From the Inside Out: Danica, Ireena and Chelsea

For those who are just joining in on the natural beauty project blog posts, I’m going to be sharing the same words from my previous blog posts so you can catch up! ;)
 
Welcome back to the Natural Beauty Project: From the Inside Out! I am BEYOND excited to share photos of absolutely BEAUTIFUL girls from the inside out! These girls are choosing to embrace their natural beauty and find their confidence in WHO they are! I’m so thankful to have so many BRAVE girls who wanted to be a part of this project of mine! :)
 
One of my favorite things about taking these photos was the fact that I saw each and every girl for who they are. I honestly look at every single photo that I took and think to myself how BEAUTIFUL they are! Because you will find what you look for. Look for the beauty in these girls, in yourself, in your neighbor… in LIFE and you will find it! :) And if you look at these photos and the photos of the rest of the girls and look for their flaws instead of their beauty… then I feel sorry for you. But I still want you to know that you are beautiful! And I hope that someday you choose to not focus on your flaws and the flaws of others, but to embrace them, knowing that YOU ARE ENOUGH exactly the way that you are! :)
 
With each blog post and set of photos, I’ll also be sharing some words from the girls with their NATURAL beauty photos! These girls are makeup free with their natural hair, unless stated otherwise! :) Some had long answers for my questions and some had answers with just a few words. And it’s all okay, because there is no right way to do this, there is no right way to be vulnerable. There is only your way! :) *The only reoccurring thing that most likely is not natural in most of the girls you will be seeing is an unnatural hair color. But the way the hair dries, that is natural unless sated otherwise! :)
 
Week 1: natural beauty project: from the inside out
Week 2: from the inside out: mary, nicole and samantha
Week 3: from the inside out: courtney, perla and kristen
Week 4: from the inside out: dorothy, hailey, leah and giuliana
 
And now… ENJOY! :) And check back next week for MORE!! :)

Leah Hope Photography | Natural Beauty Project From the Inside Out Make-up Free and Natural Hair

Leah Hope Photography | Natural Beauty Project From the Inside Out Make-up Free and Natural Hair

Q: Full name?
A: Danica Keiko Koestner
Q: What makes you beautiful?
A:  I think what makes me beautiful are the instances I encapsulate what beauty is to me- to love others as Christ has loved me.

Leah Hope Photography | Natural Beauty Project From the Inside Out Make-up Free and Natural Hair
Q: Where do you find your confidence?
A: I find this question hard to answer… I would say in truth. Reminding myself of the truth of the situation and myself despite what my emotions/fears or the world may tell me.

Leah Hope Photography | Natural Beauty Project From the Inside Out Make-up Free and Natural Hair

Q: If you had the opportunity to say something to a large group of women, what would you say?
A: Stop comparing, stop hating and start loving. Let’s celebrate each other since we get how it is to be a woman instead of competing, belittling and being awful just to feel better or be right. I’d say let’s be a place of safety, love, CELEBRATION and inspiration for our fellow women.

Leah Hope Photography | Natural Beauty Project From the Inside Out Make-up Free and Natural HairLeah Hope Photography | Natural Beauty Project From the Inside Out Make-up Free and Natural HairAt the end of the questionnaire that I asked the girls to fill out, I left a spot at the end for people to share ANYTHING they would like to! :) This was sent to me before Danica did her shoot and I LOVE what she said! :)
 
Q: Do you have anything else you want to share with me or others?
A: I have a lot of insecurities- but sometimes I’m lucky (or not so lucky) that mine are easily hidden. I can position myself in situations where I don’t have to confront these fears and they lay dormant and festering. I am eagerly anticipating these photo sessions and really feel proud that all types and ages of women are coming together to face insecurities (some that are more visible to the eye than others). I’m filled with pride and awe of these women whom I’ve yet to meet. I think it’s brave, beautiful and therefore I was compelled to be part of this experience. To be inspired to continue to face MY OWN personal fears of being “true to myself” and things about me that I may not think are beautiful- but to rest in them and let them be. If others can do it- so can I. So thank you ladies- for being an inspiration- and I’m sure even GREATER of an inspiration once I learn more of your stories.

Leah Hope Photography | Natural Beauty Project From the Inside Out Make-up Free and Natural HairLeah Hope Photography | Natural Beauty Project From the Inside Out Make-up Free and Natural Hair

Q: Full name?
A: Ireena Dolan

Leah Hope Photography | Natural Beauty Project From the Inside Out Make-up Free and Natural HairQ: What is beauty to you?
A: I don’t think beauty is physical. In my opinion beauty is a verb, it’s an action. Beauty is a mother trying to support her family. Beauty is taking care of others. Beauty is how you treat others and also how you make others feel. Beauty isn’t about having a pretty face. It’s about having a pretty mind, a pretty heart, and a pretty soul.

Leah Hope Photography | Natural Beauty Project From the Inside Out Make-up Free and Natural HairLeah Hope Photography | Natural Beauty Project From the Inside Out Make-up Free and Natural Hair

Q: What inspired you to start truly loving yourself?
A: The confidence my Grandmother has always instilled in me started at a young age and I am truly grateful for that.

Leah Hope Photography | Natural Beauty Project From the Inside Out Make-up Free and Natural Hair

Q: If you could go back and tell your 12 year old self one thing, what would you tell her?
A: I would say to stop picking out the flaws and focus on the positive. That beauty isn’t just something you see in the mirror,it’s whats on the inside.

Leah Hope Photography | Natural Beauty Project From the Inside Out Make-up Free and Natural HairQ: What is something that the world might see as a flaw on you, but you find it beautiful?
A: My stretch marks. It just means that I was able to bear children and I am proud of that.

Leah Hope Photography | Natural Beauty Project From the Inside Out Make-up Free and Natural HairLeah Hope Photography | Natural Beauty Project From the Inside Out Make-up Free and Natural Hair

Q: Full name?
A: Chelsea Thompson

Leah Hope Photography | Natural Beauty Project From the Inside Out Make-up Free and Natural HairQ: What is beauty to you?
A: For a long time I was obsessed with looking perfect because a huge part of me didn’t want people remembering me for my visible flaws, but then I read a quote from Maya Angelou that says “People will forget what you said, they will forget what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel.” That triggered a huge flip in my approach to people, and the value I saw in myself and others. I want to be remembered for having a beautiful heart, not a beautiful face/body/etc. I think LOVE is beautiful. A person’s character makes them beautiful.

Leah Hope Photography | Natural Beauty Project From the Inside Out Make-up Free and Natural HairLeah Hope Photography | Natural Beauty Project From the Inside Out Make-up Free and Natural Hair

Q: Where do you find your confidence?
A: JESUS. There are a million things people have said to me or ways they’ve treated me that I could have let demolish my confidence, but God tells me I’m beautiful, I can do all things with Him, and I was created in His image. How could I argue with that?

Leah Hope Photography | Natural Beauty Project From the Inside Out Make-up Free and Natural HairQ: What inspired you to start truly loving yourself?
A: I know exactly when, and sometimes I still feel silly telling this story. I had acne for a LONG time and it seemed to just get worse as I got older. It didn’t go away until I was close to 22 and on the right medication. Despite the fact that it’s just “unpleasing” to look at according to society, it was painful. It was hereditary and it ran my life. I wouldn’t want to go somewhere if I was having a particularly bad breakout, I spent probably THOUSANDS of dollars trying to cure it and it made me feel like less of a person just because there’s this image of girls out there that says imperfect skin makes you ugly. Anyways, I was newly dating this guy, a CHRISTIAN guy I met at a young adults bible study nonetheless, and during a random conversation we were having, he said to me, “Honestly I’m surprised I liked you when I first met you, I normally don’t like girls with acne.” I will remember that for the rest of my life unfortunately. It haunted me. It destroyed me. But then it made me mad and saved me from myself. Obviously, I was devastated for a while (needless to say that relationship went no further, haha), but at some point I realized I was not what was on my face. I was not defined by breakouts or makeup or imperfection. I realized there were way worse things a person could be other than someone with acne. Not only that, but there are way worse medical problems I could have had. AND it was treatable. It was the first time I EVER felt blessed to have acne. My love for myself completely changed because of one hurtful statement that still hurts, but I definitely needed.

Leah Hope Photography | Natural Beauty Project From the Inside Out Make-up Free and Natural Hair

Q: What is your favorite inspirational quote about being confident or loving yourself or being yourself or beauty?
A: “You will never influence the world by trying to be like it.” and “Be somebody who makes everybody feel like a somebody.”

Leah Hope Photography | Natural Beauty Project From the Inside Out Make-up Free and Natural Hair

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