Check out Complete and Beautiful, a new website celebrating “every girl and woman, of every shape, size, ability, skin tone, age, and uniqueness.” Here is a letter of invitation from Jessi Lax, the site’s founder.
To the girls and women of the world,
Let me introduce myself. My name is Jessica. I graduated from college in May 2011. I have a labradoodle service dog, Darby, who means the world to me. I’m 5’0” on a good day. I’ve never been one to sit on the sidelines. One of my nicknames is Cinderella because my shoes are constantly falling off of my feet. And, like Ellen DeGeneres, I believe in dance.
I am in the process of starting a beauty campaign: Complete and Beautiful. The mission of Complete and Beautiful is to celebrate all girls and women, inside and out. The beauty campaign is not just about your appearance; it is about how you see yourself as a person, and how other people see you as well. Complete and Beautiful is a website that, I hope, will evolve into something much bigger. But first, let me explain where I’m coming from.
I have a mild case of Cerebral Palsy. It affects my legs and my left hand. I did not even realize that I was differently-abled until I was ten. I did not begin to deal with my circumstances until my senior year of high school. My ability status, along with other societal preferences regarding appearance, fueled my troubles with body image.
My body is not representative of the standard ideal. For years I thought I was ugly. For years society has told me directly and indirectly that I am not valuable, not worthy, not desirable, and not complete. In our society, people, especially girls and women, are inundated by messages that they are unattractive or deficient in some way, making women self-conscious and insecure. Women worry and fuss, almost constantly, about things like their weight, skin tone, and age. All girls and women, even those judged to be classically beautiful, struggle as they try to reach and sustain an impossible perfection. Looking beautiful is unfortunately no guarantee of feeling beautiful. All of these factors and more contribute to possibly one of the most damaging messages of all: “You cannot be loved.”
I was one of those girls. I had that pain; I felt unlovable. But I refuse to keep the cycle going. I’m asking you to help me change lives; perhaps even save them. I am miles ahead of where I was a few years ago. Admittedly, I still have my share of bad days. However, more often than not, I find myself smiling at my reflection. Why? How? I started to make a concerted effort to believe in and see my own beauty. It was extremely difficult, and at times it still is, but I did it.
This is for every girl and woman, of every shape, size, ability, skin tone, age, and uniqueness. This is for you–because you are complete and you are beautiful.
Go to: www.completeandbeautiful.com and share your story today.