Tuesday, March 11, 2014

All the Beautiful Girls....

  As you know, we've made a new commitment to Just the Girls: Real Beauty.  We want to photograph 150 women and girls this year. We've had a slow start because of the weather, but today we made up for it by photographing nine beauties!  

  Those sessions aren't ready yet, but I wanted to go ahead and share one very sweet and thought provoking moment.  

  Even though Aubrianah and I have been thinking about this project for a long time, we still struggle with the concept.  I skipped Sunday School last week to go home and change because I thought I 'looked stupid'.  Aubrianah changes outfits, sometimes several times, because she doesn't feel comfortable.  Even today, on our way to the Real Beauty shoots,  she was talking negatively about her arms and I was worrying about whether this shirt makes me look fat.  We are not immune, even though we make a conscious effort to increase that immunity.  We aren't the only ones, most of the women I know point out the areas of their bodies they are not happy about...and most of us do it often.

  We had a great time with ALL the beauties today, but there was a very specific and very strong affirmation of what we are doing at the last shoot of the day.  Aubrianah's friend Carina, who is a completely adorable college student, took a moment to encourage Aubrianah.  Carina told her she is 'radiant', that she loves her, that she is sweet and kind. She said more, her words actually made us all a little teary!

  Aubrianah is a teen, and teen girls don't often affirm one another in that way.  The more empathetic and thoughtful ones are hurt by the perceived indifference of others, and most are torn apart by flat-out discouragement.  

  Carina has made it a point in her life to be a champion of other girls.  I think that's beautiful.  She said, and I agree, that it isn't guys who do the most harm, it's other girls.  Even when we are grown up we still tear down other women in order to build ourselves up.  

  One of the Just the Girls: Real Beauty goals for this year is to catch ourselves before we attack other women.  No more "What is she WEARING?"...no more "Did you hear what SHE said?"...no more "Can you BELIEVE she did that?"  But I think we need to add a little something more.  

  Will you join me in following Carina's example?  Will you take a moment at every opportunity to tell another girl that she is radiant, or kind, or sweet, or amazing? What an impact it will have!  We are all women, and we are all beautiful!