The message of Project Beauty is simple. Senior Photographers get together to photograph girls and be able to free these girls from the idea of perfection and empower them to not only to feel confident about themselves, but embrace the flaws that makes them so uniquely beautiful.
This was started by the supremely talented Thomas Nguyen from Ohio. I have wanted to do my own Project Beauty, but as life happens…time got away from me….that is until I met Thomas at a conference I attended and I knew I had to make this happen. So I rounded up my gorgeous Class of 2020 seniors and invited them to the O Coworking Space in Kenosha to take part. The requirements…no makeup.
For some girls it was easy…for others, it took a little more courage. Heck, it was hard for me to go without! But the message is clear. We need to take away this idea of perfection, particularly in this age of social media and perfect lives being broadcast every day. What impressed me most was how excited each and every one of them was excited to participate.
I asked each girl to tell me what their definition of BEAUTY was…I was amazed at what each one shared with me.
Please enjoy the photographs below. If this is something you are interested in doing in the future (I hope to open these up twice a year to all girls aged 14-18) please drop me a line!
“Beauty surrounds us everyday and we miss it. It’s when you offer a hand to someone in need. Beauty happens when you take time to listen to someone who is hurting. That’s beautiful. It isn’t an appearance, or how you dress, or how you style your hair. It’s how you act.”Naomi
“For me, beauty means feeling comfortable in your own skin. Whether it’s no makeup or a full face, everyone deserves to feel beautiful and confident. I personally am super excited for this shoot! I love the idea of capturing natural beauty.”Alessia
“Beauty /ˈbyo͞odē/ noun: a combination of qualities, such as shape, color, or form, that pleases the aesthetic senses, especially the sight.
This is the definition we all have internalized; it pokes at our esteem, making us believe that we aren’t good enough. Yet, beauty goes beyond the skin, beyond the shape of our face or the width of our waist. It’s our inner spirit and presence that radiates out into the world like rays of sunshine. Beauty is the confidence you have for your fine lines that crinkle around your eyes whenever you smile. Beauty is the happiness you feel when you eat your favorite desert, and having no regrets thereafter. Beauty is the kindness you hold for others who are in need of a hand and possibly, a hug. Beauty is simple. It doesn’t require the latest high-brand fashion. It doesn’t need foundation, lipstick, or mascara. Beauty is simply you and what comes within.
Beauty /ˈbyo͞odē/ noun: the light in your mind, soul, and heart.”Jennica
“Body confidence is something I have struggled with for a long time. Not looking the same as other girls, especially in theatre, can play a big role on someone’s emotions. Beauty to me is learning to love yourself no matter what. Whether you’re curvy, skinny, tall, or short you can learn to be confident and strong.”Emersen
“To me, beauty is purely inside of you. Beauty that is held within your heart is merely shown on the outside through your actions. It is shown by sharing your passions, your morals, and your true intentions. Having a beautiful heart and soul, will make you beautiful no matter what you physically look like. “Jaden
“Beauty to me, beauty is how I feel everyday when I wake up and look at myself in the mirror, no makeup, not washed-clear, fresh skin. Beauty is to feel comfortable in what God gave you, and to appreciate it and to NEVER compare yourself to others. and I am still figuring that out, to not compare. It will ruin you, and that has been hard for me. High school was never the easiest and still isn’t, I don’t feel comfortable being at parties or at school around all the other girls because they judge me, and pick about what I wear or how maybe I have that one pimple on my face that I can’t stop thinking about. My social media makes my life look amazing and beautiful but it isn’t always. But I am learning to change that and to appreciate the little things in my life, and to love myself, and my beauty, my external and internal beauty. God make everyone to be beautiful, and it takes yourself to find that, cherish and love it.”Kate
“I have never been a person who was into fashion and makeup. I always hated clothes shopping because I could never find anything that I would like and that would be in my size. So after a while I just gave up on “looking beautiful.” After asking us what beauty means to me I actually had to think about it because beauty for me has never been on how you look. To me is how you portray yourself and how you feel on the inside. No matter what I wear I feel beautiful because I don’t compare myself to others. The only person I can be in me and I like to think I wear it beautifully. So to sum it up, beauty is about having the confidence to be yourself and being able to be comfortable in your own skin no matter any imperfections.”Taylor
“Beauty means quite a few different things to me but mainly about how I feel on the inside. When I’m on the right path with the right people, I feel beautiful. When I’m giving myself a ‘self-care day’, I feel beautiful. And most of all, I feel beautiful when I’m being kind to others. This shoot is such a great way to capture us without the hours of effort we put into trying to make ourselves look ‘beautiful’.”Anna
“Beauty is experienced purely inside of you while being comfortable in your own skin. It’s the confident way you walk while not wearing any makeup or an expensive outfit. While beauty isn’t always physical, it’s the nature and personality of a person in which they can truly characterize themselves. “Gabby