Abbotsford resident and published writer Saniya Kaushal has expanded her vision to a non-profit organization with the creation of the ‘you are not ugly foundation’.
The 20-year-old released her book ‘you are not ugly’ last summer, which was a collection of poetry dedicated to anyone who has questioned their own worth.
The book aimed to raise awareness about the damage that can be caused by thoughtless behaviours such as insulting appearances, weight-shaming, condescending behaviour, and making racist or homophobic comments. Kaushal herself explained she was a victim of those remarks, but has learned to love and appreciate herself more and wants others to do the same.
The foundation aims to follow the path set out by the book and wants to empower individuals to overcome their negative labels and raise awareness for the insecurities everyone faces.
Since releasing her book last year, Kaushal told The News that lots of readers have reached out to her to share their own stories. Readers have also shared that they often felt alone in their struggles with confidence. These stories inspired Kaushal to create a platform where everyone can contribute to and inspire one another with their personal experiences.
Anyone can participate and contribute their story by visiting the Instagram platform @youarenotuglyfoundation and completing the short questionnaire in the bio. If you would like to participate, but do not have an Instagram account, you can also find the link under ‘The Foundation’ tab on Kaushal’s website saniyakaushal.com. To launch, anyone who submits their story, will also be entered to win one of 75 self-care packages. The organization welcomes stories from all ages, sexual identities and cultural backgrounds.
Kaushal was born in England and raised in Abbotsford. She is a Yale Secondary grad. During the academic year, she attends medical school in Ireland.
Kaushal’s collection of poetry is available as a paperback and e-book worldwide. It can be purchased on Amazon, at local Indigo stores, and the link is also available through her website.
Anyone interested in donating to the organization may do so by contacting Saniya directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
She will be hosting a launch event for the ‘you are not ugly foundation’ on Friday, Aug. 20th at 5:30 p.m. at the Highstreet Community Room, featuring submissions received up to that date. Until then, submissions can be viewed through the @youarenotuglyfoundation Instagram page. Please RSVP to email@example.com.