Brave and Beautiful

I am Brave and Beautiful – a beauty movement that is sweeping the globe.

Colbie Caillat started it with her recent song and video called TRY. My blogging friend Megan of Brassy Apple wanted to push this movement along and invited women from all over to share what they looked like without make up and I joined in!!

Colbie’s song says, “Take your make up off. Let your hair down… Look into the mirror at yourself, Do you like you? Cause I like you… “

Megan and her friend Cobi of Peacefrom6pieces have been the team behind this whole project. Their worldwide vision included creating their own video inspired by the song TRY. The talent of Robbins Creative made it possible for them to pull it off. You have to click play and see the beauty and bravery displayed and you might even recognize a few faces in there.
I have joined with 101+ other blogging women from different backgrounds, religions, ethnicities, ages, shapes and sizes have decided to be Brave and Beautiful! You can join in this movement too by sharing what you look like without makeup on.
You don’t need a blog either!
Just tag your photo with #IamBraveAndBeautiful on Instgram and search the hashtag to see who else has joined in. ALSO, if you tag it with a second hashtag – #ColbieTRY we just might be able to get Colbie Caillat’s attention since she was the inspiration behind it all!
Are you brave and beautiful? I am, here I go!
No make up, no styling, no editing, no photoshop — this is me.

A few years ago I would have cringed at this image and deleted it outright (or at least erased the lines, softened the bags, deleted the blemishes and filled out the lips). Today, though, I LOVE this picture because it’s the very first one I’ve ever taken that captures what my children love so much:

the mother they see everyday.

It’s been a slow process, but over the last few years my children have helped me see how much I am loved and valued–not because of how I look or what I’ve accomplished–but simply because I am theirs.

And oh what that love has done.

When my children smile up at me, they don’t see the hair and enamel that are thinning and brittle after a decade of rampant bulimia in my teens and twenties like I sometimes do. They see their Momma who is calming them after a bad dream and rocking them to sleep with a lullaby.

When they throw their arms around my neck, they don’t see my double chin and extra moles they way I sometimes do. They feel love for the one who cares for and protects them.

When they climb up onto my lap and ask for their favorite story to be read ‘just one more time Momma,’ they don’t see the soft stomach or the chubby thighs the way I sometimes do. They feel the love of someone who made time just for them.

I have struggled with weight my whole life and have spent years destroying myself with powerful self loathing, hiding from cameras and depressively fantasizing about all of the amazing things that I could accomplish once the weight came off. But as I’ve slowly allowed to see myself the way my children see me … as my Father in Heaven and Savior Jesus Christ see me … and how my husband, family and friends see me … I’ve realized that I don’t have to wait for anything to be happy, loved or accepted.

The truth is that I’ve accomplished more in the last few years of my life than I have in decades–just the way I am. And while taking better care of myself and becoming more healthy are still goals that I work towards, I’ve realized how hollow the world’s standard of perfect-beauty-acceptance is.

I was elected to a prominent position witin our city not long ago that seemed so utterly out of my league a few years ago. After the vote came down, I realized that I’d sacrificed years of progress waiting for a version of perfection that was so destructive. The talent and abilities that landed me my new position were always there; I’d just bought into the lie that said that nothing short of perfect could ever be loved or valued.

How wrong I was.

So something funny has begun to happen ….

I am okay with seeing this girl in the mirror, all made up for a night out …

… and rolling out of bed with drool on my cheeks and some wicked bed head.
And I love her. I’m proud of her.
I’m seeing that thinning hair and teeth as a sign of a girl who walked away from bulimia before it destroyed her completely.
I see in that big nose, thin lips and square face the resemblance of the family members I love most who came before me.
I see in that squishy tummy with the c-section scars and stretch marks the proof that this broken, infertile woman who was never supposed to have kids is momma to six of them.
I see in those thick legs a woman who is strong and confident, chasing kids around and working outside her home to help provide.
I see a woman who is imperfect and flawed, yes, but a daughter of God who is loved, valued and cherished simply because I am me.
And me is good. And me is working on being better–not because I hate what I see–but because I’m loving her more everyday and wanting to treat her with more kindness and respect.

share your natrual beauty -
Don’t stop here. Get clicking around – its a blog hop! Below are more brave and beautiful women bearing more than their natural beauty. They each have a little bit of their heart to share with you. Some get very personal. Some share stories. For some this was very hard to do yet they gathered their courage and did it anyway. We hope as you click around (and YES pin these different posts!) you will feel the importance of it, the empowering effect it has and that it encourages you in some way.
Important info! Blog Hops often have glitches the first day. If the link has an ERROR, simply click on the HOME button for each site, or google the blog name next to the link, and you should see their brave and beautiful post there. Links will be updated as soon as possible.

women sharing their natural beauty - no makeup
women with our makeup on and what makes them beautiful
women from around the world share their face with no makeup on -
Mommy bloggers share their face without makeup and what makes then beautiful
Natural beauty untouched photos
raw natural beauty - join the movement
beauty and bravery - women wearing no makeup -
#colbietry #iambraveandbeautiful
Ready in join in?

Snap, hashtag and share! Tag @BrassyApple and @Peacefrom6Pieces if you can too!
Also follow our Bravery and Beauty PINTEREST board for more inspiration!

7 thoughts on “Brave and Beautiful”

  1. Oh gosh, I love you so much. You forgot one thing though: your hands!
    Those hands that have served me on more than one occasion…those hands that are so good at figuratively grabbing the hands of another and lifting her from those knees that seem to feeble to bear the burden placed upon.
    Those hands that help those arms give giant hugs to a friend in need of a little encouragement.
    Those hands that freely hand over a box of red vines and a large diet coke for no apparent reason than to let me now I was on your mind.
    I love those hands, Nike!

  2. wicked bedhead can sometimes be the best! I love how many women in this group are mentioning that they love themselves as they are, and are just as confident with make up and without! I hope we inspire others (including our own daughters) to feel as confident

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