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She wanted to rock her short skirt with no fear, so she joined them

All around the world, V-Girls are changing how people think about V-Day, or Valentine's Day.

She wanted to rock her short skirt with no fear, so she joined them

V-Girls are a global network of 6,000 fearless young women from 26 different countries. They're empowering themselves and their friends to make change in the world.

One way they're doing that is by celebrating love of self and sisterhood.

What does that actually mean in real life?

Members host workshops on self-confidence so others can walk down the street without catcalls seeping into their consciousness. They write monologues that proclaim "I'm an Emotional Creature" and don't apologize for it. They teach other girls to speak up for themselves without feeling shame.


V-Girls all over the world are being proactive in their communities. They're tackling big issues and fighting them head-on.

Here's what's on their minds:

"I want a world not only of tolerance, but peace, and security, and love. I want to be able to walk down the street and rock my short skirt and love my fat thighs. I want more women to be empowered and know that through passion they can achieve so much."

"I believe that if every girl in the world today stood up against pleasing, whether it's pleasing friends and doing stuff you're not ready to do, or pleasing a boyfriend by not using a condom, if we just stop pleasing and began refusing and being our authentic selves and keeping our identity true to who we are, then I believe we can realize the change we want."

"Nobody is allowed to abuse my body, nobody is allowed to take control of my body, nobody is allowed to take control of my mind, my spirit, and my soul. I'm a refuser. I will refuse to let anybody abuse who I am."

"We have to allow ourselves to be who we really are, and let that come out. You have to believe you're worth it. You have to believe you deserve it and that you can do anything. And the minute girls allow themselves to be who they really are and believe in themselves and love themselves, the world will change."

V-Girls is connected to a larger effort called V-Day. Most folks associate V-Day with Valentine's Day, which is cool, but it's also the name of a group, millions strong, that is committed to ending violence against women. The "V" in V-Day stands for vagina, victory, and Valentine.

"Girls are the future of our movement. Women are the primary resource of our planet. It is imperative to educate and nurture future activists so we can see our vision of a world free from violence against women and girls come true." —V-Day

Now that says more to me than any store-bought Valentine ever could.

Check out the video below to hear from these brave girls.

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.