Building Self Esteem in Tweens

The Inside/Outside Project

I remember being a tween. I remember it because it was not so awesome. I was chubby, I had braces, and I had hair that couldn’t decide if it was straight or curly. I got teased. That was on the outside.

On the inside I was a comedienne, a scientist, an Olympic medal-winning softball pitcher, and certainly had awesome hair. That was on the inside. 

Tracy Anderson as a tween, self esteem Inside/Outside ProjectAs an adult, I feel for my 12-year-old-self. I wish I could have pulled more of that inside spirit out. I wish I worried less about what people saw (or what I thought people saw) on the outside. I wonder what kind of impact that might have had on my sel esteem. Don’t get me wrong, I had a great childhood.

But I also remember — being a tween is hard.

So about a year ago this time I launched a program called The Inside/Outside Project as a way stay within my beloved niche of tween photography, but also as a way to help girls and boys see themselves differently and hear how much they’re loved by others.

Since the first few emails went out and Facebook posts went up, the response from parents has been overwhelming. It’s
definitely struck a chord. I realize I’m not alone in my late-at-night-neverending-paralyzing-worry-that-my-tween-will-be-hurt-or-sad-or-anything-that-doesn’t-involve-bubble-wrapping-them-until-they’re-25 fear. I worry about my own budding tweens. A lot. Will they be liked, will they be teased, will they be bullied or pressured or worse? But an equally important set of questions is will they like themselves? If they are bullied will they have the strength to speak up or speak out on behalf of a friend? And what am I doing to support that strength at home?

As a woman, I know I’ve voiced aloud my unhappiness with the reflection in the mirror or the number on the scale. I know my own self esteem has (is) suffered (suffering) over the years. I honestly don’t know if I would have the strength to be a tween in today’s world.Self esteem Inside/Outside Project, Photographers in Greensboro NC

I’m proud of the response to this program. I will continue to worry about my tweens. But I also want to help show them they are awesome just as they are — right now.

See more of my work with Tweens here and find details on the program and how messages of love and support from family and friends are incorporated into the finished project here.

And, to get started on a session of your own, click the contact me tab. It’s a little bit of work upfront, but it’s so worth it — for you and for them!

Miss A’s Tween Session

We had such a great time hanging in her room and just doing the things she loves. It’s so amazing to see what makes each incredible tween unique.

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Photographers in Greensboro NC with tween girl


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