In this new year of 2014 as I saw everyone posting about their resolutions, I started thinking to myself about what was important for me in this upcoming year. It started with me wanting to find value in myself. Hmmm...sound strange? Well...when you are a wife whose husband works long hours, mom of 2, and running your own business 100% solo, finding time to even think about yourself and what you want to do is rare.
So, I began to dig a little deeper and think about when I feel valuable. What it came down to strangely was that I feel better about myself and more "valuable" when I have a face full of make-up, hair done and have on a good outfit. Now, I'm not saying that there's anything wrong with all of those things...but I began to really dislike the fact of what was making me feel valuable. So...I decided I needed to change that. I am learning that I can feel self-worth with my naked face. Undone hair. Etc. Etc. Then I thought, that if I feel like I NEED to do all those things just to be seen in public and feel good about myself that there must be other girls and women out there who feel, or have felt the same. And so became the Bare-faced and Beautiful Project.
I want to empower women to not feel ashamed of what's underneath all the make-up and be willing to shine 100% natural.
So, let's meet my first subject of this project. Ashley. I have so many wonderful things to say about her...but I'll let her get talking:
"Let me just say that I am a girl that loves her makeup. I have always loved getting dressed up, and I am no stranger to the process if getting gussied up to be on stage or in front of the camera. As a model and actress, I understand that my job requires a certain level of commitment to a regular beauty routine. Whether it be a commercial audition or an editorial shoot, I know I want to look my best and reflect my inner confidence and commitment to the project.
As a woman, however, I have grown increasingly frustrated with the industry's obsession with an unrealistic standard of "perfection." Social media has exploded with video time-lapse "tell-alls" and gives us a glimpse at what retouching really reflects. Women are being photoshopped and retouched far beyond their actual physique.
Pounds are instantly shaved off, pores are shrunk, legs are lengthened, breasts augmented, lips injected, and the list goes on. I am baffled and saddened at these decisions. Because these images then get published all around the globe, girls grow up comparing themselves to these super-shopped images they see every day. What we need to remember is, no one actually looks like that. I was honored to be a part of this project. I believe so strongly that we should embrace what we've been given. We were designed by one who sees us as perfect, unique, and so stunningly beautiful. We are daughters, mothers, wives, and we are each capable of achieving great things. Many people may choose to forever chase after that unreachable goal; they will forever spend their lives in vanity. I say that life was designed to celebrate beauty, not alter it."