Photos: On Loving Girls

By Dawgelene (Dr. Dawj) Sangster

Last weekend, I had the privilege to speak at two events that focused on teaching women and girls to love themselves, respect themselves, and embrace their beauty. The events were sponsored by two organizations in Chicago, Diva and Dolls Natural and Glitz Pageants and The Princess Within Foundation. 

The Diva and Dolls Natural and Glitz Pageant focuses on helping girls embrace their beauty, talent, communication and leadership skills, all in a setting that provides support and encouragement. Children from across the city and from various cultures participate in the pageant, where parents and supporters cheered all children as winners. “We want to provide an environment where all girls are beautiful,” says Jen Matthews, co-Director of the pageant.

The second event, Cookies, Cupcakes and Conversations, was sponsored by The Princess Within Foundation.  This event had more than 150 attendees and focused on teaching girls and women to respect, love, and appreciate their value. It was a beautiful event that provided an environment where the women engaged in meaningful conversations about real issues many women face today.

Says founder Bernada Baker, “Girls and women need to understand how imperative it is to love themselves unconditionally, celebrate womanhood, embrace their flaws, and be empowered to maximize their potential.”



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  • Mrs. Mommy,
    Immediately, I thought the same thing, I think the JoBenet tragedy has scarred us forever when it comes to beauty pageants. This pageant, however, was a self-esteem booster, as they all were winners and cheered on by the audience. It was an exercise in public speaking, poise, and overall, interaction with their peers. Back to your point about our girls and pageantry in general, you are correct, especially if our girls are dolled up like little women and pressured to bring home the trophy.
    I appreciate your comment. Thank you.

  • Hi there MrsMommy!!

    Thanks so much for responding. You are so on point when it comes to what society and the world in generl view as beauty and barbi-nizing our children. I for one certainly don't agree with that, and my daughter would tell you that I didn't even want her to wear lip gloss or nail polish until she was 16. Anyhoo, this pageant was different, which is why I attended and decided to write about it. The pageant's main focus is on natural beauty without perms, weaves, make-up, etc. Many of the participants have natural hair, are various shapes and sizes, and are completely natural in the face. The point is to showcase natural beauty without make-up, etc. The other aspect is that all audience participants cheer for every child and many of us, including me, was at the side of the stage cheering and smiling, and telling them to walk forward. The best part was when children began to smile and feel confident, because everyone was cheering them on. They learned to speak in public, stand tall, and be happy for each participant. It was truly a beautiful experience and one that I am very proud to have experienced, especially since I am natural and was always told that it was not beautiful to have natural hair or to choose not to wear make-up.

    One last point, one mom was in tears and told me that it was the first time that she saw her little girl walk with confidence and really speak in front of a group, because she was always teased for having natural hair. Ahhh, the joys of parenting!

    Stay Fabulous MrsMommy!


  • In reply to thinkroyally:

    Thank you for your thoughtful reply.

  • In reply to MrsMommy:

    No problem! I appreciate you for stopping by and visiting ; )

  • Dawj, I LOVE your movement! I love what you stand for and I love it that your spirit radiates throughout each endeavor, each event and each woman/girl you come in contact with. I support and swear by these principles; no matter the eye color or the make up of the features, self-love and confidence resonate beyond features! Do yo 'Thang, Brown Chick!! Keep reminding us all to Think Royally!!

  • In reply to AComeaux:

    Hey Queen K,

    I love supporting organizations and events that promote natural beauty and women embracing who they are as women, and not on how they look or what they wear.


  • Thanks Dawj... It's so important for us to teach our children that true beauty comes from within... Thanks for sharing your experience with us!

  • In reply to shoyabowman:

    Fabulous Shoya,

    Thanks for posting. Yes, teaching them to just be themselves and love who they are is what is critical.


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