Project Beauty was started by my friend and fellow photographer Thomas Nguyen. As a photographer who takes pictures of many Seniors in high school, it has always bothered me that some of the girls that I photograph are quick to put themselves down. Talking this over with other photographers from across America, they have noticed an obvious trend whereby teens are constantly comparing themselves to others and never feel “worthy” or “enough”. Most of this trend is sustained because of social media. Project Beauty is meant to create awareness and confidence in young females without hiding behind makeup or filters. We want to make a difference and help empower youth to see beyond the surface.
Some people may say, “But you photograph Seniors who are all made up, with perfect hair and makeup and your pictures are ready for a magazine!?” That may be true, but I believe in putting your best face forward and striving each day to look your best and natural in your Senior photographs. I want my clients to feel confident, beautiful and have a fun day of pampering. Project Beauty is a different perspective and takes on the element of seeing yourself, without all the glam. It’s a movement to show that you aren’t afraid to hide behind a filter or makeup and to show your true self. You can be confident and celebrate who you are!
But then after years went by, I understood that being different was okay, my skin was beautiful, and I was the same as everyone else in the inside. I knew that I couldn’t live a life not loving the skin I’m in so I chose to love and embrace my skin. I love who I am, and I’m glad I’ve overcome what I was insecure with.
Society today has made girls feel less confident by judging them for being too “fat” or too “skinny”. No one is perfect, not a single person in life is. Social media is also a major struggle in our lives as well. We all have had one experience in life where someone has told us that we don’t belong or we aren’t good enough. Girls need to recognize that they are perfect in their own ways. Being perfect has no definition, not one. Some people may think you’re perfect and others may think differently. There is no right answer for being perfect. Just be you.
That’s such an easy thing to do and an instant downer. Sometimes it’s just hard to remember that God made you the way he wanted you to be, when you’re just wanting to feel like everybody else. You shouldn’t need to compare yourself to anybody to feel beautiful.
There such a high expectation for girls and it’s hard and that’s why people think and say unkind things about themselves because there’s always that high set picture of what a girl needs to be and how a girl needs to act. That is what I think girls struggle with most about feeling beautiful. It’s hard to feel beautiful with the expectation of what girls have to be considered beautiful.
I think girls struggle with comparing themselves to other people. I think social media is used a lot to compare ourselves to other people.
Think high of yourself all the time. I’ve been doing that for years, every once in a while I would look in the mirror and say “oh my gosh I’m so ugly” and my mom got so mad at me for it, so now I say “you are so pretty” or beautiful or whatever makes you feel good and I truly believe it has changed how I feel about myself and look. Love yourself because you are beautiful!
It took a while for me to figure that out, but I am so glad I did. Also, self positivity is key. Don’t listen to the others putting you down, listen to yourself, and think the highest you possibly can about yourself.
Sometimes in like fourth grade when I used to wear only glasses, I would get called four eyes or laughed at because of how I looked in them. I overcame this by just ignoring the rude comments and laugh with them knowing they would only say that to be funny to their friends.
We are constantly being shown other women or girls that have the “perfect face and body.” This makes girls feel like they have to look like that to be beautiful when it’s not true.
If you want to be part of Project Beauty we would love to hear from you. Email us at Craig@CraigLeeStudios.com with “Project Beauty” in the subject line.