SOUL&STORY ft. Annie
Soul&Story started in Fall 2011. The inspiration came from Doveâ€™s Campaign for Real Beauty Videos that addressed the question: What standard of beauty are we holding ourselves to? Soul&Story exists to share your story about beauty in a simple, relevant, and raw form. Soul&Story is unique because the women featured do not wear makeup for the shoot. We want to focus the spotlight on their natural beauty, not their ability to apply makeup. The hope is that we can love ourselves no matter what and that by sharing our stories we can encourage each other.
contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org instagram @soulandstory
How has your ethnicity affected your idea of beauty?
am half Taiwanese and half Cantonese. When I was growing up in Taiwan, I think my idea of beauty was based on Asian ideals: pale skin and small stature. But as I moved back and forth between Taiwan and California, my idea of beauty also changed. I was happier when I moved back to California because being tan is considered a good thing here.
What is your story?
here were a lot of times in middle school and high school where I had low self esteem and when I was constantly comparing myself to others. There was always a tension between what I know about how I know God wants me to think and what society tells me.
t’s always been hard and it’ll always been a struggle. I know that I will never be totally comfortable with every single part of myself but I’ve gotten better at controlling my negative thoughts. As I’ve gotten older, I think I’ve grown to appreciate myself more and look for the the beautiful unique characteristics in others.
How did it feel to not wear makeup during the shoot?
t first, when I took the makeup off, it felt weird. But then it was kind of freeing. By the end, I forget that I didnâ€™t have makeup on.
When do you feel most confident?
hen I’m in my comfiest clothes with the people I care the most about. It’s nice that I don’t have to look a certain way because I’m at that point with them where I don’t have to care anymore.
What are some moments that have made you feel self-conscious?
sually when I don’t have makeup on and I see guys that I don’t know because it’s there’s a “first impression” kind of pressure.
What is your favorite part of your body?
y dimples because I think itâ€™s a cool thing to be identified by. I also have a double dimple! I just love that itâ€™s originally a mutation yet it creates something that makes me unique.
What was the last meaningful compliment you’ve received?
t’s either about my dimples or about my skin. I really appreciate when people say, “Your skin is flawless” because it’s not something I usually notice about myself. I also never notice if other people have bad skin so I never felt like mine was different from anyone else’s.
How do you build your own self-confidence?
very time that I feel like Iâ€™m not beautiful, I talk to myself out of it. I find that it always goes back to God and how He made me fearfully and wonderfully and that every single person is different.
tâ€™s so cliche but donâ€™t let the world tell you what beauty is.
Photography by Megan Won