Dove is calling 2014 'The Year of the Selfie Love'. Helping us redefine beauty and self image.
I absolutely LOVE this idea. Only once in a blue moon do I wear make up. Usually it's for Halloween to go with a costume. So for me, this photo comes very easily. I'm all about the natural look. Saves on time, money, and I don't have to apply those chemicals to my sensitive skin. What was a challenge for me up until a few years ago was self love. For the longest while I had no self love at all. That's a sad way to live. I remember in the summer of 2008, I was sat in a group circle with other people who struggled with Eating Disorders. We went around in a circle and had to say one thing we liked about ourselves. I had nothing. At first I was very cold and distant about it all, but then sadness took over. There was not one thing about myself that I loved. As I began to explore this concept of self love, I felt guilty. I felt like I was doing something wrong by telling myself I was ok. I was enough. How warped is that? That many of us, women and men, feel that it is wrong to love ourselves. It was incredibly awkward at first. Forced. With practice it became slightly easier. Now I thank my body for all that it does for me, daily. I love this vessel that provides me with the opportunity to paint, to laugh, to dance, to see.
Self love is a beautiful feeling. It is liberating. It's refreshing.
This is where the challenge comes in. Meet Larissa. She is my baby sister. She just launched her YouTube channel where she posts make up tutorial videos. The girl has some incredible talent when it comes to this art. I shared my discovery with her and hoped she would like the idea. She wasn't too sure at first.
I expressed all my very valid and reasonable points for doing this in such a confident way. The next few messages she replied with broke my heart. There was so much fear. Sadness. I saw reflections of a younger me in her words. She asked me not to be mad at her for not wanting to do this. I felt so much guilt. I hope she doesn't think I'm trying to change her. I wasn't mad. I was disappointed that we allowed ourselves, our sisters, our daughters, to exist in a world where we feel we are not enough in our natural state of being. That we are worried that others will think less of us because of how we look. I was devastated that my sister feels this way.
A few minutes later, she sent me this:
My name is Larissa and this is the first ever photo without makeup that has ever been posted publicly for everyone to see. Ever since the age of 12 I loved to experiment with makeup, but I can say without a doubt I never have left the house without makeup on whether it was to go to the mall or the grocery store. I like to take pride in how I look and I love to get ready every morning, but on the other hand I most of the time feel uncomfortable being seen without makeup. My sister, Sadie has brought to my attention that Dove is starting a trend of Love Yourself Selfies, in which women are encouraged to embrace their natural beauty by taking a picture without makeup. Hesitant at first, since it is rare for the public to see my naked face, I decided to take my own selfie. Not only to prove to myself that I don’t need makeup, but for all the other women in the world that are in need of encouraging and positive words. We are all beautiful in different ways and it is our unique differences that help redefine what true beauty really means. Whether you hate your nose, your thighs, or your feet, remember there is only ONE you that knows how to rock those features best. This is a big day for me and I hope like my sister Sadie, I have inspired some of you to feel beautiful and confident just the way you are.
I feel into hysterics crying when I read this and saw this photo. This is the most beautiful I have ever seen my sister. I had goosebumps. She wrote back to me:
Thank you sis for bringing this to my attention. I'm smiling so big right now I'm so proud....I'm so happy I did this and I hope I'll help others...this is totally liberating wow!
So to all of our amigos our there, girls and boys, we nominate you to share your natural beauty. No matter how you identify yourself, share some selfie love and show the world your natural beauty! When you fill yourself with the light of self love, you radiate this beauty to the world. Keep shining amigos!