"I'm a girl. I'm beautiful the way I am."

 
The city of New York just announced an amazing new ad campaign called "I'm a Girl." Aimed at girls aged 12-17, the ad campaign seeks to bolster self-esteem to help girls steel themselves against self-destructive pressures like drinking, promiscuity, bullying, and suicidality. The tag line is "I'm beautiful the way I am." It's true-- they are. 
Image credit nyc.gov

Image credit nyc.gov

The ad will be featured in buses, phone kiosks, and subways, with a video version in taxis, and work in concert with after-school programs. 

Image credit nyc.gov

Image credit nyc.gov

As a woman who remembers the vague unease of adolescence well, I love this ad campaign. As a mother, I want all children to be comfortable and confident in their own skin. 

Image credit nyc.gov

Image credit nyc.gov

And I really believe that even though I am a plastic surgeon. Wanting to look good makes you human-- it doesn't make you vapid or vain. It is a natural human instinct, and everyone-- men, women, old, and young-- feels this way. 

Image credit nyc.gov

Image credit nyc.gov

90% of women over 20 wear makeup. 70% of women over 30 dye their hair. And all of us brush our hair, button our shirts, and pull ourselves together before we go out on a date or an interview.

Image credit nyc.gov

Image credit nyc.gov

There is an inherent balance between being a plastic surgeon, a woman, and an advocate for girls and women. For me, it involves keeping kids from growing up too quickly, making sure people who desire cosmetic surgery are doing it for the right reasons, and remembering to relate to my patients with empathy and sympathy when appropriate, when we discuss these issues in consultation.

 

Click to read the New York Times article about this campaign.

Click to read the New York Times article about this campaign.