Are we loosing our daughters? Is the world of television, music, movies and the web taking over our parenting skills, sending messages that connect with their minds better than the love and upbringing we offer? Better yet, do we even know what’s going on in our daughters’ minds?

Now more than ever, different organizations with celebrities attached to them are reaching out to our young women. I attended an event not long ago that was powerful, uplifting and best of all loving.

In a Perfect World and Shaun Robinson presented the first “I Am Perfect-Exactly as I Am” event sponsored by Dove. It was a day of inspiration, and learning about community responsibility and beauty.

Access Hollywood host, Shaun Robinson enlisted the support of her celebrity friends who shared personal experiences with young women from Girls Inc. at an informal brunch. The celebrity friends included Niecy Nash (Style’s “Clean House,” CBS’s “Insider”), Monique Coleman (Disney’s “High School Musical” series), Wendy Davis (Lifetime’s “Army Wives”), Garcelle Beauvais (Fox’s “Human Target”), Pauletta Washington, actress/activist and wife of Denzel Washington, and former boxing champ Laila Ali. From hair issues, to body weight, not fitting in, and overcoming, these women of merit told honest, heartfelt stories about their teen years, and what it took for them to follow their dreams.

“I wanted to bring together a group of girls to experience a wonderfully inspiring day of beauty and empowerment; to help each one of them know how unique and special they are. Having women that these girls look up to come and share in this day with them, is the sweetest icing on the cake, and we all are so grateful,” says author and Access Hollywood host Shaun Robinson.

The ‘In a Perfect World’ organization empowers children and youth to become compassionate, socially-conscious, and responsible leaders and the powerhouse behind this organization is Manuela Testolini, a good friend of Shaun’s who decided to partner with her to bring Shaun’s book “Exactly as I Am” to life.

Testolini says the event was about ‘inner beauty as well as outer beauty.’ Girls Inc. attending members got an opportunity to work with In a Perfect World’s youth ambassadors on a community service project organizing and assembling back-to-school backpacks to benefit a Los Angeles classroom in need.

Just recently, the In a Perfect World Youth Ambassadors appeared on the Cooking Channel speaking with Laila Ali regarding healthy eating and teen lifestyles.

It was important for all the women who participated in the event to let the young women know that the things they are feeling about themselves, family and friends is not unique to them.

Niecey Nash, told them she was proud of her body image, using terms like ‘thicker than a snicker.’

Monique Coleman said she was called a ‘ho’ in high school and put down by girls she didn’t even know, because she was poor. Laila Ali talked about her size and how big her hands were compared to other girls. Even Testolini remarked that as a teen, it wasn’t easy at times being bi-racial in her community.

Shaun Robinson too, had issues she had to overcome. Stories of hurt, frustration, and anger all surfaced. However, stories of self-acceptance, determination, hope and over-coming, empowered the young audience, opening their minds to the possibilities, opportunities, and joy that life has in store for them, if they don’t lose heart.

As Niecy Nash said, “When you learn some things along the way, pass it down, it might not all stick, but there is something … you never know how one single piece of information can change a person’s life in an instant.”

Pick up Shaun Robinson’s book “Exactly As I Am.” It will inspire girls to find their inner strength, grow confident, and believe in themselves. It will also make a great Christmas gift. Check out Monique Coleman’s web show designed for teens at Gimme Also see

Gail can be reached at