Spend a minute with this beautiful face.
What do you see?
Can you guess her biggest insecurity?
What is yours?
(hint: it is probably what you look at first when you see a picture of yourself)
Did you guess it, or did she seem flawless?
What you see as your greatest insecurity is a unique detail that makes you beautiful.
Why did I want to participate in 40 Faces?
I was on my own personal journey of learning to love myself again, inside and out. I have been the type who always worried about what others thought and perceived about me, and didn’t ever quite feel enough. When 40 Faces project launched, I was in the middle of some mentoring that challenged me to get out of my comfort zone in regards to my looks and features. Call it perfect timing. I desire to instill in my daughters a deep love of self, and an understanding of a true and valuable definition of beauty and what it represents. I knew I had to do this project, and involve them.
What were your feelings and thoughts while I was taking your pictures?
“Ah!! I am in public and I have no make up on!” And then “I am in public, and I have no makeup on. No one is running away or looking at me funny. I am ok.”
It’s definitely sobering to have a camera within a couple feet of your face, knowing that each expression, each perceived blemish or believed flaw may be captured with one click of a button. I felt very self conscious! But Wendy, you were absolutely delightful. Your lifting words, your positive energy and loving expressions put me more at ease. I felt no judgement from you. Just appreciation for what you were capturing. You would say, “Oh Shelby, look at that one!” It became fun for me, and I started to see in those photos what you were seeing. What a shift!
And watching you take pictures of my girls? It made the experience all the more beautiful to me. We were all in a more natural state, enjoying nature and the laughter of your kids as they played around us. I saw my daughters through your eyes, and then through the Saviors eyes. Both very different from the eyes of the world. Eyes through which I want to look through always, towards myself and others.
What were you first and honest thoughts when you saw your pictures for the first time? After a while? Now?
The first time, your words and the experience were still fairly fresh in my memories, so I came to it with a more open mind. I shared the photos openly, and was pleasantly surprised how much more I lacked judgement than usual. And the more I looked at them, the more I shared them, the more I loved them.
Before 40 Faces, what was your perception of beauty? What did you think of yourself? Of others? How has your thoughts on beauty been influenced through this series?
I knew coming into the project that my perception of beauty was a little off, but when I would watch those awesome Dove ads, or see other natural beauty campaigns, I would love them and totally agree! I agreed it was something everyone else probably needed to learn. Not me. I didn’t realize I was very dependent on my makeup, or whether my hair was done, or if I had matching shoes to my outfit. I believed it was easier for others to love my inside if my outside was acceptable. First impressions, right? Since, I have learned more about how you talk to yourself, to your features, to your reflection…it’s all instrumental in creating a beautiful soul, a beautiful BEing. My self awareness and self consciousness can be sensed by others. My negative beliefs about myself and beauty would ooze out all over the place through my words and actions. That wasn’t what I wanted. Beauty includes confidence. Confidence in who I am, who I am to become, and how I interact with my world around me. Beauty isn’t just appearance. It isn’t just what people see. It’s what and how they feel when they are with you. It’s what you send out. God created beauty in all forms, it’s not just visual.
What was your favorite post in the series, other than your own? Why?
That one’s easy. My girls. Because I saw their reactions as they read your words. I saw their little faces light up as they saw their beauty differently. It opened up the opportunity for great conversation between us, and allowed them the chance to shift some of the paradigms of beauty. THIS was a BEAUTIFUL experience!
THANKS SO MUCH FOR INCLUDING US IN YOUR PROJECT, WENDY!!!!