This is a guest blog from Nicole Weider, founder of Project Inspired.
Guest blog by Nicole Weider
Hi girls, I’m Nicole Weider, the founder of Project Inspired. As a model, I know far too well how the media’s ideal version of beauty affects young women—something I’m trying to combat on Project Inspired.
By the time I was 16 years old, I had convinced my mom to move me and our family to Los Angeles and I was well on my way to living my dream as a successful model and Hollywood “It” girl.
It was my job to wear makeup and look perfect. But in my early twenties, I realized that not everything in Hollywood was as it appeared. I didn’t like who I had become, partying with celebrities and modeling lingerie for Victoria’s Secret. I was soon overwhelmed by a deep depression. This is when I found God and, with His love and strength, created a new and wonderful life.
Last year I started Project Inspired, a website that guides and inspires teen girls to be their best and truest selves. On Project Inspired, we talk about modest fashion, true and natural beauty, relationships, culture and media…and we have fun!
Me Without Makeup is my natural beauty campaign on Project Inspired. It is very important to me that young girls understand they don’t need pounds of makeup and expensive clothes to be and feel beautiful.
The Me Without Makeup campaign encourages girls to send in a photo of their bare faces and a caption about what they like best about themselves. Girls can comment on other photos and I make sure all the comments stay very positive. It makes me so sad to think about how these young girls see all the negativity in the media – commentary about a celebrity gaining weight, another getting plastic surgery, Selena Gomez on the cover of Cosmo at age 18 – and internalize it, thinking that it’s okay to behave this way, that this is the norm.
Since we started the Me Without Makeup campaign, the response has been overwhelming. We have received hundreds of photos and have created a positive and vibrant community where it’s okay to not wear makeup and to let your true self shine through.
So, I challenge you to recognize your dependence on makeup and realize that you are beautiful without it. My conviction comes from my faith that God loves me just the way I am as He created me, but we each are inspired and supported by different people and faiths. Just know that the people who truly love you, love YOU, not the makeup you wear.
If you would like to join the Me Without Makeup campaign, send a photo of yourself without makeup and a caption about what you like best about yourself to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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