Photo Courtesy of Rebekah Mills.

Hi, I am Rebekah Mills! I am from the United States and go to school in New York. My family lives in Delaware (the first state!), but I moved around a lot as a young girl. I just graduated from Barnard College, an all-women’s college in New York City. As an undergrad, I majored in history and political science. Currently, I am a Master of International Affairs student at SIPA, Columbia University. I am passionate about history and international affairs. One day, I want to combine my two interests into my dream job of working with UNESCO World Heritage Sites. 

I love reading and travelling, and I have been known to drag my family on an adventure based off of a book that I had read. These adventures normally end at a museum or a historic site. Luckily, living in New York, I am surrounded by museums to explore. One of my favorite museums is the National Museum of American History in Washington DC. As a free museum, my family frequently visited, inspiring an early love of museums and history. Whenever we would visit, I would want to see the exhibit: “The First Ladies” about the first ladies’ dresses. I was first enthralled by the beauty of the dresses. As I grew older, the inspiring stories of the women who wore the dresses continued to draw me to the exhibit. The glamour of the first ladies’ dresses make them beautiful artifacts for understanding a historical period. Yet, it should be more than a dress that makes a first lady famous. The actions and words of the first ladies are what makes them interesting and important. 

I am also a distance runner, spending the last eleven years as a competitive athlete. Being surrounded by a team of strong and determined women is incredibly empowering. The thrill of the competition and collective ambition of the athletes is motivating. The feeling of satisfaction after completing a race is irreplaceable. 

As much as running has been a positive force in my life, it has also exposed me to one of the biggest issues facing girls today: the continued judgement of girls’ bodies. Almost every aspect of a girl’s body is criticized and sexualized by the media, “well-meaning” acquaintances, and even peers. Girls are judged as too immodest or too modest, too large or too small, along with countless other contradictory statements. This pressure is harmful to girls. It can lead to a negative self-image, low self-esteem, or the development of an eating disorder. The judgement of girls’ bodies is harmful to their health and feelings of self-worth. Even more so, it is often used for victim shaming. Victim shaming is blaming the victim for what happened to them instead of focusing on the actions of the accused. Girls face victim shaming based on their appearance, clothes, or stereotypes. Together, as a society, we must work to stop the judgement of girls’ bodies. Instead, we should focus on what makes a girl unique such as a girl’s courage, bravery, athleticism, and intelligence. Girl Museum gives voice to the amazing accomplishments of girls. Girl Museum helps to teach girls to never be ashamed of being a girl.

-Rebekah Mills
Junior Girl
Girl Museum Inc.

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