YOU wake up in the morning with sunlight coming in through the blinds and the crisp cold morning air hitting your body as you step out of bed. You stretch and walk into the bathroom to wash your face. You look at the dark circles, puffy eyes and blemishes and think “there’s makeup to cover that”. You spend 30 min or an hour to beat your face to perfection. Then you look at your bedhead hair and burn it until it is perfectly straight. Now what to wear? Maybe jeans? High-waisted of course to cover your belly that you are insecure about. And a tee shirt to cover the acne on your shoulders. And a push up bra under that shirt to emphasize what you don’t have. And heels to make you seem taller than your 5 foot reflection. Then you walk out the door with a smile on your face. Ready to face the world. Or some days you do all of this (and more) and STILL DON’T FEEL LIKE ENOUGH. You always see the flaws as opposed to what God gave you.
This is true for me and every other man and woman who was raised to believe in the unattainable beauty standards of this nation. We measure beauty by the color of our skin, the number on a scale, the lack of blemishes, the texture or color of hair, height, eye color, etc. But YOU don’t have blonde hair, abs, and bright blue eyes. And YOU are not any less beautiful than girl who has that. YOU are unique in your shape, size, and features. And you don’t have to change a thing. I decided to post this on International Women’s Day to empower women that you don’t need anything in order to be considered beautiful. I and many other women have spent too much time obsessing over our looks. Stop wasting time worrying about what others think or about trying to be a model. Spend that time changing the world, spending time with loved ones, going and doing some crazy exciting things. Go slay. Go excel, innovate, encourage one another! Make peace. Speak your voice. Break barriers. Go be your best self. Be the strong confident women you know you are.
I this group of stunning diverse, genuine girls to pick a word that they thought embodied beauty. Whether it was a person they respect, a religion, a feature, or an adjective. Click on an image to see the beautiful portrayal of all of the unique natural beauty of every girl who helped me convey a message of empowerment and confidence.
Creative Director and Mind: Riley Neubert @ririneubz
Stylist: Riley Neubert Co-Editor in-Chief
Assistant: Yasmine Amon -Co-Editor in-Chief
Photographer: Kristen Veit
Jhasmyne Cooper Moore