Girl's Night In 2019 at Sinclair Secondary School
Ayesha Khan | Whitby, Ontario On April 25th, Sinclair Secondary School's Girl Up and Youth in Action clubs held its second Girls’ Night In at Sinclair successfully. Like last year, Girls’ Night In was a night to get to know the bold women in our community, empower each other, and treat ourselves. The night’s core theme revolved around a bold statement: “kind heart, fierce mind, brave spirit.” I feel that as women, we’re told that if we feel fierce and confident, we’re not supposed to be kind. If we can dream big, we’re told that we cannot be good-natured because we must fight our way to the top. We’re told that a woman can’t have all these characteristics at the same time due to its contradictory nature. We all know that that’s an absolute lie. Women can be kind and still be fierce, brave yet smart, and basically anything they want to be. Girls Night In was about breaking the stereotype on what a woman is ‘supposed’ to be and understanding that female empowerment is not simply ‘hating on men’, but it begins when girls support girls. Laura Hesp, mental health advocate and founder of Inclusive Love, was the keynote speaker of the night. She touched on an important topic for girls everywhere: mental health. Specifically, she emphasized social media’s impact on self-esteem. Instagram constantly made her compare herself with others, prompting her to set unrealistic expectations on what she wanted to look like. Life is filtered, edited, and retouched on social media, yet we still desire to be that girl on our feed. Laura advised the attendees to take a break from social media and put their mental health first. Though it's easier said than done, her advice is crucial to having a positive mindset and self-image. Multiple workshops were held at this event: a yoga, henna, and dance workshop along with a self-care fair occupied the night. STAR members showcased a traditional Bollywood dance at the dance workshop and helped create beautiful henna designs on attendees’ hands. Cupcake decorating, facials, and manicures were a part of the self-care fair which allowed students to relax and get creative. At the end of the night, after being pampered yet informed on various topics, we hope that girls walked out of the event knowing how amazing it is to start supporting the girls around them instead of giving into the toxic culture that tells us that we need to be competing with each other instead of cooperating. Thank you to Maryam and Nivaal, Ms. Fraser, STAR, Youth In Action, Mr. Mackinnon, Mrs Eales, and all the volunteers for helping run this year's Girls Night In successfully!