Hi, my name is Summer Coulter, I am currently in grade 12 at Medway High School in London Ontario.
2 years ago during one of my food and nutrition classes, we had one of the nurses from guidance in the room and she had a presentation set up on the smart board. So we took our seats and she introduced herself and told us how she was going to talk to us about body image.
She started her slide show and went through the topics of bulimia, anorexia and so on. But it wasn't until near the end of her presentation, when she asked the class to raise our hand, if we had something that we didn't like about ourselves.
Everyone in the class raised their hands with out hesitation! I looked around and I thought to my self, WOW I'm not the only one.
Then she asked the class to raise their hand if we had something we liked about ourselves. Most people thought for a second and then raised their hand. As I raised my hand I looked around the room and there was quite a few people who didn't raise their hands; some where guys but most where girls.
Sitting a row directly in front of me, was three girls who looked at each other and all said that they couldn't think of a single thing they liked about themselves.
It broke my heart a little to see these beautiful girls, who didn't like who they were.
After that the presentation finished, the bell went, and we went home; but that class had been a real eye opener for me!
The next days, it was as if my eyes had been opened to something I hadn’t seen before. All around the school, I started to look outside my own personal world and see things that I had never noticed before.
Like, people who eat lunch alone, people in the hallways, who avoid eye contact with everyone and walk with their head down, people who have cuts on their wrists and thighs.
Even in my own friends circle, I started to notice how often the words “Oh, I could NEVER do that”, “I could NEVER wear that” or even “I look so ugly in this picture.” are said. I was amazed at how negative the majority are about themselves.
It was right then and there, that I knew I wanted to help them. I wanted to do something to make a difference!
At this same time my mom had been running her own business for years and was showcasing her products at a local Artisan Market in London. She had mentioned to me, that while I was there helping her I should find something i could do. To encourage entrepreneurialism.
That’s when I told her about what had happened and how I wanted to make a change. We decided to start with some type of shirts, since they would be an easy way to start. As most people wear t-shirts, thereby allowing people to wear the word they want to be and to believe that they can be that.
Through a friend at the market we learned about the Summer Company program as a way to start while I was not busy with school. I spent that summer working on starting I.M. Wear with the programs help.
From there, I have since added bracelets, sweatshirts, sweatpants and am now wishing to continue to spread empowerment to the younger generations through my Youth Empowering Youth Movement.
All clothing is Canadian made and printed with my designs. The bracelets they are hand made by me and the gemstones are selected based on the qualities that the stone offers and is matched with a shirt.
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