Hello Beautiful/Handsome Readers!
This is a very special blog today! I hope you read and watch. Please comment/like/share! All photos by @In_Vogue_Photography
Be Your Own Kind Of Beautiful!
The essence of the beautiful is unity in variety.
Music is most enjoyable when the mix of notes and chords work harmoniously together creating a masterpiece that would not be the same if one note or chord was missing or changed. It is the same in society with the diversity of women that create it.
Growing up I was a very shy child. When I say very shy, I am talking about hide behind your mama and cling tightly to her leg and refuse to look anyone in the eye kind of shy! This did not bode well for making friends or having an active social life. Progressing to middle school I was still very shy and thought of as “stuck up” and conceited because of it. I was different and I was therefore ostracized. That’s a very lonely place to be.
Fast forward to today and you will see that very shy girl grew to be more than she ever imagined and grew to overcome more than she ever thought possible! I learned that if I wanted to begin to enjoy all that life had to offer, I would have to engage in society. No one understood how hard it was just to make conversation and to let my guard down. Through dance, basketball, soccer, volleyball, beauty pageants and college, I strived little by little to build on small successes to eventually working with the NHL, the NBA, and then starting law school.
One thing that has stood out to me throughout my college and graduate work: people are still trying to put others in a box and tag them with whatever “label” society deems them to be. As I know, those “labels” are most often very wrong. I occasionally may still be considered reserved at times or aloof, but that in no way means I am distant or better than anyone else.
I have learned that beauty is found in diversity that finds commonality. A unifying thread that binds us all as souls. That which brings us together allows us to celebrate that which makes us different.
Our similarities bring us to a common ground; our differences allow us to be fascinated by each other.
For a while now I have wanted to collaborate with women of all shapes, sizes, ethnicities, race, hair textures, hair colors, backgrounds and life experiences to create an empowering movement in the South.
With the prevalence of Social Media, we can be inundated with the “perception of perfection.” We forget social media is what the user WANTS us to see. We don’t see all the behind the scenes blood, sweat, and tears, heartaches, challenges, and struggles.
Social Media’s presentation of perfection may not be achievable…. but happiness IS achievable. The collaboration with all these women in the “Diverse Queens” content shows that beauty and happiness come in many sizes, shapes and views. In meeting, new people and creating a positive experience that everyone can relate to we can show that there are multiple notes in creating beauty! Instead of being pushed with someone else’s ideas of beauty, we can create own and STILL be in harmony with each other.
Additionally, with “Diverse Queens” I wanted to have content that shows empowered women empowering other women. Life has become a competition of who is better than the other. We barely see people rooting for each other, because we are all about “one up-ping” the rest. That makes life difficult and stressful AND UNHAPPY. Therefore, I want to showcase women of all walks of life loving one another and genuinely being happy for each other. That is what our “Diverse Queens” did. We all collab-ed one Sunday at Folly Beach, South Carolina. We were truly happy and had AN AMAZING TIME TOGETHER, as shown through the lens and echoed through the voices of each one.
Meet The Beautiful Women of my special collaboration!
Allysa Kaye Mulle Mariano
Occupation: College Student
“ I feel confident whenever someone tells me that I’m their “body goals” or that they are trying to get fit too and they share their fitness journey with me. Knowing that I inspire others to become comfortable in their body and/or achieve their dream body makes me confident and it inspires me to keep pushing myself too.”
Occupation: JD Candidate
Ethnicity: African American/British
"What makes me confident?
The first thing that came to my mind was “progress and self-love”. It's my opinion, that we live in a society that forces extremely unrealistic beauty standards. At a very young age I had developed a significant amount of disgust with my physical features. Specifically, I lacked confidence in my hair, feet/hands, nose, and skin. It honestly wasn’t until my sophomore year of
undergrad, where I began to embrace myself and understand the true meaning of beauty. After obtaining the real knowledge behind true beauty, I began changing my attitude towards myself. I chopped off my hair, started to wear open toe shoes, embraced my melanin glow, and just experimented with the art of self-expression. I think finally today, I can confidently accept a compliment in regards to my physique and let me tell you, that took a lot more work than sitting in front of mirror or camera."
Occupation: TV Journalist/ Blogger
"I feel most confident when I am being authentically me. My passion for body positivity comes from real life realization that my body shape and size is unique to me and worthy of celebration!”
Ethnicity: Irish and German
"I feel most confident when I am being my true authentic self, it has taken me years to learn how to love my self for being who I AM rather than hating myself for what I am NOT. When I figured that out I started living my life."
Sally Gray Mahon
Occupation: Marketing Director/Photographer
I want girls, boys, and everyone regardless of gender identity to see this content and realize that beauty is built by the individual, not by the society surround them. You are empowered to create beauty in a way that resonates with YOU; not in a way that resonates with a magazine cover or fitness magazine."
Ana Frank Acosta Francisco
Occupation:sales representative,bodybuilder bikini competitor
studies: business and management and telecommunications
Ethnicity: Latino (Dominican)
"Working out is what makes me confident that was what kept me sane during my treatments. I’m a cancer survivor (breast cancer) I was diagnosed at the age of 29 right after my last bikini competition. I posted my story through social media that way people see you can still feel confident and love yourself during each stage on this ugly disease. People always ask how I did to stay focused through that hard time and really was working out.It makes me feel confident when people tells me I’m their motivation after they see my story."
Occupation: College Student
"Confidence extends further than just body image. I am confident in myself as a person who is always trying to better myself and others around me. To be truly confident is to accept who you are despite society’s expectations and by empowering others to do the same."
Victoria Vesce (Me)
Occupation: JD Candidate/Model
“Strength grows in the moments when you can’t go on but you keep going anyway. The biggest test of my strength came when I faced the biggest battle for my life. I survived the one year anniversary of multiple tumors: brain tumor and carotid artery tumor [neck] and 28 rounds of radiation. I was always very critical of my body and never content. After being put in a situation of life or death and realized how my body fought for its life, then I began to see myself in a new light. I am confident in who I am; body, mind, and soul, because beauty and confidence does not come from what is external but the powers from within. My favorite superhero is Wonder Woman and that is who I align myself with, when I think of confidence and being a badass warrior!”
Empowered Women Empower Women