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October 2016

SOUL&STORY ft. Milah


SOUL&STORY


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: soulandstory@gmail.com instagram @soulandstory


//Malibu, CA\\ Photographer currently based out of Malibu, CA. Stoked on various forms on photography/video including portraits, weddings, events, and most adventures. IG: @rosephjamli Web: josephramliphotography.com Email: joseph.ramli00@gmail.com


Photographer’s Note “One word? Vibrant. We had never met before the photoshoot, but Milah is one of those special people who is both gentle and full in spirit; confident in herself and extremely humble. Though she mentioned that she wasn’t normally comfortable in front of the camera (something I totally relate to) she was such an amazing model to work with.”


About Milah

I

am a senior at Pepperdine University and I’m graduating in December, so super soon! I love the beach, baking, books and babies! I have a huge passion for working with special needs children and I will be heading to Haiti in January to serve there for 5 months with a non-profit, Christian organization that provides hope for special needs children through therapy and education. Hopefully this time next year I’ll be in grad school on my way to getting my doctorate in Occupational Therapy so that I can travel the world serving children with special needs.


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

B

y the time of the shoot, I had gone the whole day without wearing any makeup (which was surprisingly refreshing) so I wasn’t really thinking much about it but it was definitely a bit nerve wracking at first, feeling completely vulnerable, with all of my flaws and imperfections completely exposed to be captured by the camera. Joseph was so great at making me feel relaxed and confident and, despite my fear of being in front of the camera, after a few minutes I honestly forgot that I wasn’t wearing any makeup and had so much fun with the shoot.


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

M

y faith has been fundamental to my journey towards understanding my own beauty and worth; the

crazy realization that God loves me, despite my flaws and imperfections, and that my worth is wholly found in Him really made me redefine the way I view myself. I have never been a huge makeup person, but I definitely tried to hide behind layers of eyeliner starting in middle school. I actually went to a high school where I wasn’t allowed to wear any makeup and so it became a fun accessory for weekends but now I’m usually content with a quick swipe of mascara before I leave the house.


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

A

s a white American, the most prominent beauty ideal in my culture that has personally influenced my life is the

ideal of being thin. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t struggle with my weight or felt completely comfortable in my own skin. Growing up, I understood beauty correlating with weight and the skinnier one was, the more beautiful they were in my mind. A lot of my self worth became dependent on my physical appearance and my perceived desirableness by others, leading to a lot of self-criticism towards my body, always feeling like I had to reach a lower number on the scale before I could be accepted by others.


What makes you feel the most beautiful?

I

feel the most beautiful and worthy when I am loving and serving others and when I am experiencing intentional

gratitude. When I am walking through the world expressing love and kindness towards other people, I feel beautiful. Living beautifully makes me feel beautiful.


Who inspires you?

I

am so incredibly thankful to have amazing friends in my life who inspire me on a daily basis. My friend, Mia, inspires

me to practice self-love and to always strive to work towards becoming the best version of myself. My sister, Dafka, inspires me to live a life filled with joy and lots of laughter. My mom inspires me through her amazing strength and perseverance to take on all that life throws her way. My roommate, Julia, inspires me to dig deeper in my faith. I am also inspired by nature; the setting sun, waves crashing on the shore, the stars lighting up the sky or a hummingbird fluttering by all remind me of how great the God I serve is and inspire me to live a life of gratitude and love.


What is your favorite part of your body?

M

y eyes. They have a lot of different colors in them and they change between being more bluish on some days to more greenish or brownish on other days. It’s always fun when people ask me what color my eyes are because I never know what to say, it just depends on the day!


How do you build your own self-confidence?

T

hrough self-care and frequent reminders to myself that my worth is not determined by the physical appearance

of my body, I am able to build my self-confidence and recognize my own strengths and worth. A big component of this is surrounding myself with people who love me well and not relying on others for affirmation. I have definitely been learning a lot lately about how to love my body, despite my perceived imperfections, because my body is capable of so many things. Rather than fussing over changing the things that I don’t love about my body, I’ve been learning to focus on gratitude for all of the things that my body does for me.


Milah’s Last Comments

L

earning to love yourself well is the best thing that you can do. So pick one thing today that you are grateful your body is able to do for you, or one thing that you love about yourself and flaunt it, meditate on it and share it with the world. Be beautiful by being you.


©Soul&Story Photography by Joseph Ramli.

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