The following is an excerpt from a fantastic post by my college friend, Stephanie. Stephanie and I worked on a few projects together in school and I have always admired her heart for others. She’s just so kind. She’s also an incredibly talented artist, a special education teacher, a fairly recent newlywed (holla!) and the creator of Help a Girl Out, a project dedicated to reminding women to love themselves. She’s been featured by the Tyler Morning Telegraph and you can find out more about HAGO on Tumblr or on Facebook. Do be sure to read the rest of the post. You absolutely will not be sorry…there are graphs! That’s all from me; the rest is Stephanie. -MS
I finished the last question and clicked Publish.
“Do you really think anyone will fill it out?” I asked.
“I’m sure of it,” replied my husband. (He has always been the optimistic one.) “Just wait,” he said. (Come to think of it, he’s always been the patient one too.)
I sat at the computer for what seemed like an hour, as if staring at it would magically send a personal mental email to all the women on my friends list.
Nothing. “Why don’t you turn it off until tomorrow? Give them time,” he said.
Ugh. I ignored him. I couldn’t pull myself away.
I’m not really sure what prompted me to create the survey in the first place. It’s no secret that women all over the planet struggle with self-image issues. So why did I need to see the actual numbers? Maybe I needed affirmation that I wasn’t alone in my self-consciousness. Maybe it was nerdiness, remnants still left from college, manifested as a social experiment. Maybe I was just a bored teacher with nothing better to do on my summer break. Who knows?
It consisted of only five, anonymous questions so I figured at least one person would humor me, but then again with all the BuzzFeed lists, quiz results, and YouTube videos that get posted to Facebook, maybe no one would even notice my little survey.
Then I saw it.
The response box that was previously empty now contained a one.
Someone had pitied me! Hooray!
A surge of excitement shot through me. It literally felt like I was bungee jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge.
Knowing this, you can only imagine how I felt over the next 24 hours.
To say the response was incredible is an understatement. My original goal was to entice at least ten women to participate, but obviously the final number far surpassed a measly ten. As of today, a total of 345 women and girls have completed the Self Image Survey. If I had not discontinued it, I have no doubt that the number would still be rising. Even before considering these women’s answers, the sheer number of participants screamed “This is a big deal!” However, it wasn’t until I began scanning the responses that I realized exactly how big.