Soul&Story ft. Katharine

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October 2016

SOUL&STORY ft. Katharine


est. 2011 Photoshoots Without Makeup Soul&Story renews self-confidence in women around the world by proving that their natural beauty is worth a photoshoot. Each woman’s unique story has the ability to create a deeper connection with their community and spark self-confidence in their lives. contact us: instagram @soulandstory

About Katharine


ell, I just completed

One of my favorite quotes that

my twenty third trip

seems to be taking shape as a

around the sun, and this year

recurring life motto of mine is

was extra special! I got to marry

by Elsie de Wolfe, and states,

my best friend, graduate from

“I’m going to make everything

Pepperdine University with

around me beautiful- that will

an English Literature degree,

be my life.� As for dreams, I

move permanently down to

have no grandiose aspirations;



I simply want to keep loving the

move onto a boat with my new

people who mean the most to

husband to start off married

me, and spend my time finding

life! I feel like I pick up a new

ways to use my passions to help

passion every day, but I have

and enrich the lives of others.

always loved literature, writing,

I trust those opportunities will


reveal themselves to me with




traveling and design- basically anything creative that requires the use of my imagination.


How did it feel to not wear makeup during the photoshoot?


espite the fact I don’t often wear makeup

in day-to-day life, being photographed without it did make me self-conscious initially. I think it’s because with photographs, all you see is the image- there’s no context, no conversation, nothing other than that image staring back at you, and that’s all people have to form their opinions with. Awareness of that fact hit me early on in the shoot, but as our time progressed, perspective made its way back to the forefront of my mind,

and I felt the insecurity slip away. It also helped that Viv, the photographer, is my good friend and one of my former roommates, and I couldn’t help but have fun with her as we went through the shoot. As for the final product, I couldn’t be happier with how they turned out- in them I see a simple, authentic depiction of myself, and a statement of self-love that is all too often absent from the media we are inundated with on a daily basis.

What is your story in terms of understanding beauty and self-worth?


hen I delve into this

realization to my college major.

question, I find that

As an English literature student, I

my self worth is rooted in my

constantly spent time developing

belief that I bring so much

arguments, analyzing meaning,

more to the table than just

and expressing my ideas, and

my physical appearance. This

the value placed on those

conviction is a key lesson I’ve

things transferred over into my

learned from my faith, and has

personal life as well. As a result,

been an integral part of how my

I choose not to spend much time

parents raised me during those

or energy on makeup, ascribing



instead to the French beauty

Over time, I’ve found that I feel

tradition of less being more.

the most like myself when I’m

Makeup, for me, is an accessory,

taking ownership and investing

not a necessity. It’s just as fun

in my ideas, opinions, and

to wear as a new pair of shoes,

learning opportunities rather

or a cute bag, but I don’t need

than focusing on my external

those things to feel confident or

qualities, and I’d attribute that

comfortable in my own skin.


What is your ethnicity and what is considered beautiful in your culture?


hile I love that fact that I have ancestors that

hail from all over the world, I would identify my ethnicity as white or Caucasian. In recent years, I have become aware of just how much that fact has contributed to my ability to be less aware of my physical appearance. As a member of the dominant culture here in America, I’ve never had to think about if my hairstyle was socially acceptable or professional, or if my complexion would have anything to do with how people treated me. I, in

theory, embody the beauty standard that has been celebrated during America’s short history- light skin, light eyes, albeit I do have dark hair. Because of this fact, I have greater liberty to focus less on my external appearance, and more on what I as an individual bring to the table- a privilege that I wasn’t aware of before, but no longer take for granted.

When do you feel the most beautiful?


feel most beautiful when I am surrounded by the people I love, or in the act of creating something. That’s when I

feel the most authentic and true to myself, and I think that’s beautiful.

Who inspires you?


’m inspired by numerous people in my everyday life,

but they all have one thing in common- they are excellent, tangible examples of selfless love. My parents modeled it for me early on in life, and now I am lucky enough to see it in my husband on a daily basis, and in his parents as well. They prioritize others above themselves, and by doing so, make the world a more loving, accepting place. Anyone who seeks to include those who are often excluded, fight for those who can’t do so themselves, and strives to

do the right thing even when it’s the hard one are the kinds of people who inspire me to do my best in this life.

What was the last meaningful compliment you received?


he most recent m e a n i n g f u l

compliment I received was this morning, over Facebook. I had posted a picture of my husband Micah and I along with a caption saying how grateful I was for him, when my former high school principal, who has become a mentor of mine and family friend of mine, commented saying, “I love how you acknowledge your love for each other. In a time when society is often cynical of marriage, you clearly and genuinely show the other side

- true love, that honors one another. Many blessings!� I was touched by his commentdoing a good job loving the people in my life is of the utmost importance for me, and it was really affirming to have that recognized by an important person in my life.

What is your favorite part of your body?


would say my favorite part of my body has become my hair. I spent my entire life trying to tame it, nearly flat-ironing

it to death in middle school in a desperate attempt to make it look like the stick-straight hairdos of the girls I saw on tv, but in recent years, I’ve embraced my full-bodied curls. They’re unruly, they take up space, and more often than not seem to have a mind of their own, but they are mine, and I have come to love them.

How do you build your own self-confidence?


hen my insecurities are taking a toll, I often find a reality check is important- whether it comes from someone

you love, spending time nurturing your faith, or putting your situation in perspective by looking at the bigger picture.

Katharine’s Last Comments


n a society that loudly and clearly elevates the physical above the internal, remember that true happiness is often more

likely to be found in the intangible, invisible aspects of life- love, friendship, creativity, gratitude, and charity. What you look like is only a fraction of your identity, and a rather inconsequential one at that- makeup is fun, but not fundamental, to who you are and your inherent value.


lright, that’s my spiel. Enjoy this beautiful life you lovely people!

Photographer’s Note

by Vivian K.


pending time with Kat is always refreshing. In a culture that may become very exhausting, she is life-giving and her joy

is contagious. She is the nicest and sweetest person I’ve ever met! Shooting her was so much fun. We were just best friends running around in a really strange location and I forgot I even had to take photos of her! Her natural beauty truly radiates from within. She has a pure heart that loves all living things-people, animals, plants, even probably bacteria. Kat strives for change, both in herself and in the world, every single day. She stretches her mind by reading a lot and seeking an education out of anything and everything (especially Pinterest). She grows her soul by practicing gentleness, patience, and compassion every single day.

©Soul&Story Photography by Vivian K.

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