QUEEN OF QUIRK - JEYDA, 16
The challenge: Try a new style
“I’ve always been into fashion, but when I was younger I found it hard to express my style ideas because I thought everyone would judge my clothing. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become more comfortable with expressing myself.
I love ‘out there’ accessories and clothes that show my personality. The first time I tried my new style, I was really happy with the way I looked, but scared of what others would think. I definitely got a mixed reaction, but realised that by wearing what I felt good in, I automatically walked a little taller and had more confidence.
I kept up my quirky style and soon found people were coming up to me on the street, complimenting the way I dress and asking me where I got things. Seeing my style rub off on others made me even more confident! I feel like a trendsetter, and am no longer embarrassed or worried about what others think of me.”
SING STAR - ROSEANNE, 14
The challenge: Sing in public
“I’ve wanted to be a singer since I was young, but I’ve never actually had the confidence to sing in front of others. I was always too scared people would judge me and my voice. The place I did most of my singing was in the shower!
Recently I went to karaoke with my friends. Watching them sing and have fun made me want to join in too. I was with people I trusted and I knew they’d support me no matter what, so that gave my confidence a boost. I got up there and chose a song that everyone could sing along to, which helped ease me into it. It was such a good feeling. I performed a few songs and became more confident each time. Some people even told me I should go to a professional audition!
I found the key to confidence is to take things one step at a time. Being anxious and nervous is actually all part of the experience. I feel so much better now!”
COOL PLAYER - POPPY, 14
The challenge: Stand up for myself
“I consider myself quite confident normally, but I was surprised when I had to call upon that confidence to stand up to my friends recently. Some of them brought alcohol to school and were pressuring me to drink. I couldn’t believe it. For one thing, it was lunchtime, AT SCHOOL, and for another, they’d stolen the alcohol from their parents and were drinking it illegally.
I was scared to tell them how I felt, because I thought they might judge me. But I thought it was more important to do what was right and stand up for myself, so despite my nerves, I told them I wasn’t interested. They said if I didn’t drink the alcohol, they’d put it in my water bottle anyway.
I thought it was ridiculous that they’d do something like that just because I didn’t do what they said. I decided to talk to some adults about it. I felt scared and guilty, but I took the plunge and told my parents, the headmaster and some trusted teachers. It really helped me to feel more secure and supported. My confidence increased, because I’d spoken up for what I believe in.
I no longer hang out with those girls, and I’ve made some good friends who support me and my decisions. I’m glad I had the confidence to stand up for myself. If people are really your friends, they don’t pressure you to do things you don’t want to do.”
The challenge: Do volunteer work
“I wanted to do some volunteer work in the community because I was keen to try something new, but when I looked into the roles available I started stressing out. I didn’t know there’d be so much fundraising, like approaching people on the streets for donations, which is SO not my thing!
I still wanted to volunteer, so I talked to my friends about my nerves and reminded myself that it was all about having fun. Focusing on the positives having encouraging friends really helped.
On my first day, I thought, ‘What have you got yourself into?!’ I was extremely nervous and totally out of my comfort zone. Then I remembered it was all to help others, and that spurred me on. It’s actually great to talk to a variety of people you’ve never met before. You learn a lot, and it makes you feel really confident and strong. Now I no longer feel pressure or stress. I just focus on making others feel happy, and I’m happy myself!”
Watch a behind-the-scenes video from the girl's photoshoot: