"Put on a brave face."
We are told that a lot during times of discomfort or crisis. It means bottling up your emotions, plastering a smile on your face, and marching on towards your appointed task. A brave face might get you through the day, but it is also a mask, a facade. It's not real.
Young people today, young girls in particular, are very good at putting on a brave face. They are expected, in spite of sometimes harsh criticism from their peers and other people in their lives, to carry on as if nothing bothers them.
Melek participated in the 2016 Value Project. In addition to preparing to study law at university, Melek has done some modelling and acting. Her experiences brought a unique perspective to her team and to the rest of the Value Project participants. Here is her story:
The photos of Melek formed the basis for one of the Value Project posters that hung in the high schools during their Value Week. Her bravery sparked conversations and helped young people to realize that their value doesn't come from what they look like or how much makeup they are wearing. Who they are, just by themselves, is enough.