Breaking the Societal Norm and Why Loving Yourself is the Most Important Thing.

As I head into my senior year of high school, I have a mental checklist of what needs to be done; school shopping, scholarships, applying for college, college visits, and, because I live in the USA, I must have my senior portrait taken. As most students dread the college affiliated things, I only dread the photos.

Being the fashion queen I am, I never have a problem picking out an outfit or doing my hair and makeup, the problem solely lies with my confidence. During the shoot, I felt confident and beautiful but when I saw the photos I felt fat and ugly. I broke down for an hour afterwards and just bawled. This is everything I never wanted to be.

We live in a society where beauty is a size zero in a bathing suit. And being a size zero in a bathing suit is beautiful but so is being a size twenty-two in a crop top.  This is what our culture has to come to accept. Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes so we cant shame one or the other for not being their counterpart.

I want to teach girls and boys, women and men everywhere that it is absolutely ok to be confident, to love yourself. That you don’t have to be society’s definition of beautiful to feel beautiful. Scratch that, you don’t have to be a magazine’s definition of beautiful. I say magazine because if you asked the people that make up society, their definition of beauty would be very different from their neighbor’s.

I want to break a norm that has been set into the minds of the youth and stuck with them into adulthood. I want to change the way girls and boys view themselves. This is where you come in. A few years ago I started a photo/video project called “Beauty is…” The project includes a photoshoot and a short videoclip of you stating what beauty is to you. It only takes a few minutes to help someone learn that they are beautiful so come be part of something big. I am searching for models of all ages, genders, races, shapes, and sizes.

As I look back on my senior portraits, I realize I look really beautiful in some of them and it is okay to think that. Loving yourself is so important and if you do, you are indirectly teaching someone else to love themselves. Not only plus size girls and men can break the societal norm, EVERYONE CAN. Love yourself and change lives.



Add yours →

  1. I’m in, get ahold of me.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Funny you should say that about crying over senior pictures. When I saw mine-I was so crushed I went to bed and sobbed for an hour !!!! I had a 23 inch waist but still I looked sooo ugly …I was so horrified…
    A friend of mine (very beautiful) told me her senior pictures were so bad that her mom said ,”well at least we don’t have to decide which is the best”. only one they could tolerate…
    I have learned to laugh at myself and I now know beauty is seen so differently through the eyes of someone that loves you……

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Riley, I so admire the young woman you’ve become. I remember a lovely, thoughtful, caring elementary school girl interacting with classmates. You continue to examplfy what true beauty is, both internal as well as physical.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Beautifully said, Rylee! 😊 If I may add… Don’t let others define who YOU ARE… Tough stuff to swallow as a high schooler, I know. (I too was bullied and teased for being shy or not what others perceived as cute or pretty when I was young) You be YOU. Those who truly matter will love and appreciate you for who YOU ARE. Best of luck to you on your senior year. ENJOY!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Rylee, I so want to hug you!! You are such a beautiful girl inside and out and your words amaze me!! I have never met someone your age who could change so many lives by the words you live by!!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Judee LaPorte Wilson August 31, 2016 — 1:58 pm

    I have seen what many perceive to be beautiful person, but on the inside you see their ugly side. Let your true beauty shine! You are a beautiful person, inside and out, so don’t sweat it. Smile, laugh and truly enjoy your Senior year. I spent a great deal of my life being picked on by others, but it did not define me. Once you start to not “sweat the small stuff”, you will truly enjoy life. Personally, I think the 40-50+ year old’s would make very good high-schooler’s because we have come to a point in our life that we are comfortable in our own skin (perhaps because there is more wiggle-room with all the wrinkles – lol). I get a lot of peace from taking my dog for a walk and just listening to nature, it is very medicinal.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Reblogged this on yowbaby and commented:
    My niece is growing up. What a beautiful person.

    Liked by 1 person

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