Julie

What made you want to be a part of the #ReclaimBeauty project? 

I am not someone that stops people in their tracks with my stunning beauty. I have learned that I am a person that gets more and more beautiful when you take the time to look more closely at me and let me look BACK at you. I wanted to be a part of this project to be able to change the way people think of what beauty IS. It's not only what's on the outside, but what's on the inside. It's not what is seen IMMEDIATELY, but what you have to take the time to find. That is true beauty, and I always want to support projects that focus on that!

How has the cultural perception of beauty influenced how you see yourself? 

The cultural perception of beauty REALLY hurt me in my late teens and early twenties, when I had left my home. I was out on my own, in college, and spent a lot of time on my own and learning how to make friends. I watched a lot of TV and spent a lot of time in my dorm room alone, and without people around me all the time. I was more influenced by what the world said was beautiful and attractive and I started to really doubt that I had any of those qualities. I just let what the world said about me change the way I saw myself and let the lies of the world get into my head. It has taken a long time to stop listening to the lies around me and listen to the people who LOVE me, and seek the GOD who created me and ADORES me and listen to the truth about who I really am from them instead. In fact, it has just been in the past year that I have finally let the truth in and been able to stop the lies from getting in and hurting me. And that has only come because I have started to let myself believe the good things that people have been telling me and see those things for myself.

How do you nurture and celebrate your beauty?

I make sure that I balance the time I spend alone and the time I spend surrounded by the people I know truly love me. I have taken out the things I know I am not good at and replaced it with the things that help others and that I am confident in. I make sure to really listen and HEAR the people in my life who tell me the good things about myself. And I make sure to spend time with the Lord, who loves and created me and NEVER changes. Filling my heart, soul and mind with truth is the only way to fight off the negative and worldly lies that creep in. It feels good to finally have some power and joy in my life.