Gretchen's Take: Why it's so important to empower young girls to build self esteem

Mentoring programs like Judge Judy's are so important and they are near and dear to my heart too.

I met Judge Judy when we both judged the Miss America pageant several years ago. She was and still is a mentor for me because she's certainly proven what women can become if they believe in themselves and never give up.

Self esteem is something that's difficult to build and even more tough to sustain. In a way. I was lucky I grew up a fat kid and had to build mine from my inner soul -- its one of life's most important lessons.

And still, when I lost weight to be able to compete in the Miss America pageant with a violin talent I'd honed my whole life - one of my judges - a famous movie director -- told everyone in a tell all book I was still chunky at 108 pounds. He even called me miss piggy throughout and also labeled me a god-clutcher. I posted the picture he was talking about on my Facebook page so you can see for yourself.

To honor the International Day of the Girl last year I did part of this show with no make up on - And its why I've written my upcoming book "Getting Real".