Recently a Moruya high school teacher, Kimberli started on a mission she calls The Girl Campaign. In a nut shell The Girl Campaign started because Kimberli was sick of sometimes comparing herself to other women and their bodies, looks, life styles and careers and thinking negatively about herself. It dawned on her that she wasn’t alone and that almost all women thought the same thing. Instead of accepting this as ‘the way it is’ she decided to make it her personal mission to teach girls to love themselves, and to feel happy and healthy no matter what.
Kimberli now attends local schools and sets up The Girl Campaign Oasis, her bell tent which she decks out with loads of plush girly pillows and works with small groups of girls from grades 6 through to 12. She works on each individual’s level of self-esteem and finds ways to boost positive feelings and thoughts to generate self-love and acceptance.
It gets better, you don’t just listen to Kimberli all day long. She asks other local, inspiring women to come and chat to the girls about their personal experiences. Just as we have done in this interview, Kimberli doesnt hold back. She asks deep and some dark questions about the ladies to show that it doesn’t matter who you are, how old you are or where you come from every woman compares themselves to others, every woman is her own worst critic.
Raw State Co-director, Emily had this privilege at the end of last year and she left feeling the self-love came back at her.
“I didn’t have the greatest time in my teenage years, struggling socially and through school. I didn’t have the greatest self-esteem or body image and struggled with eating disorders and anxiety.
I want girls (and boys) to realise that to be successful you don’t need to look, dress or act a certain way. You don’t need to be the prettiest or the most popular in school to reach your dreams. And you don't need to be the smartest kid in school to achieve your goals. You need to be true to yourself and stick to who you are.
Everybody is beautiful in their own way and as women we need to work together to build one another up instead of brining each other down whenever we can.
Just like Kimberli, I want to help empower and inspire young people. So Raw State has come on board as one of The Girl Campaigns major supporters. I strongly believe in this mission and want to see this campaign grow and grow all over Australia and even the world. More people, schools and businesses should get behind Kimberli and her campaign.
If you own a business, teach at a school or just want to become a supporter, I strongly recommend it! I can tell you now you will not be disappointed!”
Emily recently sat down with Kimberli, it was payback time! She asked Kimberli some personal and deep questions about herself and also The Girl Campaign.
This is honestly the longest interview Emily has done but we assure you it is not one to be missed. So make yourself a cuppa, pop your feet up and get ready to be inspired...
RS: What's the first thing you think of when you wake up?
K: Umm, it varies from day to day depending on what's happening. Generally it's about how good I'll feel after my morning workout (this motivates me to get out of bed!) Often it is about The Girl Campaign and about my 2 beautiful sons.
RS: What inspired you to start The Girl Campaign(TGC)?
K: I have always been interested in health, fitness and helping others. Being female, I have been through some self esteem and body image issues myself and have observed the way many females in my life have treated themselves (and been saddened by this.) As a trained teacher I believe that we don't educate young people enough about how they are enough. I also have a growing concern for today's young people as social media has a greater presence, which can be a great tool but can also provide a place for bullying and unrealistic comparisons to occur.
RS: and how did you start?
K: TGC idea was 'born' from discussing my passion to educate and inspire others about self care and self love with my sister. Her response was " O.K, you need to make this happen. Stop talking about it. Write everything down and start to make your dream happen." I started scrapbooking straight away and am slowly making TGC what I want it to be.
RS: Ultimately, where do you see yourself and the Girl Campaign in 5 years?
K: I see myself being in a role that is inspiring females (particularly primary and secondary students) to be comfortable in their own skin. I want to spread important messages to women and girls nationwide! I have so many exciting ideas and beginning developments that I can't wait to share with everyone!
RS: When you were growing up what did you want to be?
K: As I have mentioned, health, fitness and caring for others have always been areas of interest and a passions for me. I guess it is no surprise that my career aspirations have reflected this. When I was in primary school I wanted to be a nurse or a park ranger. When I was in high school I aspired to be a PDHPE teacher or a police officer. I now am a trained PDHPE teacher and have a minor in Special Education. I am also currently studying a Graduate Certificate in Career Development.
RS: You've started a campaign to help promote good body image no matter what shape, size, nationality etc. for young girls, how was your body image (good/bad) through teenage and school years?
K: Honestly, I wouldn't say my body image or self esteem were terrible but I also wouldn't say that they were fantastic either. I went through (and at times still do) having negative thoughts and beliefs about my appearance. I definitely made comparisons to other girls (friends, strangers, models and celebrities) and at times felt extremely self conscious about certain parts of my body. I loathed my big boobs and my thick boofy hair. I remember wetting my hair under the tap at school every lunch time as it made it look thinner. I have always been sporty and quiet muscular with broad shoulders. My physique received many remarks such as "built like a brick shithouse." Of course this hurt and made me deprive myself from the physical activity that I loved so much. I remember very clearly one day at school when I was in year 10, a year 12 boy wolf whistled when I was walking in the quad. I turned around (not assuming the whistle was at me) and he said "you wish you ugly dog" and then made a pig noise. I still recall how bad that hurt. I tried numerous diets and I admit that I have had (at times) a negative relationship with food. Sometimes I believed that I simply wasn't good enough.
RS: Do you think women's self-body image change after school? Do you have an experience you can share with us?
K: Yes I do think that it changes to some degree. However, I honestly believe that even post-school, women are their own worst critics. We can pick apart our appearance and focus so negatively on features that nobody else would even notice (or maybe these same features even make other women envious.) It seems to be a "female thing" to compare to other females. Big life events that are meant to be some of the most special times in a woman's life (such as your wedding day or having a baby) can add extra pressure to look a certain way and obtain a certain weight. I think this is sad. I still have days where I try an item of clothing on in a change room and get it of as quickly as I can. I have been known to have a tear or two when I try on a pair of jeans out of my own wardrobe that are far too tight. I sometimes find myself envious of someone's amazing stomach or long slender limbs. I still can get self conscience if I think someone is speaking negatively about me. But, you know what my body image and self esteem have improved immensely and I genuinely believe in what I am teaching and trying hard to practice what I preach. I want to be a good role model for females. I am very honest of my experiences when teaching TGC and I believe that participants relate well to that. Being aware of our thoughts and feelings and being able to challenge them to break these self-destructive behaviours is a great start.
RS: Best advice anybody has ever given you?
K: My mum always told me to "trust your gut feeling" and to "treat others how you want to be treated." Simple advice but things that I try to live by.
RS: Tell me 3 things you do to stay positive about yourself?
1. I try to nourish my body with healthy food and regular physical activity.
2. I love having a bath. I get bored in it but I find it so relaxing and so much easier to get to sleep when I have one just before bed.
3. Spending time with the people I choose to spend time with. This includes my beautiful family and my special friends.
RS: Fave Raw State Product/Fragrance?
K: This is the toughest question so far! (haha) I'd say my favourite product is the amazing metros. And my fave fragrance would be a close call between Sea Salted Caramel and Tahitian Vanilla. They really smell good enough to eat!
RS: Quote you live by?
K: At the moment it is this quote by Tyler Kent White. She woke up every morning with the option of being anyone she wished. How beautiful it was that she always chose herself.
RS: Share something nobody knows about you, comon be brave :))
K: I love Home and Away and will even watch online to catch up on missed episodes.