Moon Area High School senior, Genna Aldridge, recently published These Are The Other Stories, a book encouraging body positivity.
The book was a result of an 80-hour service/leadership project in order to receive the Gold Award, the highest achievement in Girl Scouting.
Aldridge was inspired to write the book by a friend who suffered from an eating disorder. After learning of her friend’s struggles, she became more aware of how prevalent body image issues are amongst high school students. Aldridge was motivated to encourage others to love their bodies.
“I wanted to help them realize they’re not alone,” Aldridge said. She hopes the book helps others, who may not be aware of body image struggles amongst peers, to be there for them.
Aldridge started compiling information for the project when she was 16 and worked on the project for nearly two years. The book includes passages from peers and friends who told their individual stories about their own body image perceptions and issues. The book begins with a statistical breakdown of results from a body image survey she passed out to mostly high school students.
Genna said that contributors found the writing therapeutic. “When people were writing the excerpts, they said they had never told anyone that information before,” she said.
The book also includes a 30 Day Positivity Challenge with tasks such as looking in the mirror and reciting affirmations like “I love you and accept your imperfections,” listing things you are thankful for, and encouraging the reader to take time out of their day to do something for themselves.
A pledge can be found in the book as a symbol of commitment for readers to love and accept themselves. The pledge reads:
I pledge to appreciate my body, mind and spirit on the good and the bad days. I will not tear down myself or others. I will not compare myself to others. I will realize that people come in all sizes and that is okay.
Aldridge is a member of Troop 50424 in Moon Township. Each contributor received a hard copy of the These Are The Other Stories and her book is available online through FastPencil Publishing.