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"There is only one you": Teen duo step up to teach the art of self-love

Caroline Caldwell summed it up perfectly when she said, “in a society that profits from your self doubt, liking yourself is a rebellious act.” 

Being assured in who you are and what you look like is becoming more and more difficult these days. And, at the risk of sounding like an old man, with the added pressures of social media and constant advertising, we all need to consciously make the effort to accept ourselves every day.

One of the philosophies that underpins everything we do at Zeal is the Circle of Courage – that is, the transition from finding belonging, to mastering a skill, growing in independence, and then sharing that with others. Over the past month, Zeal Wellington’s Girls Group leaders have handed over the reins to the young women, to share some insight on topics they are passionate about. 

Cheyhane and Plum (both 16-years-old) ran a workshop each, with Cheyhane focussing on self love, and Plum covering mental health. They both gave us a run down of their workshops and summed up what the main lesson was – check em out below.


“The topic I did was ‘Image Positivity and Self Love’. It’s about being able see yourself and accepting yourself for who you are, and turning negative self love into positive self love. I wanted to run a group session on this because I feel like this topic is very important in today’s society because of unrealistic expectations. Practicing self love isn’t really taught in high schools. I’ve always been told that I am able to change the world for the better, so I took this opportunity to teach the world love.”

Summed up: “There is only one of YOU, and I think that is very special.”


“My session was based off the topic of ‘Mental Health and Anxiety.’ I wanted to run a session so my friends could feel reassured when they were having trouble in a situation, either being with other people, or how they feel individually. 

A main goal while running this was to be open. I wanted to break down common stigmas around topics like mental illness and disorders. I’ve always been inspired by the people around me, and felt this was a good way to raise some awareness about the issue that the younger generation often have to deal with.”

Summed up: “I think for me, I would like to teach people that mental health is a wider issue than most people think. I know a lot of the time it’s described as the ‘tip of the iceberg ‘- the top is the small parts you can see, and under the surface is a whole new layer of problems. I hope that by raising awareness, most people can learn how to support others and how to support themselves.”

Keen to join Girls’ Group?  Our weekly meetups are designed to equip and empower any young person who identifies as female. Currently only running in Kāpiti and Wellington (for now) – if you’re down to get involved, hit up Hayley at hayley.rosser@zeal.nz