Stephanie is the first woman we photographed as a part of our Experience Your Own Beauty campaign created by The Purple Iris Boutique, Vitality, and I. When I talked with Stephanie before photographing her she was real and honest about how she felt. "Views of society affect me more now than they did when I was younger," Stephanie said. She told me that her lack of self confidence and her desire to see herself as beautiful is what she wants. "There is a confidant Stephanie in here," she said. "And we're gonna find her," I promised.
Thats not a promise I make lightly. Like so many, Stephanie feels the pressure to look and dress a certain way. The pressure to have the right proportions and shape and perfect skin and teeth is suffocating. If we listen to the world's standards, it can drown out any beauty we could see in ourselves. "I'm over trying to be who I'm not," Stephanie said. So on the day of her photoshoot, we embraced her. We embraced who she is and we celebrated her.
It's never easy deciding to love yourself. Self acceptance is a goal we chase, occasionally catch, then keep running after. We have to keep the negatives of the world in check or they will slow us down and eventually keep us from moving toward our goal.
Stephanie wanted to see herself, really see herself. She wanted to see her confidence. She wanted to see smiles so real you can't help but smile back.
She wanted to be who she is and love what she saw.
There is beauty in all of us and you deserve to see it.
Stephanie, what an honor finding and photographing the confidant you. She was in there and, goodness, doesn't she shine.
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