“Be Your Own You” Self-Esteem Resource

Screen Shot 2013-12-01 at 9.04.27 PMThere’s a new resource in my office, a favorite of my fifth grade girls. It’s BYOU “Be Your Own You” Magazine, which aims to encourage healthy self-esteem in girls. The bimonthly issue of BYOU focuses on a theme: bullying prevention, positive friendships, loving yourself, happiness, etc.  BYOU is a great resource - you can use the magazines themselves in group and individual settings, or as inspiration for classroom, group, and individual activities for girls and boys.

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BYOU issues explore healthy, esteem-enhancing themes through articles, positive celebrity interviews, activities, advice, empowering fiction, puzzles and quizzes, and the features “Girls Making a Difference” and “BYOU Honors Inspiring Women.”

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Yes, there’s a requisite “beauty” column (“Beauty’s Tips” – Beauty is a fictional character), but it’s different from any other I have seen: it focuses on inner as well as outer beauty, with outer beauty equated with health. For example,  “Beauty’s Tips” for the B-Happy issue is  “Getting Your Smile On.”  The inner beauty side of the page talks about replacing negative thoughts with positive ones and the outer beauty side talks about oral hygiene. “Beauty’s Tips” from the Love You! issue is “Glow With the Flow.” It encourages girls to visualize different aspects of water as a way to get in touch with their emotions (inner beauty), and the importance of staying hydrated (outer beauty).

Real girls are included in the magazine too, and they provide great examples to use in self-esteem and leadership groups.

photo-43In a current group I’ll be sharing the What Does It Mean to Me to Be Your Own You? pages and having the kids come up with their own magazine layout with their responses to these BYOU prompts:

  • Three words that describe me
  • Dream job
  • Favorite subject
  • Favorite color
  • Favorite food
  • Hobbies
  • I’m really good at
  • What makes me unique is
  • How I want to change the world
  • Self-esteem tip and/or quote for other kids

photo-44I first learned about BYOU when we received a gift copy from willUstand and Charleigh Gere, who was featured in the bullying prevention issue, and who performed her song “Stand” at our school’s Unity Day assembly. I loved it, ran it by some 5th grade guinea pigs, who devoured it, and wanted to learn more. Full disclosure: I received four back issues of BYOU for free in exchange for reviewing it. My conclusion: It’s definitely worth purchasing ($17.97/year; $3.95/issue) for my (and your) counseling program. I’ve also asked our librarian to purchase a subscription for the school, and have recommended it to parents.

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