SOUL&STORY ft. Becca
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. This is to focus the spotlight on their natural beauty, not their ability to apply makeup. Makeup isnâ€™t a problem. The problem comes when we feel uncomfortable in our own skin. 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?
hinaâ€™s idea of beauty is pale skin and small delicately framed. In California, where I grew up, their idea of beauty is tan skin and being athletically built. My mindset fits more of the California standards. Chinese standards didnâ€™t really affect me growing up because my mom was really good at complimenting me.
How does your faith influence the way you undersand beauty?
y faith is the reason I value inner beauty more than outer beauty. Growing up, my mom would always say that a godly woman shouldn’t focus on making themselves beautiful on the outside without working on making themselves beautiful on the inside. This is a verse she would show me: Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— 4 but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. 1 Peter 3:3-4
How did it feel to not wear makeup during the shoot?
hen we went to lunch before the shoot, I did feel a little insecure since itâ€™s rare for me not to wear makeup when I got out. As I got older, my mom would always tell me that I needed to look presentable whenever I was in public. But this experience was kind of liberating. On a light note, I was able to not worry about my makeup melting off or it being smudged (panda eyes) since there was a lot of sand and the water everywhere. It was a good excuse to break my routine of wearing makeup all the time.
What are some moments when you feel most confident?
feel good about myself when I’m eating well, making healthy choices, exercising and taking care of my body. It’s also always heartwarming when people compliment me on something I don’t normally notice. It makes me more aware of myself. However, I like it more when I’m complimented on my personality. It makes me feel like I’m doing something right and giving people a glimpse of God’s love. Spiritually, I’m most confident when I am worshiping because I close myself off from everyone and it’s just Him and I. During these times, I can focus on glorifying Him and I don’t have to worry about what other people think.
What are some moments that have made you feel self-conscious?
had an accident in Cambodia that left a huge scar on my leg. Ever since then, when I wear shorts, I notice that people automatically look at the scar and sometimes even make a surprised face. I donâ€™t care, but it makes me feel self conscious about myself. I feel like sometimes my deformity is the first thing people notice and ask about. It is an interesting story but Iâ€™d rather be talking about something more meaningful.
What is your favorite part of your body?
My collarbones and my arms.
What was the last meaningful compliment youâ€™ve received?
hen I was studying abroad in Shanghai, we had a compliment time and someone told me that I had a really bright person personality and that every time they saw me, it made their day.
How do you build your own self-confidence?
build my self-confidence by reminding myself of the gospel. Itâ€™s the biggest confidence booster when I remember that though I have many flaws, I am still loved and accepted by the One who created me.
also like to surround myself with positive uplifting people. I like people who always look at situations with the idea that the glass is half full. In any situation, you have a choice to see the good or the bad. For me, I always choose to focus on the good.
orldly standards of beauty will leave you empty whereas seeing yourself from Godâ€™s perspective is fulfilling.
Photography by Megan Won