NEEDHAM, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — A gym in Needham is running a class to help empower young girls.
Bella Roy of the Gray's Anatomy Academy gym started the free program in April to mentor teenage girls, promote positive health habits, and help them get physically and mentally strong. Roy told WBZ's Shari Small she wants the class to help teenagers deal with the social pressures of being in school and on social media.
"The only thing they have is social media where there's all these false narratives, beliefs, and ideals," Roy said. "This was super needed—meeting each other with friendships and relationships but also to know that they don't have to have this false image of what their body should look like. They need to be strong within themselves."
The class features physical exercises like stretches and weights training, but it also features plenty of mental exercises. Every class starts with what Roy calls "inner work".
"It can be like 'what is your most powerful tool', that is an internal tool, or 'what do love most about yourself internally'," Roy said. "Everyone has to sign it and put something up and share why they put it up."
Annabelle is one of the teenagers who takes the class and she said she enjoys the welcoming atmosphere of the classes.
"My favorite part is being able to be surrounded by people who I know are not judgemental of me and in turn feeling better about myself," she said.
Rebecca is another student in the class, she said she enjoys how the classes promote physical and mental wellbeing.
"It's just been a lot of fun to try all these new exercises," she said. "Plus we've had a lot of discussions about feminism and empowerment."
The classes are open to anyone in middle and high school that identifies as female. Classes run twice a week, on Tuesdays at 3:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 10 a.m.
WBZ's Shari Small (@ShariSmallNews) reports.