I’ve been writing this post in my head for a long time.  Months really.  Yet, I have dreaded posting it.  Even now, there are butterflies in my stomach and tears in my eyes because I’ve never been able to be this vulnerable about this topic.  I’m also not sure there is a man on the planet that could understand and relate to this post but I believe there are many women who will and that is why I write it.

I’m not sure where the importance of beauty started for me.  Like most of us, it’s probably something I’ve carried my whole life, at least since junior high.  But it’s something we don’t really talk about.  Not really.

I remember a couple years back trying on bathing suits and sobbing (despite every part of me trying not to) the entire time.  I was unhappy with myself clearly but it was more than that.  Somewhere deep inside myself I had begun believing a lie.  I believed that the way I look or the way I don’t look was tied up in my worth.  If I looked like that, surely I was worth nothing.  I couldn’t have articulated this at the time.  I didn’t know where those tears were coming from, I just knew something inside hurt…deeply.

I have learned a lot about beauty in the past couple years.  I have discovered some deeply rooted lies that I had come to believe.  But as I uncovered each one I began to see it for what it was and uncover something so much better–the truth.  We’ve all come to believe this arbitrary standard set by other people–just as flawed as we are.  We’ve bought in to a system that sets us all up to fail.  But, we don’t have to stay there.

As I have become less and less critical of myself, I have also realized that I am less critical of others.  And although I haven’t completely got this thing figured out, I have come to realize that EVERY woman is beautiful.  EVERY. SINGLE. ONE.  And if you don’t see it, you need new eyes because you are just as blind as I was.

And this is where Project Beautiful was born.  This is the gift I’d like to give any woman who is brave enough to walk into my studio.  I’d like for every woman to see herself as beautiful.  I’d like every woman to walk out with portraits she adores and can’t wait to show off.  Most of all, I’d like every woman…no matter her size, age, or anything else holding her back…to have a keepsake to pass on for generations.

I am launching Project Beautiful this week and if you are ready to see yourself for who you really are, take a peek here.