E-retailer Sam Sisakhti founds an organization that seeks to help young women feel better about their bodies while also providing women of limited means with party dresses.

Sam Sisakhti, founder and CEO, UsTrendy

Sam Sisakhti, founder and CEO, UsTrendy

A new charity called the Believe in Yourself Project is helping to fight cyber bullying and replace the poor body image that afflicts many girls and women.

This image is heightened by what the traditional fashion industry deems as beautiful: Women are expected to appear a certain way and live up to a manufactured and unrealistic notion of what beauty is. At the same time, strained finances can prevent many girls from keeping up with what’s trending or cool, making them feel isolated among their friends for not being able to afford clothing that is deemed as “in” socially.

In an attempt to promote a positive body image, I, the founder of online fashion site UsTrendy.com, created the Believe in Yourself Project.

Over the past few years, I have grown increasingly concerned with the cyber bullying and body shaming that he has seen online. At the same time, I realized the enormous social pressure that many young girls feel to try to be hip and socially cool by wearing clothing that is seen as stylish. Many girls are unable to afford these fashions and can often feel ashamed socially.

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We hope to dispel the notion that you need to be a size 0 in order to be beautiful.

These observations inspired me to launch the Believe in Yourself Project, a foundation that will provide needy girls with dresses for upcoming dances and at same time promote a positive body image through speakers and mentors.

The aim is to help women feel better about themselves and their physical attributes and to promote healthy self-esteem among young girls at an early age, empowering these young women to take on active social roles within their school communities.

Over the past year, Believe in Yourself has given formal dresses to underprivileged high school girls and college students across the country for them to wear at their school dances. Many of the girls in the program have had the self-confidence to attend their first school dance.

The Believe in Yourself Project is part of a broader initiative. We are currently in talks with various influential women who at one time or currently have struggled with body image, encouraging them to serve as speakers and mentors to the various girls within the program.

We hope to dispel the notion that you need to be a size 0 in order to be beautiful.

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Online fashion marketplace UsTrendy.com is No. 950 in the Internet Retailer Top 1000 ranking of North America’s leading online retailers.

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