If you told me to look in the mirror and name ten things I’d like to change about myself, I could do it easily. If you told me to look in the mirror and name ten things I love about myself, it would be harder.

That is a problem. Since coming to Duke, I’ve experienced a decrease in self-esteem, but I’m not blaming the school (or the student population) for this. I think the issue is the fact that we are told (by the media, by society, and by ourselves) that we are not good enough, and we should constantly be taking more steps to make ourselves better.

But I’m also a big believer in the power of even a single person, which is why my project isn’t about dealing with the problem from the outside in, but instead facing it from the inside out. What does this mean? It means reminding women on Duke’s campus that they are wonderful, and that they have unique qualities and attributes that make them special, qualities that they should embrace and celebrate. Which is why I’ve decided that whenever I look in the mirror from now on, I’m going to remind myself of how much I love my eyes, green with golden sunflowers in the center. They make me unique and beautiful. Confidence and love of one’s self should be celebrated. It shouldn’t be a rarity or an anomaly. I hope that through this project will remind women that they can and should love themselves.