or what society thinks is ‘good looking’. I really had to accept that, you know what, I am beautiful and the best thing you can do is compliment yourself and be your biggest supporter.
“My mother helped me immensely. She has always told me that I am beautifully different and I started to really believe and see that in myself.
“I also try not to get too invested in the social media frenzy. I believe it really disengages you from what is really important, such as your mental health and your view of what life should be.
“I think as a society we can do a lot to change the narrative on beauty. We can start by getting people to speak out about their own personal experience and how to turn negative thoughts into positive ones. There are a lot of unspoken fears and thoughts, so being able to relate your experience to someone who has spoken out is very reassuring and uplifting.
“It’s also really important that we see people from different backgrounds and with different looks. The more we see ourselves in campaigns and across our TV’s the more we can relate and accept ourselves just the way we are.
“Being different is amazing. You get to stand out from the crowd and really celebrate yourself as you are!”
Do you feel inspired by Jennifer? Find out how you can become a Be Real Ambassador.