Day 2: How would you describe an Ethiopian girl…?

The daily update from Day 2 of Free Being Me training in Ethiopia:

‘How would you describe an Ethiopian Girl?’

It’s a surprise that this was a tough challenge!

In groups of two ‘Ubuntu and Sorene’, we tried to list down what we think describes an Ethiopian girl. We do talk about this every day because we are the ‘Ethiopian Girl’ in one way or another so it might seem strange to anyone reading this that we could not at once describe ourselves.

Why this happened is simple.

Back in Sorene group, we started writing down words we thought describe an Ethiopian girl. Some of the words were ‘braids, straight nose, fair skin color, big eyes and tall’. Then we wrote down words other people around us use to describe an Ethiopian girl and this is what we came up with:

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We called our group ‘Sorene’ because this is the name of a local bird and it is also uses to describe a strong girl – so we all loved the name. After completing our drawing, Sorene group members then talked about how all of these words make girls feel even though they do not talk about it.

Hewan, a member or Sorene group said that she now “understands that the image myth and body talk are harmful and should be stopped” while another group member Tinbit said “girls can lose their confidence because their image does changes all the time”.

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We had a lot of fun working on creating a new magazine that would help girls love themselves as they already are. Our magazine was also called ‘Sorene’. We created this magazine to help girls ‘understand that there is not a perfect image’ Lilanie our magazine editor told reporters.

Having talked about the image myth or in other words, how the world says we should be even if we are different, Ubuntu and Sorene group members also came up with solutions!

We all gave a ‘happy’ answer to a friend who was doubting herself because of how her body looks.

For example, for a friend who was worried she did not look good in a dress, Soren group members responded by saying ‘you are beautiful the way you are’ and ‘when a girls sees herself in a mirror, she should feel good about herself’.

As Tinbit said, ‘it is not possible’ to be perfect and the journey to perfection can bring pain to a girl, her family and even her community because she would lose her chance to become the best she could have been.´

To Mahlet, the day was ‘all about being ourselves; how we can be ourselves; how we can love ourselves as we are and how the image myth affects our confidence’. And so she advises all of us to ‘appreciate what you’ already have!´

This has been wonderful learning about guiding and the ‘Free Being Me’ project which allows us to be our best selves no matter what anyone says!

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