BY GENESIS ROSARIO
What does it mean to be redesigned? For an interior designer, it may be that she redesigns a room; for a fashion designer, she redesigns her clothing; but for us, Beautiful Imperfections means to redesign our insecurities, to be more confident, and to believe in ourselves.
Beautiful Imperfections is the name of our band at I.S. 318. We joined a day of workshops through an educational series for girls where we were able to redesign our self-confidence and overcome our fears through empowerment. Girls who thought that, because of their body shape, they were not going to be able to do a fashion show, and others who thought that they weren’t going to be able to sing or play some type of instrument because of stage fright, were able to redesign their mentality. We were able to share our insecurities with girls from other schools; we played games; we conditioned our bodies through yoga; we listened to poetry written by young poets; some of us designed clothing with paper or different types of materials. It was a judgment-free workshop where we—girls—felt empowered. SASF is the name of the organization that gave us middle schoolers the opportunity to learn that art has the power to transform our identity.
As a young girl, I have realized that it’s hard growing up in a type of society that is very cruel; everyone can see many people being bullied for one reason or another. When we, members of Beautiful Imperfections, are on stage singing together, we feel this sense of empowerment and freedom; all of us have an artistic way of being ourselves. Our teacher, Mr. Healy, has always been the one coaching our voices and instrumental techniques. He has a unique way of guiding us through music. He has always believed in us. He says he once had an opportunity to be a journalist, but I think he has chosen a better career as a teacher changing teenagers’ lives. He makes a huge impact in our lives through art, and we want to send that same impact to other young ones when we are on stage. We want others to have the courage to believe that they can be someone; although our band is just an after-school band, we know that someone out there feels insecure being on a stage. We hope that by seeing us, they can get the bravery to be themselves.
We don’t know what the future will bring us, as some are graduating this year, but we are thankful for the opportunity to have been able to build our confidence and have each other to bounce ideas with and inspire our strengths. Beautiful Imperfections is who we are, and with our voices we deliver courage, art, and beauty. This year, we were able to do many shows at school, one at the MoMA PS1, and the last one at the Skirball Center for the Performing Arts. We hope that one day we can get together again and continue to shine on stage.
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How to Support the Sports and Arts in Schools Foundation
“We offer a diverse range of arts programming, and while fashion design is one component, it’s not as robust as we’d like it to be,” says Jim Dandeneau, director of communications for SASF. “That is in part because of the costs of materials, and in part because our institutional funders prioritize other programs. With some more attention on our fashion design students, we’re hopeful that we can get some support to expand beyond the eight schools it’s currently in.”
To learn more or to contribute to Sports and Arts in Schools Foundation, visit www.sasfny.org.