A nationwide group striving to strengthen women’s’ empowerment has made its way to Texas State and is working to ensure no Bobcat feels alone.
I Am That Girl, an organization helping women turn self-doubt into self-love, stems from a book with the same name written by Alexis Jones. What started out as a motivational book has transitioned into a nationwide movement. While it began as a movement for women, the group does not discriminate on who can join—persons of any race, gender, ethnicity, sexuality or background can join.
Mikayla McIntyre, criminal justice senior and president of the Texas State chapter, said she hopes IATG will strengthen the self-love of girls, but also the love people can give to others. The topics at meetings range from body image to friendships and relationships. It’s a network of women supporting women.
“We want to take society’s deep-rooted standards for women and girls and throw them out the window,” said Mariah Simank, public relations senior and PR representative for IATG. “It is so easy for young women to doubt themselves these days. This organization aims to teach women to build them, and everyone else around them, up instead of allowing themselves to be torn down.”
Tori Kessinger, consumer affairs senior and vice president of the chapter, said she fell in love with the organization because it allows her to be herself and feel support from others on campus.
“All of our meetings are so much fun and we sometimes get off topic, but it’s because we all love seeing each other and want to know what is happening in each others’ lives,” Kessinger said. “We’re there to support each other.”
The organization provides a safe space for women, or anyone, to discuss real issues without any judgment. Changing the culture of how people think of themselves translates to how people treat each other. IATG strives to change things in a positive and lasting way.
“I think that every girl deserves to have that safe space no matter the circumstance,” said Jadelyn Lopez, political science junior and vice president of finance. “We love seeing new faces and hearing new stories. We want to make it known that every girl is That Girl.”
The organization launched at Texas State in March 2016 and has accumulated around 130 people on the email list and about 20-25 people who attend the meetings. The meetings are held biweekly at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesdays in Flowers Hall 113 and anyone is invited to attend.
The organization’s manifesto says it all: “I am that girl. I have a brilliant heart and a beautiful mind. I am me, an amazing work in progress, and perfectly flawed. I promise to life other girls up, have their backs and make it safe for them to be exactly who they are. I’m on a mission to raise the standards for how we treat each other, how we treat ourselves and how we treat the world. Every time I look in the mirror I’ll remind myself that I’m not alone, that my voice matters and that I am enough.”