So our #BeautyIsFreedom campaign is going really well! We're trying to encourage as many people as possible this Christmas, that true beauty is found in the freedom of being your unique self- rather than in trying to replicate others' beauty, covering parts of yourself up, or trying to change yourself to look like something other than what you were made to be!
You can see the film and read the full blog post HERE
So you might have noticed, we've got backing from quite a few fashion bloggers, who have photographed themselves, bare-faced for the campaign! These girls are surrounded by images of unachievable beauty every day, and know the pressures of maintaining an image in order to gain a following. Who better to get insight from, on what is quite a difficult and personal daily battle for many... They have a lot to share, so I've created this space for us to hear from them.
"I was born and raised in a country where the society says it's shameful to have tanned skin and a 'flat' nose. Growing up I was always the subject to be made fun of because of my tanned skin. Girls made fun of me, and boys called me ugly. After being told that for so many years, I really did believe I was ugly and that I needed lighter skin colour in order to be liked by my girl friends and to be fancied by boys. Every morning and night, I would apply skin whitening lotion all over my body and with every application, I'm desperately hoping that my skin will soon be lightened by this magical lotion. That never happened. And it certainly didn't help that I've always been athletic and I loved sports. I would swim (out in the sun) 3 hours a day, 6 days a week in hopes of becoming a professional swimming athlete. But that made me more tan than anything. Eventually, at age 15 and with no more self confidence left, I quit the swim team and gave up my dreams in order to stay out of the sun and stay 'lighter'. Years from then, my skin never became light (of course! That's how my skin naturally looks!) and people never stopped picking on me for it. That was when I realised that I had given up something important to me to please a bunch of strangers that don't love me or deserve my respect anyway? I felt foolish. From then on, I never gave up anything else for anyone else jut because they made fun of me.
Now at age 25, I am in a stable relationship (7 years!), I have my friends and family who love and respect me, and I have my blog and my brand in which I show myself and my 'tanned' skin everywhere! I have learnt to completely embrace myself and am no longer ashamed of who I am and how I look. If you stop listening to others and start accepting yourself, your confidence will out shine anything anyone has to say. I don't need no skin bleaching agents, I'm me, and I love it!"
"I am so happy to be a part of this project that goes against today's beauty standards. Standards and norms that tells us that we have to look a certain way and that we have to dress a certain way to be accepted in this materialistic society where we consume our bodies in search of happiness. We see tons of pictures every day of women and men made in purpose to make us feel that we are not good enough, not pretty enough, not happy enough, not skinny enough and so on. This campaign is a reaction to this, and we just want to tell you that YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH, you are beautiful and don't let anyone tell you anything different! Be yourself, you are amazing!"
"When talking about insecurities, I'd probably be the first one to raise my hand. My biggest insecurity since junior school was the fact of being really thin. I've been criticized a looot. How many times have I heard being called "skeleton", "chopstick" or even "anorexic". Sometimes, passers-by would even call me "ugly" or beg me to "please eat something". In high school, even my teachers thought I was anorexic and wanted to call my parents in. I was so ashamed of my body and most of all I was tired of hearing so much nonsense, and people wouldn't even believe me.
But it's not like I could do anything about it, that's how my body is, I just don't gain weight when I eat.
And hey, with time I realized we just don't need to follow non-existent rules to be beautiful. Each of us is beautiful in our own way."
"To me, beauty is the perfection of the imperfection. We all notice our flaws and let them define who we are, when we should be identifying the natural beauty we all hold within and on the outside. Everyone is naturally beautiful inside and out in a different way and the #beautyisfreedom campaign has really encouraged me to spread the word of natural beauty and go against all the media. There will always be people who pick out your flaws but just kill them with kindness and love everyone!!"
Ebba's post will be online at:
"The concept of beauty in today's society is a complicated one. We are bombarded daily with different forms of the notion that beauty is something tangible. It has been commercialized into something that supposedly can be bought with products, clothes, and surgeries. We have been told repeatedly that beauty is only something we can see, not something we can feel. And oftentimes we find ourselves believing this. How could we not? The media is everywhere, constantly telling us who to be and what to look like and how to live our lives. It is time that we reconstruct our notions of what we have been told it means to be beautiful. It is time to promote self-acceptance, laughter, kindness, and warmth and to step away from criticism and fear of individuality.
The reason a campaign like WAHP is so important is that it forces us to snap out of our erroneous and self conscious concept of what it means to be beautiful. We are confronted with the ways in which we inhibit ourselves (and others) from letting go and being who we really are. With this confrontation comes the ability to start changing our attitudes towards beauty. Someone is beautiful not because they fit physically into society's idea of the world, they are beautiful because they are unique. Every freckle and birthmark and scar, every thought and feeling and action makes them the one-of-a-kind individual that they are. There is no one else on this earth who is exactly like them. That, to me, is the most beautiful thing there is."
"This is a photo of me, no filter, no editing, no make up, no hair products.. you get the idea. this is me, bare. This is me at my "ugliest". This photo is my contribution to the #beautyisfreedom project by @wearehairypeople, which I am honored to be a part of.As you all know, I am and have always been, a target of bullying. Online and in real life, I have a tough time for looking the way i look, dressing the way I dress, behaving the way I behave, or in other words, for simply being myself. I think that it is also pretty clear I am not the happiest person on the planet (lol), so definitely the contribution of others to my "ugliness" doesn't help me getting any better.From time to time, I will post something like this online to spill out my thoughts. Sometimes it is because of frustrations, sometimes just as a reminder that I am a real human too, still growing, full of flaws and insecurities. I always stand up for myself whenever I'm bullied, I expect the bullshit but never accept it, and I don't believe in "just ignore it". But this time, I want it to be a little different. I don't want to simply just stand up for myself, but for everyone and the "ugliness" within them.BE 'UGLY'. 'UGLY' IS 'BEAUTIFUL'. seriously. Embrace your ugliness. Everyone has it, everyone hates themselves a little. It's okay. As soon as you realize that ugly and pretty are just different sides of the same coin, and stop beating up yourself for something you didn't chose or are unable to change, you will be invincible. The grass is always greener on the other side, but it shouldn't be. Everything about you- makes you "you". Originality is the only real property you were born with, so don't lose it along the way by trying to replicate unrealistic expectations. Work with what you have, and make it work.I'm ugly. It's okay. I'm pretty too. I am both. You have good days and you have bad days. But, every day, you should wake up and smile at that mirror, and tell yourself that "every single person in the world telling you that you are not attractive, is not going to stop you from being attractive". Love every single aspect of yourself. Take yourself out on a date, treat yourself nicely. As soon as you believe in the beauty you have, and become a self-obsessed human being, life will be a lot more fun, I promise.I am not the type that is dazzling beautiful. Look at that picture. Those eye bags, that acne skin, those weird knees, that leg full of scars. That's okay. I learned the hard way that all I really need is a little kindness, and no one gives it better to me than myself. I hated myself before the whole world did, and I still struggle with that sometimes, but that's okay too. Everything is beautiful, even something hurt. #beautyisfreedom"
Brenda: "Beauty is not about how you look like, but about who you are. Embrace your imperfections, and look beyond what is only skin deep, because you were born to be you, and that is what makes you valuable. Like most of you, I too felt insecure about some parts of myself and my body too. Many a times, I'd get hurtful comments about me being too skinny and looking anorexic, people constantly telling me I need to eat more. #BeautyIsFreedom has made me realize that I am who I am, and it as taught me to value myself because I'm unique, special, and that is what makes me, me. I wouldn't give up being myself to me someone else, for I am the imperfectly perfect me."
See her posts at:
"We are all individuals. We will never, never ever look like one single type of girl. That doesn't mean we won't be loved. In this society it means we won't fit in. To always feel the pressure on how you should look or act, for example; shave, pluck, don't pluck, tan, don't tan, eat right, don't eat, be nice/cute/lovely, act hard-to-get, don't be noisy, except in bed(he likes that), have big breasts with a small waist, have small breasts with a small waist- and so on, this list could be a lot longer. We need to take over, stick together, and embrace ourselves, become our own best friend to change society. We are all different and that is what makes people exciting.
Coming Soon to
"Right. Let's get real, I've always been an insecure person. Maybe that's maybe why I try to hide behind the camera a sometimes - or to try and capture a side of myself that I can find beautiful, proving to myself that 'I have worth'. Sounds pretty ridiculous, huh? By creating an online person, sometimes how you view yourself can get warped, trying to fit into the beauty standards of others, and I have to say that I'm only just starting to get over these beauty standards in my early 20's - finding the confidence to be 'just me'. But you know what, most of what we see online is edited and that's what we have to keep realising every time we go online or read magazines. It's a pretty saddening idea that I somewhat contribute to beauty standards, so here's me apologising to you - I am sorry if I've ever made you feel insecure. By wearing what I do and promoting that wearing whatever you want is a-ok (if you want to follow trends, then go for that!), I've helped inspire you to be you. It's a strange thing, I love what I do, but what do we as bloggers sometimes crosses the line from being 'real' to becoming idols. We need to realise that being happy about our appearance can only come from within, that we all have flaws - yep - even Kylie Jenner, Taylor Swift and every VS Secret Model has stretch marks, scars and imperfections. They're humans - it's just usually those imperfections get airbrushed and filtered away by mobs of PR teams and editing experts. It's time to reconsider what we love about our idols, to reconsider beauty, and to rebrand 'flaws' as unique, perfect identity features."
"For many girls, including me, feeling good enough for today's society is a problem that bothers us almost daily. Having the right body shape, height, hair length and complexion is almost drilled into us from when we're younger, that unless we look 'perfect' we're not worth anything. That is why I believe #beautyisfreedom has such big potential of making an impact. It gives us a chance to step back, and actually accept ourselves for who we are. Yes, we're not perfect, but who would want to be? Our flaws are what make us special, they make us US. Without flaws, everyone would be the same. It would be boring. We wouldn't be UNIQUE!!! Uniqueness is the most amazing gift you can ever have, it allows you to express yourself in ways you can't even imagine, it allows you to be who YOU want to be. Not for anyone else, but for you. The WeAreHairyPeople campaign has done such an amazing job of creating awareness of this. You are beautiful, I am beautiful, and we should all accept our flaws and embrace them, because to love others and to allow others to love you, you first have to love yourself. Loving yourself shouldn't be frowned upon, loving yourself is AMAZING !! Loving your flaws, loving your beauty and accepting yourself for who YOU are."
"I feel that the #beautyisfreedom campaign tells us that we should feel confident in our own bodies, constantly as young teens we are bombarded with images of the 'perfect' body and we are told how to dress and how to look. However this campaign wants to let us know that we are good enough even if we don't live up to today's beauty standards. I think it is so important that we let each other know that you are amazing just the way you are,we shouldn't have to change to fit in. We all have our insecurities but whether your thin or fat,tall or short,have spots or no spots you are beautiful and no one should feel judged on the way they look or dress its what's in the inside that counts and what makes you happy as an individual, you are not here to impress others. Just be happy and embrace your differences because that's what makes you unique and beautiful. WE ARE ALL EQUAL AND NO ONE IS BETTER THAN YOU"
So there you have it. We're pretty much all in the same boat! I hope and pray that you've been encouraged by the campaign- it's a lot of work, and I'm just an individual, but I've done what I can and truly I hope it helps. We Are Hairy People is for you, and with you.
Don't forget the code 10KFREEGIFT, to get a free gift with any order before Christmas,
Lots of Love!
We Are Hairy People
#beautyisfreedom was made by Sarah Caulfield (We Are Hairy People) with lots of help from Zoey Groves (Assistant Photographer and Model Board Director) and Vanilla Bear Films (Dan Caulfield & Aaron Beale)
We Are Hairy People
Sarah: "WAHP will always Declare Imperfection and I plan to build on what has been started with #Beautyisfreedom"
Vanilla Bear Films
VanillaBearFilms: "For us at Vanilla Bear, we want to make films that matter… and the message that WAHP is telling, and the story of Beauty Is Freedom… it matters. Being yourself and being who you are designed to be, it’s a very simple and profound truth that many people can relate to, and we’re honoured to be a part of telling that story."