February 13: International Natural Day
International Natural Day is a day that encourages girls to be themselves — and love it! In February 2015, BYOU Magazine featured an exclusive interview with Sanah Jivani as our Girl Making A Difference feature. Sanah is a remarkable girl with a powerful story (read excerpts of her interview below) that inspires girls (and women) around the world to love themselves, and who they are — naturally! Check out Sanah’s TEDxYouth Talk below.
Sanah created an international holiday to “love your natural self” to be celebrated each year on February 13 — perfectly timed the day before Valentine’s Day when the world emphasizes needing someone else to love you. When BYOU Magazine spoke with Sanah last year she told us about her journey with Alopecia, a hair loss disease that resulted in Sanah losing all her hair in seventh grade which led to the start of International Natural Day (videos below).
Sanah struggled with her Alopecia after she lost all her hair in seventh grade.
“I woke up and had a whole lot of hair on my pillow. When I looked in the mirror and realized I didn’t have hair anymore, I was devastated beyond words,” she said. “I honestly felt like I would never feel beautiful again.”
After losing her hair, Sanah wore wigs to school but she felt worse when she wore the wigs. She shared with us that she was miserable, and felt like she “hit rock bottom.” She was sad, self-destructive, and didn’t take care of herself. She decided that she needed to turn everything around and become positive again.
Sanah decided to stop wearing wigs in eighth grade and saw all her beautiful features in a new light: “One day I looked in the mirror and instead of noticing I was bald, I noticed my beautiful brown eyes and the way they lit up when I smiled. I noticed I had pretty cheek bones … a bright smile that could light up a room …. the beauty I carried by just being me. I knew I carried a unique beauty, and decided no one should ever feel the need to hide who they are.”
Sanah’s new found beauty inspired her to start Natural Day when she was in ninth grade; an international holiday the day before Valentine’s Day on February 13. Natural Day is now celebrated in over 50 schools and in 28 countries!
“You have to love yourself before you can love anybody else,” she said.
Sanah explained, “On Natural Day, you allow yourself to be your own definition of beautiful. I challenge people all over the world to let go of any insecurity that holds them back. Once you learn to love yourself, you’ll be surprised how much people start to love you!”
We are encouraging YOU to participate in #NaturalDay and be proud of who you are, insecurities and all! Be courageous and fully love yourself February 13, and every other day throughout the year. Sanah encourages schools around the globe to get involved on this special day!
Natural Day is a day for you to feel comfortable in your own skin. Sanah suggests reading through the #NaturalDay hashtag on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, and then posting your own statement or photo sharing what insecurity you’ve let go of for the day. You can also support natural day through Sanah’s campaign on Thunderclap, where she has already made a social media post for you: https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/51956-natural-day-2017
Sanah Jivani’s TEDxYouth Talk in San Antonio, TX
“Be as courageous as you can for just that moment, and afterwards, you’ll feel so proud of yourself. Go out there and show the world what you’re made of — no apologies!” ~ Sanah Jivani in BYOU Magazine
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