A Savvy Approach to Building Self-Esteem


Building A Better You


Because Self-Esteem is the Ultimate in Chic
Today’s tweens and teens -- particularly young women -- face many complex challenges pertaining to body image and self-esteem. And while we often think of the fashion industry as the enemy of female well-being, what if it could be put to positive use instead? 

"Building a Better You" (501c3) is a nonprofit organization founded in 2002, have been serving youth in the Durham and  Wake County areas for over 17 years.


    Our fashion-forward approach to building self-esteem and soft skills in females not only acknowledges that today’s young women want to look and feel their best, but also proposes that these two things are -- for better or for worse -- inextricably intertwined. So why not help the daughters, nieces, sisters, and other young women in our lives by empowering them to understand how factors like peer pressure, conflict resolution, interpersonal and decision making skills along with how the media influence everything from what they wear to how they perceive themselves -- not to mention how they’re perceived by other people? 

    It’s unrealistic to try to shield young women from the onslaught of images intimating that how they look is somehow “less than” the models, actresses and other role models they see in fashion magazines. Building a Better You takes a different tack: In actively exposing girls to many different standards of beauty, the program facilitates healthy body image, enhanced self-esteem and, ultimately, self-acceptance.
     If you or someone you know is coping with peer pressure, body image issues, or an alternate self-esteem struggle, or have a love for fashion, modeling or a desire for a wardrobe makeover, you don’t have to do it alone. The Building a Better You program’s four development workshops help young girls to young adult women between the ages of 12 and 21 lead more focused, confident, productive and responsible lives -- all through the unexpected yet apt medium of fashion. 

What are people saying?

The "Building A Better You" program brings traditional lessons on confidence, self-esteem and healthy body image to a place girls this age are most interested." 

- Midtown Raleigh News 

A few real testimonials


This is a unique, contemporary idea that helps teen girls become more confident and more responsible as it teaches them how to look at messages they get in the media - TV shows, MTV, BET, YouTube - with a critical eye," – Scott M. *Y spokesman. 

The girls are talking....


"It hasn't happened to me yet, but once you get into middle school, there's a lot of peer pressure - doing drugs, cheating on tests," she said. "We talked about the side effects of all of those things and how to say 'No' to peer pressure. That really matters to teenagers."  - Elizabeth

There is a lot that can be learned...


I learned how important my body is and how I need to respect my values. I also learned about setting goals and how important it is to have self-esteem. The self- respect topic really stood out to me. -  Amaya

Parents also have something to say...


”It was a great opportunity for her to get a little advice on how to grow up as a teenage girl in that, as Dad, I'm not qualified to give - how to find her own style and her own sense of confidence to become who she is, rather than the popular belief of who she should be." – Matthew L.