Beautiful Minds Interview

Beautiful Minds

In our image obsessed society many teenage girls lack self esteem and confidence due to negative body image issues. It's also during these formative years that many girls have to make life choices, whether about career aspirations or determining the kind of person they want to become.

Sydney-based Marina Passalaris struggled with many issues herself during her teenage years even having had an incredibly stable upbringing, and as a result formed Beautiful Minds, a school dedicated to educating girls about self-esteem, etiquette, grooming and life skills.

Marina is now releasing a guide book for teens titled Beautiful Minds, which aims to help girls navigate their way through a variety of common issues, such as confidence, self-esteem, friendships, fashion, smoking, relationships, nutrition, bullying, etiquette, mother/ daughter relationships, drugs and alcohol, money and budgeting, self-harm, social media, peer pressure, depression, setting goals and more.

Beautiful Minds helps readers navigate the tricky teen years, providing them with the skills to become confident and dynamic individuals. It's a must have for all teenage girls – and for their parents too!

Sydney-based Marina Passalaris is the founder and director of Beautiful Minds Australia, a school dedicated to educating girls about self-esteem, etiquette and life skills to help them become confident and dynamic individuals. Marina is a make-up artist with more than 15 years' experience in the industry and has a background in media, drama and fashion design. She is the beauty editor of Orbit Magazine, a publication for teenagers and writes a regular column for Polo De Marco. Marina is a public speaker and travels around Australia delivering her Beautiful Minds program. She is passionate about educating teenage girls and giving them skills and confidence to live a dynamic life.

Beautiful Minds
Balboa Press
Author: Marina Passalaris
ISBN: 9781452556512
Price: $55.00

Interview with Marina Passalaris

Question: Why did you decide to write a book that promotes greater self-esteem to teenage girls?

Marina Passalaris: Having spent the last 15 years working with teenage girls, self-esteem is their number one concern and there are not enough positive messages or role models out there for teen girls.

With so much attention placed on appearance and the prevalence of photo-shoot images in the media, a teenage girl trying to understand what a healthy body looks like can be a massive challenge.

It's vital that young women have positive body images as this will directly impact on young girls self-esteem, confidence and overall feelings about herself and her place in society.

My book, Beautiful Minds, a journey of self-discovery for teenage girls, is a tool for girls to promote greater self-esteem, empowering young people with skills and knowledge that enable them to challenge what they see daily in the media, helping them to avoid taking on board these images so literally.

Question: What alerted you to the need for books promoting greater self-esteem?

Marina Passalaris: I run a program for teenage girls called Beautiful Minds. Each year, I along with my team of educators, train and inspire hundreds of Australian teenage girls aged 11 - 17. The feedback and information from these girls has inspired me to write this book as I realised that our youth needed a tool that they could pick up at any time, read it and feel more empowered about who they are.

Question: Why do many teenage girls lack confidence and have poor self-esteem?

Marina Passalaris: There are a number of different reasons for this,
1: Poor self-esteem is a direct result of young girls constantly being bombarded with media images every day. We live in a very image obsessed society, young girls see images of models and celebrities that have been airbrushed and think this unobtainable perfection is something they should aim for.
2: Teenage girl's bodies are changing almost on a daily basis. They are growing taller, their bodies look different, stretch marks may be appearing and all this is alarming to young girls as they are not sure how to handle the changes they are experiencing.
3: There is much confusion within our society about what a healthy body is and what a healthy body looks like. Parents need to be very aware of the messages they are sending out to their daughters, how they relate to food, diets etc and how this will impact a young girl who is around an adult that constantly focuses on weight and exterior beauty.
Healthy bodies come in all shapes and sizes and young girls need to be encouraged to have a healthy relationship with food and exercise and to focus on the amazing things our bodies can do.
4: Low self-esteem and lacking confidence comes from young girls having access to social media and websites 24 hours a day where they at a far greater risk of cyber bullying, seeing the violence and uncertainty in our environment, and they are at risk of losing touch with old family values like basic communication skills.

Poor body image could have a huge effect later in life as it directly impacts self-esteem, which can shape decisions in life such as careers and relationships choices.

Question: Why did you choose to put issues such as smoking, nutrition, drugs and alcohol into this book?

Marina Passalaris: These are topics that many teens want to know more about as they are issues that due to peer pressure, they or their friends may face at one time or another. Educating our girls so they can make informed choices is absolutely vital.

Question: What is Beautiful Minds Australia?

Marina Passalaris: Sydney-based Marina Passalaris is the Founder and Director of Beautiful Minds Australia, a school dedicated to educating girls aged 11 – 17 about self-esteem, etiquette, grooming and life skills to help them become confident and dynamic individuals.

Set up as a mentoring program, the course numbers are very limited so that each student has the one on one interaction with all the educators.

The girls work with a number of educators that are all experts in their chosen fields. Subjects such as public speaking, confidence, first impressions, remembering names, make up, hair styling, body issues, drugs and alchol, bullying, friendships, relationships, and social etiqette , self esteem, self harm, communication, setting boundaries, music therapy, resume writing, money skills and budgeting, a photo shoot, media education and many more subjects are covered.

Beautiful Minds courses are run during school holidays in Sydney, Brisbane, Townsville, Mackay and Sunshine Coast. Melbourne is launching later this year. Marina Passalaris is passionate about educating teenage girls and giving them skills and confidence to live a dynamic life.


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