Cover Girl Culture

Letters of Reference

Letters from Organizations, Schools and parents:

 Re: Reference Letter for Nicole Clark’s “Clever Girl” program
To whom it may concern:Everyone wants to belong.  Everyone wants to have friends.  Everyone wants to fit in.  For some, this comes naturally.  For others, they struggle to the point it can affect their mental health. What is the difference?  Well, there is no one answer to that, but positive protective factors such as a properly stocked “emotional tool box” can definitely play a big part.  We also know that the world is changing faster than many of us can keep up.

The image media sells us as the ‘ideal’ image has changed over the years.  And so too has the number of times we see those images on a daily basis.So what can be done?  There are many different ‘tools” we can put in our toolbox and seeing a Nicole Clark “Cover Girl Culture” presentation is definitely a “multi-use” tool for sure!We had the great pleasure of hosting a week-long series of cover Girl Culture presentations in our region this past April.  Nicole traveled to our rural area on a veritable “road trip”, visiting 9 schools in 5 days.  The audience varied from a small group of Grade 6 to 8 girls to over 400 male and female high school students. Each time, Nicole delivered the consistent message of how to be a media renegade and how to have ninja self-esteem.We continue to receive positive feedback from these presentations as well as requests to have her return to the area to visit to make additional presentations.  Although it wasn’t the intended message of the presentations, helpful discussions also took place about eating disorders before, during and following the presentations.  This was an unexpected result but very much an appreciated one.

Teachers and school guidance counselors continue to email us with reports of students who have approached them since to disclose about their body image struggles and as a result, in many of the cases, the students have been able to make that first step on the road to recovery. As an additional sign of how well the presentations were received, our local public school board ordered a set of the Cover Girl Culture workshop DVDs for EVERY high school within the board, whether they hosted a presentation or not.Personally, I appreciated the message Nicole brought to the girls in our area.  As someone who visits schools daily, spreading the message of what is good mental health, how important it is to have it and how to achieve it, I was totally impressed with Nicole’s presentations.  Her manner was completely professional.  She was flexible with any situation she encountered.  She fielded questions and responses from the audience with ease and poise.  In fact, I was so impressed with Nicole’s presentations, after her visit, I forwarded her information to all my colleagues across Ontario who do similar work.I truly hope you follow through with your interest in booking Nicole Clark to come to speak to your youth via her Cover Girl Culture presentations.  The learning will be so valuable and have positive ramifications for a long time to come.  Please feel free to contact me at the contact information listed above for a more detailed reference if required.



Jackie Ralph
Youth Mental Health Awareness Coordinator

Owen Sound    •    Markdale    •    Kincardine    •    Hanover    •    Southampton


Letters from teachers:

 Chandler Elementary School’s  Letter of Reference: (a pdf file)  (Pasadena, CA)

Monday June 18, 2012. Dear Nicole Thank-you for your presentation to the girls at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Secondary School.  Your message was compelling and well received by staff and students alike.  The workshop really helped the girls understand the powerful way the media can manipulate them through the worlds of fashion and celebrity.Your message fit well with the media studies and physical education curriculum.  You offered students easy ways in which they could immunize themselves against media manipulation. They were able to leave the presentation with a new feeling of confidence and strength and with the ability to make thoughtful and informed choices in the future.By sharing your personal experience and story you made the message even more meaningful for the students.  One of the best presentations we have had and we look forward to hopefully having you back to educate a new group of girls in the future.Thanks so much NicoleCheryl Luymes
St. Joan of Arc Catholic Secondary School
Barrie, Ontario

“I had the pleasure of meeting Nicole, watching her speak and spending some time with her on her last visit to our area.  My daughter and I attended the screening of her documentary, which proved to be very thought-provoking.  I would encourage others to
take advantage of the upcoming opportunity to either have Nicole speak in one of your schools or to attend the screening of her documentary.  You won’t regret it!  She has a great message and communicates so well with girls – given her background, young
adults really seem to “listen” to her message – I was witness to the impact she had on one particular group of Bluewater girls (including a student I had worked with and who was responsible for bringing Nicole to our area) and it was wonderful to
see……  We’ve stayed in touch with Nicole since her last visit, have kept ourselves up-dated about the wonderful work she and her husband continue to do in California and are very impressed with how “far-reaching” her work has become.  May 2012. –Ann Martell, Psychological Associate at the Bluewater District School Board, Owen Sound.



As a Catholic educator, we are always looking for guest speaker’s whose expertise and experience can enrich and enhance the experiences of students.  I would like to thank you for your wonderful presentation on the negative impact of advertising on the self-esteem of young women.  Students appreciated your insights into an industry that seeks to profit from the vulnerabilities of young women, as well as your critique of a culture that portrays a very negative stereotype of the image of women. Much discussion has ensued, and the critical thinking skills that educators seek to inspire and help facilitate was also ignited in the students.

Many girls have been awakened to the invasiveness of consumerism but also the persistence of sexism. The boys also were seriously impacted about the role that men play in perpetuating these negative images. The sincerity of your message will continue to have a positive impact on the young women and men who heard your words as they continue on their journey to becoming adult members of our community.

Tara Warren Vrbanac, B.A., M.A., B.Ed.

Religion Teacher

 This afternoon, the girls in Grade 5-8 had the privilege of hearing a powerful presentation from Nicole Clark. Nicole is a former Elite model and spent many years working in the fashion industry.  Her presentation focused on the negative messages that the media communicates to girls and how these messages can have a negative impact on their self-esteem.  Nicole shared strategies for seeing through the media and maintaining a healthy self-image.   -Ryerson Public School, London, Ontario. Feb 2012


Cathy Ager, Teacher:Sacred Heart School in Sarnia, OntarioNicole Clark conducted her well-planned Cover Girl Culture workshop with the grade six to eight girls at our school. There was a palpable pulse in the school the morning that Nicole arrived.  The girls knew they were going to be involved in something very special.  At first our girls were mesmerized by Nicole’s beauty. However as Nicole began to speak, the girls soon realized that Nicole was a girl just like them- a girl with a personality, hopes, dreams,  insecurities and conflicts.  Nicole explained that most of the players in the fashion industry care very little or nothing at all about the person within a woman or girl- they are driven by making money. Through her video presentation and commentary, Nicole showed how the industry uses a variety of questionable techniques to make girls want its products; including using dangerously thin models, computer-generated photos of women/girls made to look real, and suggesting that girls won’t be popular if they don’t possess the advertised product. She used specific examples from her experiences to emphasize this point. The girls were amazed. In fact Nicole showed them advertisements that many of the girls had seen in magazines and the girls were unable to identify the products being advertised.  Nicole taught them how to be a critical audience for the fashion industry- a necessary skill given the fact that these young women view over 500 advertisements per day.The girls were especially appreciative of the fact that not only did Nicole point out the harmful effects of the cover girl culture, but she gave them tools to help them resist negative pressures and build self-esteem.  She showed them how to surround themselves with positive influences- protective bubbles to cushion them from negative outside influences. Nicole shared the analogy of our unconditional love for animals. Girls seem to easily identify the imperfections of their own bodies. However when they see an animal (wrinkled, chubby, homely), they instantly fall in love with it. She pointed out that we need to love our own bodies unconditionally and we need to take care of them. In conclusion, Nicole’s workshop was effective in teaching our girls about the cover girl culture and how to deal with negative pressures. The students were highly involved in the workshop and Nicole gained the girls’ trust. This created a very comfortable atmosphere which encouraged the girls to share their ideas and opinions freely. Our school purchased the Cover Girl Culture documentary and the workshop DVD.  Nicole has set the base for our focus on how to be media savvy.  Nicole also taught our students about the importance of speaking out against injustice. Our teachers would highly recommend Nicole’s workshop to others who are educating young women in today’s world.   – Cathy Ager.  Jan 2012

PARENT: (anonymous)”Good morning Nicole…You don’t know me…but you were here Friday December 2nd, and spoke to my daughter’s class (at Sacred Heart School) I just wanted to let you know that the last year has been a year like no other. At the age of 11, my daughter was diagnosed with Anorexia, and this put our life into a complete tailspin…she was hospitalized, near heart failure. Never thought in a life-time this would be our struggle, yet at 11yrs old. There has been a lot of talk in the school yard last year about weight and the girls wanting to be skinny…then this awful disease took my daughter for a year. Anyway, my daughter is a fighter, and fights every day, and I believe we are winning. I encouraged her to talk to you, and told her to be confident and share her own journey, as she still does not like to talk about it ( it is still the “secret” illness in our society)I just wanted to let you know that you are doing GREAT work…my daughter cannot stop talking about how positive your talk was, and you have inspired her to continue fighting and someday, empower other girls that may struggle. I firmly believe that one day, she will help others given her journey. As a parent, you have made a difference to my daughter and I thank you for taking the time to visit the school and tell your story and mission – you may never know the impact you have had on her, but you made a difference, and for that…I thank you.
have a wonderful journey”

“Hey nicole, your presentation at my school (sacred heart) was absolutely amazing. i wanted to say thank you for helping me and my close friend. your message really spoke to us ♥ i just had to say that what you do i think is truely amazing. i couldn’t stop saying to my friends how great i think you are. you changed my life and how i see things. i really mean it when i say your amazing. thank you.  you are the greatest person i ever met”

Thank you Nicole for speaking to our school. It helped me through my own troubles of comparing myself to the models in ads!  – Morgan Lyndsey MacKay

Hey I really enjoyed this presentation! I used to be in the modeling industry too and I quit a few years ago. I also felt that kind of pressure you were talking about. Everything you talked about is dead on and thank you for making me and making other girls feel better about themselves. Your presentation was so interesting that I really think you should present to not just girls, but both boys and girls. Because if anything I found that it was the MEN in the industry that put the most pressure on the women. Men need this kind of education too. Because it’s them that enforce these kinds of unrealistic views of how a woman should look. 🙂   – Sheena Marie

It was such a amazing presentation! Wish you guys were here longer! – Montana Martell

You are the most inspiring person i have ever met! Nicole has completely changed my life forever. Nicole you have no idea how much that meant to me. I want to help young teens too.  nicole she is amazing. we need a change in media perspective. i cant thank you enough nicole. media watch out here we come!  – Paige Creasor, 12 yrs old May 2012