Vera Bradley helps CBL project promote women empowerment


Emily Wilson, Reporter

Dozens of papers were messily pinned against three boards covered in cloth of different shades of pink leaning against a white brick wall. One such paper read, “People think you’re just a pretty face, but then you show them that you’re actually strong.”

It’s Challenge-Based Learning season at Bellevue West, and all the papers were the result of a CBL project by four junior girls. Michelle Pham, Amelia Rice, Ainsley Smith, and Delaney Williams chose their project with the hopes of inspiring girls to empower each other.

They used Vera Bradley’s recently launched “It’s Good To Be A Girl” campaign to help other girls find things that they like about themselves and to remember reasons why it’s fun to be a girl.

“We want girls to empower others,” Williams said. “We know what [other girls] are going through so it’s important to support each other.”

With all the new body positivity trends on social media, the group thought that their project would help girls realize that different body images is something that affects everyone. They hoped that by bringing the message into the school, it would change how people view themselves and each other.

“Everyone in high school goes through the same phases,” Pham said. “[Girls feel] bad about themselves or feel self conscious, so we just want to do something that makes them feel better about themselves.”

On Oct. 27, around 150 girls filed into the South Gym for a presentation about empowering each other. Vera Bradley public relations specialist Jenna Leffers flew out to be at the event– along with about 600 Vera Bradley giveaways.

Leffers said that their campaign–which launched August 23–was a way to re-identify the brand, but also to give “a new face” to Vera Bradley.

The Vera Bradley website said that their goal is to “…flood the world with reasons womanhood is an advantage. We believe there are thousands of reasons it’s good to be a girl, and we’re ready to prove it.”

“My favorite part of the campaign in general is that it’s meant to inspire [women],” Leffers said. “It’s purpose is to empower us because we are capable of it.”

To begin the CBL event, senior Audrey Lausterer sang an original song titled Do You Know When.” She was then accompanied by senior Coralys Nieves to sing “Girl Is On Fire” by Alicia Keys.

Williams presented the reason for their project and about why it’s important for girls to stand up and be for each other. Afterwards, everyone in the room was invited to write why they thought it was good to be a girl.

The responses ranged everywhere between clothes and makeup to being able to have strong connections with other girls. Pham said that girls could’ve written their own responses or looked at others’ and get ideas of why they should feel better about themselves.

So what are some of the reasons participants gave for why it’s good to be a girl?

Sophomore Addie Banks said because girls are “able to dress up and put on makeup and feel good about yourself.”

Senior Erin Niemeyer said because being a girl makes her feel confident while senior Elaine Weese said it’s because of feminism and clothes.

The presentation ended with Vera Bradley giveaways and cotton candy. But the group didn’t stop in GPS– they set up a table at the Powderpuff games and continued to inspire girls on the advantages of womanhood.

We just wanted them to understand and get a better perspective about how they look and who they are and their personality,” Smith said.