The Legacy of Beauty Project was sparked by a comment on my blog post “Take Up Space”, in which the woman discusses feeling validation after viewing the media literacy project Killing Us Softly by Jean Kilbourne that breaks down and analyzes the impossible beauty standard given to us by the fashion and advertising industries. Validation that what she was seeing was a digital magic show, and that indeed she was beautiful. She had worth.
What stuck in my mind is, “What if there are thousands of women who never see that documentary? Who don’t know every magazine image they see is retouched? Who don’t know the average fashion model is 5’10″ and 114 pounds? Do they look right past the beauty in front of them, and in the women all around them? Will they continue to wait for an absolution that may never come?”
The stats on the state of female body image, disordered eating/Eating Disorders, and thoughts on beauty are so low it makes my heart hurt. And now it is trickling down to our preschoolers. Yes, preschoolers.
As a mother, a friend, a woman….I think this is all unacceptable. Mostly, we are failing our daughters.
We need to make changes. Fast.
And we hold the power of change.
The Legacy of Beauty Project is simple: WE are the beautiful ones. WE define beauty for ourselves. WE will give this legacy to our daughters.
So let’s make a video, a collection of our beautiful images, along with some inspired music, to show each other, remind each other, teach other….WE are the beautiful ones.
We will make our definition of beauty more inclusive, more loving, more tolerant. We will offer more grace to our sisters. We will love ourselves more.
Here’s how it works: Email a photo of you, your daughter, or other girls/women in your family or group of friends to firstname.lastname@example.org.Close ups or full body is fine. Casual snapshots or formal shots like weddings are fine. Makeup or no makeup is fine. Babies, kids, young adult, elderly….all fine. Why? Because we are beautiful throughout our entire life.
Please limit your submission to four photos. Please have photos submitted by March 15, 2011. And please feel free to pass this along to your friends, as we need this message of beauty to reach as many as possible.
Now pause, have you allowed yourself to feel beautiful today?
Here I am, no makeup, in pajamas, and a head full of snot, as raw as I can get. We can do this. We can give the gift of beauty to each other. We can allow each other more grace.