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Every Girl Deserves To Be Fabulous Inc. is an organization aimed to inspire girls to mature into the fabulous woman that God created them to be.

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Be Fab Blog

 

The Be Fab Blog is your place for discussion with articles on a variety of topics including dating and relationships, school, health and wellness, inspiration, news, social media, fashion and style as well as real-life advice.

Social Media: Don't Believe The Hype

Ashley Jefferson

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Social media is everywhere. Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook – whichever you prefer, most of us login to at least one of these apps every day and probably multiple times a day. (Yes, I’m guilty too!) We often lose track of how many times we swipe, like, retweet and comment – as we scroll through and refresh our newsfeeds. Social media can be fun – we use it to stay in touch with friends and family, share funny videos, stay up to date on celebrities and sports teams that we like and of course post some selfies and snaps of our own.

However social media can also be a bad thing especially when we let it consume us. Do we spend more time online than doing work? Are we more likely to remember who commented on our photo rather than what we ate for breakfast? Even worst, are we letting social media affect how we feel about ourselves? For instance, if someone posted a selfie and it got more likes than yours – would you let that cause you to question how you look? Or maybe a friend posted a picture in an expensive car, would that make you jealous – even a little bit?

2 Corinthians 10:12 (AMP) says “[…] When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they lack wisdom and behave like fools.”

Just think about it, if you found out that the expensive car in the photo was just a rental or maybe that the selfie was photoshopped, would you feel kind of foolish being jealous? One thing we fail to realize a lot of times is that what people post on social media isn’t always accurate.  I’m not saying that everything that’s posted online is fake but at the end of the day, we all pick and choose what parts of our lives we want to share or not and people can decide to share the truth or to make things up to make their life appear better.

Social media is great - but we can’t be consumed by it and we can’t use it as a means to measure our self-worth. Remember, our worth comes from God and with Him, there’s no comparison.

New Year, New Me?

Ashley Jefferson

"New year, new me!" How many times did you or someone you know say those exact words at the start of a new year. There were probably good intentions behind it and maybe we really want to but how often do we actually change? 

Each year we tell ourselves that next year will be different. We're gonna finally lose weight, we're gonna do better in school, we're gonna really focus on God more, we're gonna do this and we're gonna do that. However, a lot of us end the year in the same place we started - not having made any progress towards bettering ourselves, growing as a person and accomplishing our goals and the cycle continues.  

But why? Why is it that, according to statistics, only 8% of us who make new year's resolutions are actually successful in keeping them? Is it that out goals are too big? Is it that we don't really try? Or maybe because we don't consider everything that it takes.

Anything worth having is worth making sacrifices for. Take professional athletes for example. To be able to make it to the Olympics is a great accomplishment and that's the part we see on the outside. What we don't see are the things they have to give up in order to reach their goal.

Whether it's losing weight or growing closer to God, we can't move forward if we're still holding onto old things. We have to actually let some things go.

Philippians 3:13 (NLT) says “No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead,”

Moving forward requires sacrifice. That means we have to really make up our minds to let go of old habits, old friends, old thoughts, old attitudes and old ways and leave them behind us 2016. Then we can really say "New year, new me" and mean it. 

 

 

#befabulous

Amy's Tragic Death: Something Has To Change

Ashley Jefferson

Up until last week, 16-year-old Amy Inita Joyner-Francis was just a normal teenage girl but that all changed on one fateful morning. On Thursday, April 21st Amy, a student at Howard High School of Technology in Delaware, was brutally beaten by a group of girls in the school bathroom. She was so badly injured that she was rushed to an area hospital where she died. 

I'm sure Amy, her family and friends never would've imagined her life coming to an end so soon and so violently. She was beaten to death at her school seemingly at the hands of her fellow classmates allegedly over a boy and it was even caught on cell phone video. There are so many things that make Amy's death such a tragedy.

First, Amy lost her life at the hands of other female students. Being catty or petty is a not so flattering category that unfortunately too many of us females fall into. It's not unheard of to have young girls (and even older women) fighting, arguing and bickering usually over something not worth it in the long run. We have enough in this world that degrades and belittles us. No we may not always get along with each other but regardless as females we should strive not to tear each other down, but to build each other up.

Secondly, the fight was allegedly over a boy. Girls fighting over boys is not new. It probably happens at high schools across America almost every day. However how many of those incidents end with a young girl losing her life? NO BOY is worth fighting over. Contrary to what you may believe when you're a starry eyed teenager, boys really do come and go. He may like you today and then like the next girl tomorrow. Who cares! You're in high school and have far more important things to focus on. A boy is not worth jeopardizing your future and for those involved, it definitely wasn't worth Amy losing her life.

Last but not least, it was caught on video. Fights and other tragedies being caught on video is a sad sign of the world we live in. Youtube, Vine, Instagram and other social media platforms are flooded with them. People often post, repost, watch and like these videos and sometimes they even go viral as they are viewed as entertaining and funny. There is NOTHING funny or entertaining about teenagers, children (and even adults) fighting each other like animals. The truth is it's sick - it's sick that instead of calling for help, people are more inclined to use their phones to record someone else getting hurt. In Amy's case, it's sick that someone would find it amusing to record what turned out to be the last few moments of a young girl's life.

We can agree that Amy's death was indeed a tragedy - it's touched people all across the globe. People are mourning, people are speaking out about it, but the truth is eventually many people, except those who were closest to her, will move on. The story will fade from the headlines and then what? We can't wait until another tragedy strikes to decide enough is enough. Somehow, someway we have to do something to solve what's become a sad norm in our society. We can't just talk about it, we have to step up and do something about it and it has to start now - before another parent has to bury their child because of senseless violence. 

Fab Friday Spotlight: Harriet Tubman

Ashley Jefferson

Harriet Tubman - she's one of the most well-respected figures in history and now more than 100 years after her death and she's making history yet again. It was announced this week that Tubman will be replacing President Andrew Jackson on the front of the $20 bill. The redesign will take place over the next few years and the Harriet Tubman $20 will be officially revealed in 2020.

It's a honor well-deserved for a woman who lived a life that we could barely imagine. She was born into slavery along with her entire family. As a child she was severely beaten by her masters and suffered head wounds that caused her to endure seizures, headaches and epilepsy for the rest of her life.

It was in her 20s that Tubman decided enough was enough. She, along with her brothers, made an escape from their plantation in 1849. Tubman made it all the way to Philadelphia but something wasn't right. 

"I was a stranger in a strange land. My father, my mother, my brothers, and sisters, and friends were [in Maryland]. But I was free, and they should be free," she said years later.

Tubman knew that freedom wasn't for her alone and she was willing to risk her life for it. With the help of anti-slavery activists and the Underground Railroad, she made several trips back and forth to lead her parents, her relatives and countless other slaves to safety. Even more amazing - neither Tubman nor the escaped slaves she helped were ever recaptured.

Tubman went on to play an active role helping the Union in the Civil War and supported the fight for women to have the right to vote. She died in 1913 and was buried with military honors.

“I would fight for liberty so long as my strength lasted," Tubman said looking back over her life. We salute Harriet Tubman because fighting for liberty is exactly what she did and now her pioneering legacy will live on even further for future generations.

Learn more about Harriet Tubman

 

#befabulous

Accomplishing Your #LifeGoals

Ashley Jefferson

#LifeGoals - everybody has them right?  Maybe you want to finish high school and go to college? Maybe you want to start your own business? Maybe you want to be a doctor? Maybe you want to travel? Whatever goals you've set, when you're young sometimes you can't quite see all the necessary steps it will take to accomplish them. Whether you've got a list a mile long or you're still not sure what you want to do, there are three key factors to keep in mind when it comes to reaching your goals:

1. Keep God First: You are not here by accident - God created you for a reason. Think about your gifts, talents and the things you enjoy doing. He put those in you as tools to use to fulfill your purpose and to accomplish your goals. But you have to keep Him first in order to be successful.

2. Get Your Education: School doesn’t stop at high school, that’s just the first step. College is a great next step. Yes it can be expensive but there are many options that can help. (Ex: Going to community college for 2 years then transferring to finish up your last 2 years). Other options include trade/vocational schools as well. Whether you want to be an entrepreneur, an artist, a lawyer or anything else, education is key. How can you be successful in something without first being knowledgeable?

3. Stay Focused: There are so many different things that can distract you. Think about the choices you make, because there will always be a consequence to your actions. One decision (good or bad) can affect the rest of your life.

·      Friends: Choose your friends wisely and don’t get caught up hanging with the wrong crowd. Make sure you surround yourself with people who influence you in a positive way.

·      Boys: Don’t be fooled, they really do come and go and it’s not the end of the world when they leave. Don’t let a relationship hold you back from your future. If someone really loves you, they wouldn’t want to distract you but they would support you in accomplishing your goals.

Jeremiah 29:11 says "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord. “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." At the end of the day, remember that God's got your back. So no matter how hard it gets, how far away your goals seem or how many people tell you it's impossible, do not get discouraged but keep pushing and He will make your dreams a reality.

 

 #befabulous

 

Fab Friday Spotlight: Anaya Lee Willabus

Ashley Jefferson

What do you want to be when you grow up? That's a question children hear countless times. Some kids say they want to be a teacher, or a firefighter or maybe even a doctor. 

The thing is, most kids only dream of accomplishing BIG things one day but for Anaya Lee Willabus, her dream became a reality - and she made history in the process. At just 8 years old, Anaya became the youngest author ever in the United States to publish a chapter book.

Anaya, who is now 9, says a trip to her parents' native country of Guyana in 2014 is what inspired her. Soon after returning home to Brooklyn, she began writing and taking notes of the different cultural experiences she observed during her trip. Eventually those notes were typed on the computer and as they say the rest was history.

Her book entitled The Day Mohan Found His Confidence is about the struggles that a young boy faces in his life and how he overcomes them. The book was officially published in 2015 and a whirlwind has since followed. 

Anaya has has been invited to speak all over the country and has received widespread recognition and various honors. Despite making history, it's only the beginning - Anaya is already working on her second book.

We salute Anaya for her history-making accomplishments and for doing just what she set out to do - encouraging children of all ages to "continue to dream big."

 

#befabulous

Check out Anaya's Facebook page

Get your copy of The Day Mohan Found His Confidence

Fab Friday Spotlight: Kimberly Bryant

Ashley Jefferson


Ask the average person and they'll admit that they're pretty tech-savvy. I mean with hours spent each day texting, tweeting, taking selfies and snapchatting - how could we not be?

We may know how to use technology but do we really know how it's built and how it works? Our favorite gadgets that we use everyday (computers, smartphones, etc.) have their roots in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (also known as STEM). 

For most girls, especially minorities, those aren't subjects of interest. It's something Kimberly Bryant first noticed in college while studying Electrical Engineering. She also noticed it later on when she started her career.

On average women make up just 29% of employees at tech-companies in the U.S. and that number for African-American women and other women of color is even lower. Despite seeing these stats firsthand, it was when her daughter expressed interest in following in her footsteps that Bryant decided something had to change.

"I wanted to create more people that look like me and look like my daughter to really fill in the gaps that I saw for myself," said Bryant to CNBC. "When we generally think of a computer scientist now, it does not look like a woman of color, it does not look of someone that is of Hispanic background..."

So in 2011, Bryant started Black Girls Code - a non-profit geared towards breaking down those barriers and teaching girls 7-17 the ins and outs of computer programming. Now, almost 5 years later and Black Girls Code has worked with more than 5,000 girls across the United States and in Africa with plans to continue to expand nation-wide.

 

Many of the girls have taken what they've learned through BGC's workshops and other sessions and are putting it to use outside of the program - with some even pursuing college degrees in computer science and other fields.

"We're starting to see that shift where girls are really voicing their interest in computer science and see that they have a place at that table," Bryant told CNBC. "I think we're changing not just the minds of the girls, but the minds of everyone around them as well."

We salute Kimberly Bryant and Black Girls Code for opening doors and inspiring girls of all colors to learn and embrace science, technology, engineering and math and to tear down stereotypes in the process.

For more information: http://www.blackgirlscode.com/

 

#befabulous

 

What Kind of Reflection Are You?

Ashley Jefferson

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Growing up my mom would say "Remember who you are and to whom you belong."

She would often say this whenever I was going somewhere - whether it was to the mall with friends, maybe out with a guy, or even when I went away to college.

As my parent, she knew that she did her best to teach me right from wrong and to instill in me high standards and morals.

My actions, no matter where I go, ultimately reflect how I was raised and this phrase of hers was basically my mom's way of reminding me not to forget all I've been taught.

As a child, I used to think this saying only applied to me being a reflection of my parents. However as I got older, I realized that I can look at it also as it applies to God.

Genesis 1:27 says "So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them."

God created us in His image and that means we are a reflection of Him too.That's pretty big but the problem is how often have we kept this in mind?

Think about the last time you did something you knew was wrong but chose to do anyway? In doing whatever it was, what kind of reflection were you?

And that's a question we should keep in mind daily: What kind of reflection am I? Because it'll help us everywhere we go and in everything we do, to remember who we are and to Whom we belong.

 

#befabulous

Fab Friday Spotlight: Gianni Graham

Ashley Jefferson

In this week's Fab Friday Spotlight we're highlighting Gianni Graham. The 9-year-old from Virginia is on a mission to collect 1,000 Barbies.

Many little girls could only dream of having a doll collection that size but for Gianni, these toys aren't for her to play with - but to share. 

It all started shortly after Christmas. Gianni says she was playing one day when she got an inspiring idea.

"...it just came to me that I could collect Barbies to help girls in need," Gianni told ABC News.

From that ordinary day, an extraordinary project was born: "1K Barbies for 1K Girls" The goal: to collect 1,000 new Barbies to donate to 1,000 girls living in homeless shelters.

A photo posted by @1kbarbiesfor1kgirls on

"Girls in shelters deserve the same things we have," Gianni told ABC News.

Gianni's started out with just a few dolls but as of this week, her collection has grown to over 800 and counting - with donations pouring in from all across the world.

A photo posted by @1kbarbiesfor1kgirls on

Each Barbie that's donated gets wrapped with girly flair - a box with pink paper and hand written notes with encouraging words like "I hope this brings you joy," and "This is given to you as a friend."

Once all 1,000 Barbies are collected, they will each be given away to a little girl in the Virginia area.

We salute Gianni Graham for her hard work, dedication and desire to make life a little brighter for girls in need - one doll at a time.

To learn more or to donate to "1K Barbies for 1K Girls" check out the following links:

**UPDATE** Gianni reached her goal! Yay!

Today was very exciting and emotional at the same time . My babies dream became a reality and I'm forever grateful for all of the support from everyone . #upcenter#1kbarbiesfor1kgirls

Posted by 1k Barbie's for 1k girl's on Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Thank you to everyone from all across the world who helped Gianni reach her goal of #1kbarbies. We are not finished ,...

Posted by 1k Barbie's for 1k girl's on Thursday, March 3, 2016

 

#befabulous

Fab Friday Spotlight: Rosa Parks

Ashley Jefferson

Rosa Parks riding on the Montgomery Area Transit System bus in Montgomery, Ala. Parks refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery bus Dec. 1, 1955, and ignited the boycott that led to a federal court ruling against segregation in public transportation. (Photo: AP)

Rosa Parks riding on the Montgomery Area Transit System bus in Montgomery, Ala. Parks refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery bus Dec. 1, 1955, and ignited the boycott that led to a federal court ruling against segregation in public transportation. (Photo: AP)

Too often trashy stories, fight videos, gossip and other not so good things flood our newsfeeds. Who needs more of that? So on Fridays we want to start spreading the positive by highlighting a fabulous female who's made quite an impact.

She could be someone from history, someone in the present, someone famous or simply an everyday girl. Either way, we want to salute these fabulous ladies for doing fabulous things and being an inspiration.

In honor of Black History Month, for our first Fab Friday Spotlight we want to highlight Rosa Parks.


She's someone just about everyone has learned about in history class as the black woman who famously refused to give up her seat to a white person on the bus - this during the trying times of segregation and racial uprising in the south. However Mrs. Parks was a Civil Rights activist long before she took that bus ride on December 1, 1955 and continued to fight for the equal rights of African-Americans long after.

One of the things Parks could most be admired for is that despite her arrest, the hate, and even the death threats she endured - she was determined to stand up for what was right and fight for freedom in the face of fear.

Parks herself said “I learned to put my trust in God and to see Him as my strength. Long ago I set my mind to be a free person and not to give in to fear. I always felt that it was my right to defend myself if I could. I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear."

During the course of her life she worked for the NAACP, as an aide for Congressman John Conyers Jr., started the Rosa L. Parks Scholarship Foundation, co-founded the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self-Development to help young people in Detroit and also authored two books. Parks died in October 2005 at the age of 92.  Yesterday, February 4th would have been her 103rd birthday.

Before she died, when asked what she wanted her legacy to be, she simply put: "I would like to be remembered as a person who wanted to be free... so other people would be also free."

Thank you Mrs. Parks for fighting for freedom and being an inspiration to girls and young women everywhere. We salute you.

 

#befabulous