Get to Know REbeL

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What makes a youth find worth in themselves? What standards do they think they should amount to? Looking in the magazines published for young minds, it seems all that matters is how to flirt, how many many miles one must run to burn fat, or how to add flare to your school supplies with washi tape. These topics if overused send an irresponsible message to the young minds that wait open, and ready. To combat the resulting lack of self esteem, Rebel; a national organization dedicated to empowering people. By giving a voice of encouragement, REbel hopes to change the way people see themselves physically and mentally.   THE STUF

Here in Basehor-Linwood High School, there are two teachers dedicated to furthering the helping hand of REbeL. Both english teachers, Mrs. Bowser and Ms. Coy take on trying to help their students see the better sides of themselves. By showing a more positive side, students will show a healthy confidence.

Sitting in the english I classroom, lit. teachers Tara Bowser and Allyson Coy settle themselves for the questions to come. Mrs. Bowser explains the mission of the REbeL,“It’s about creating an awareness of the way people talk about themselves and others”. Coy adds how they discuss this weighty subject in class. They hope to open up a discussion, bettering the environment for young minds to develop in. Both teachers adamantly support “Promoting positivity and not negativity”.

The conversation tends to turn towards body image, but both teachers emphasize that there is an equal distribution between focussing on self esteem in the realm of body and self image.

When asked about personal motivation for themselves and the students Mrs. Bowser answered “ We’re still young enough I would say to understand what happens in terms of social media… as a female I know women talk negatively about themselves a lot.” Coy explains this phenomenon further with a movie reference, “It’s like that scene in Mean Girls”.

Bowser talks of how everyone one has at one point felt a lack of self esteem, with that in mind, REbeL is a program designed for everyone.

Recently REbeL made it a mission to have a “Mirrorless Monday”. Coy explained the project with, “The whole idea behind covering up the mirror with positive images is the idea that you’re more than what the mirror reflects”. Attempting to show people a positive way of thinking has been difficult for REbeL in some respects. Students about the school have reacted to the positivity with cynicism. It is unfortunate, but the first attempt at mirrorless Monday ended in many of the positive messages being erased. Coy mentioned grimly, “ The first couple times we’ve done it things got erased pretty quickly, but I noticed this past Monday they stayed up all day so that’s some progress”.

From this point, after the mirror project; REbeL can only climb higher in its goals. Only in their first year of the program, the group is relatively small, but Coy mentions, “We are kinda a diverse group… girls and guys, it’s not something that’s just for girls”. REbeL recognizes unrealistic expectations for both genders, one can expect a welcoming community. Bowser gives the current numbers of the student body of REbeL,” There are four guys in our group right now, so about 50% of the group”.

Coy continues with information about future projects, a talent show and a group lunch event, “Everybody has a talent… we’re also going to do whiteboard wednesday, where people can write down things the things they like about themselves”. With a talent show, the true message of REbeL  could be received, self confidence and the building of a better version of oneself.

Hopefully in the future, Basehor-Linwood can look forward to building up the confidence of its student body. Giving an outlet for young minds to reflect on how they talk about themselves and others, in due time the program of REbeL intends to make a different environment for high schoolers to grow up as better human beings. The REbel website, REbeL.org sums up its goals positively, “With a combination of in-school activities, community activism, classroom education, and parent training sessions, we are fighting for a better future in which individuals are valued for who they are rather than how they look”.