Thursday, July 26, 2012

Action Plan: More Than Skin Deep

Our society today sets many unrealistic standards of beauty.  Society defines beauty as a “perfect” image: long hair, blue eyes, high nose bridge, full lips – you name it.  This puts young women like myself under a lot of pressure, which causes us to believe that makeup is an answer to attain these standards.  It is discouraging to know that many of the girls in my own high school cannot go a single day without wearing makeup.  This issue is very important to me because I strongly believe that it’s not only the outward appearance that defines one’s beauty, but also what is within.  It is understandable that girls use makeup to hide their imperfections, but how could they if perfection itself does not exist?

Being surrounded by plenty of insecure girls at school causes me to be quite self-conscious myself.  In a sense, society found its way to negatively impact me as well. I find myself worrying about my concealer, eyeliner, mascara, and lip balm on a daily basis. During the days in which I cannot find the time to apply makeup on my face, I become extremely worried about my appearance and how people would view me as an individual.  I grow afraid of what people would judge me as when I do not have any makeup on.  Something is wrong with this picture.

Throughout the Women and Leadership course, I’ve entirely broadened my knowledge of women in society and grown to be passionate about this topic. Consequently, my Action Plan is planted upon raising awareness. My goal is to hold a makeup-free day called “> Skin Deep” within my high school. I want to invite the girls in my school to participate by wearing zero makeup for one day. Whoever is participating will also be asked to wear a white t-shirt to indicate that she is a part of the movement. During this day, I hope to inspire and teach girls to rediscover their inner beauty and redefine their conception of beauty. The girls at my school desperately need to realize that perfection does not exist in any shape or form, so it is pointless to even attempt “perfection”. Girls should instead accept themselves as they are and appreciate themselves without feeling the need to alter their appearances.

 I feel that my Action Plan is very relevant, realistic, and feasible for all sorts of reasons. For one, I have an incredibly strong support system within my large network of close friends and teachers. Other resources that I will definitely make use of is my access to the Associative Student Body (ASB), a community service club called Interact, and De Anza’s girls’ volleyball team. During the first steps into my Plan, I will need to invite and recruit girls into my project. In order to do so, I will seek my teachers’ cooperation and ask for at least five minutes off of class time since I am planning to visit each class, one by one. This upcoming year, I will be ASB Director of Publicity, which is fitting because publicizing via morning announcements and posters proves to be effective. The Interact Club and volleyball team are also clever ways to find more supporters. Last but not least, my close friends have an amazing capability of spreading word around campus.  I will tell my friends, who will tell their friends, who will tell their friends.  Word of mouth is something I am certainly going to take advantage of.

The logistics of my Plan are challenging yet also very tangible.  I am going to give my team and I a project timeline of six weeks. The first couple of weeks will be dedicated to finding the resources necessary to perform my Plan effectively. This is the time to establish a form of partnership with my teachers and the organizations I’m involved in. Once I obtain these resources, I will be ready to move on to the next step: preparation. I am going to allow myself one or two weeks to further prepare my proposal, which will convince the girls to take on the challenge of my Plan. The proposal will include both a speech and PowerPoint.  I need to find a way to express my goals and opinions without insulting anybody in the crowd. Including logos, pathos, ethos, and pathos again will enable more persuasion and captivate my audience’s attention and interest.  Since this is a vital step to my process, it will be very important for me to be exceptionally detail-oriented and make use of my West leadership abilities.  The final phase of my Plan is publicity.  I plan to visit one class after another and deliver the proposal that I will have prepared for. I will specifically require all boys in the classroom to dismiss themselves during my presentation. This way, the girls would in a way feel more comfortable to admitting to their insecurities and other personal issues.  In addition to my proposal, I will send the girls daily reminders through the morning announcements and bulletin posters, which I will be in charge of this year.  I also plan to create a Facebook event in order to virtually organize a list of girls who are actually participating.  A Facebook event will allow girls to invite more girls, perhaps even outside of our school.  After two weeks of continuous publicizing, my Action Plan would then be ready for launching.

In every plan is a challenge.  Throughout the process of my Action Plan initiation, I feel that the greatest barrier blocking me from being successful is time.  As an incoming junior with three AP classes, two varsity sports, and millions of extra curricular activities, I am afraid that I will not find enough time to progress through my Plan.  Time management will definitely be key through this project.  I also believe that I have the capability to achieve my goals with a great amount of patience, passion, and persistence. 

I will ultimately consider my Action Plan a success if the girls (and boys) in my school are impacted not only on a physical level, but also on an emotional level.  Hopefully “> Skin Deep” will positively affect De Anza High so much that it becomes yearbook-worthy.  Who knows, it can even become an annual event that everybody will look forward to in the coming years.  My Action Plan may or may not to be a long-lasting legacy in my school.  It’s only a matter of trial by error – with a sprinkle of motivation.

The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mode but the true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives the passion that she shows. The beauty of a woman grows with the passing years.
- Audrey Hepburn

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