I spent years picking myself apart in the mirror, hating my body and never allowing myself to feel beautiful, comfortable in my own skin, or good enough, always comparing myself to those in the media and even those beside me - always finding reasons as to why I was less than.
These are the words I allowed to run through my head on a daily basis.
Then I was a youth leader, a coach and mentor to dozens of beautiful young women from whom I was hearing the same story. And then I became a mom to the most beautiful, perfect, vibrant little girl and my heart broke into pieces.
How could I stand by and allow her - and all these other young women - think they're not good enough? Let them adopt the same poisonous and detrimental dialogue I allowed myself to keep running as their own? To think they aren't good enough or beautiful? I couldn't just stand and watch it happen. I refuse to let this be something that "just is". There are millions of messages in the media today reinforcing that dialogue in our face and it is killing a generation of incredible, wonderfully and beautifully made young women. And I knew I had to change my own dialogue before I could impact others to do the same. It’s been a journey - this self love thing - and it’s sometimes a daily battle and a choice - but it matters. You see, logically, I know that my worth is not in my beauty, my body or my talent - but feeling that way is a different story. It is a lot of coming back to the truth that I am loved, cherished, worthy as I am. God doesn't make mistakes and His word reminds me where my truth worth lies and where it comes from. Standing in that truth helps me to own my self worth and stand in that confidence. Our strength and courage helps give others strength to do the same, to start seeing and owning our true worth. To start knowing who we are and defining it ourselves instead of allowing the media and the world to do it for us. To feel beautiful and confident in our own skin.
So I started to fight back. And a dream emerged.
A dream to help inspire, encourage + uplift young women to help them stand in the truth that they are beautiful, worthy, enough exactly as they are. Despite the expectations that society puts on young women to be a certain size, look a certain way or to be one way or the other - that I could be a voice that tells them different. That you are innately worthy. You are innately beautiful. That we are all beautiful and that we don't have to look pretty like her to be pretty. We are beautiful like us.
This dream spread and in 2014 turned into my Perfectly Undone Campaign - an all natural shoot I first did with my model team, spread to the community and I've been hosting one every year since. April 8th, 45 young women from the surrounding towns came to empower, encourage and stand together in their natural beauty.
This video by Good Co Studios is their story. My heart + mission in a 2:28 clip.
The next event will be Sunday, March 31st.
If you are a woman wanting to attend, please watch for details or join my list below to get important info!
If you are a photographer, outside of Oregon, and are interested in hosting an event, send me an email to email@example.com for all the details + to get on my list!