GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (ABC 4)- The word “beautiful” is defined by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, as “having qualities of beauty.” Now more than ever, our young girls are forefronted by the pressures placed upon them by their peers and society. In its 13th year, Maranda’s Beautiful U continues to celebrate true beauty that radiates from the inside out. Over 150 middle school girls from 15 different schools participated in this year’s Beautiful U on April 25 at the Mary Free Bed YMCA

The purpose of Beautiful U is to encourage these middle school girls by letting them know they are beautiful regardless of what they feel on the outside.  Beauty comes from the inside. During the event, students participated in six different break-out sessions, such as empowering and uplifting presentations, learning how to make healthy snacks and yoga. Of course, we can’t forget to mention the delicious pizza provided by Craig’s Cruisers, the dessert baked by students at the Career Line Tech Center and the coffee that kept the adults going provided by Biggby Coffee.

Another big focus of Beautiful U is building community. It was very exciting to see girls from schools all over West Michigan come together, set aside their differences and grow together. It is surprising how many young girls don’t know how important it is to just be themselves. One shared feeling when these girls left Beautiful U was a feeling of empowerment.