SOUL&STORY ft. Christina Nominated by Heather
est. 2011 Soul&Story is a project that’s all about your natural beauty and your story. Featured women are not wearing makeup and there are no “touch-ups.” The hope is that their story inspires you to share you story with others and to encourage the women around you! contact us: email@example.com instagram @soulandstory
How would you describe the standard of beauty?
’d describe it has having perfectly clear skin and trendy clothes. I’ve struggled with these two things for years, and they have brought me a lot of unnecessary stress and heart breaks. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve attempted covering up blemishes with makeup, only to get more because of the makeup itself, or tried on clothes that look cool on the model, but the complete opposite on me. I think I’m doing a little better at not letting those two things affect so much, but they still have their moments of creeping into my life and slowly making me doubt myself.
What is your story?
hen I was little, I would play with my Barbies, and to this day I remember wanting to have straight hair like them. But since I was little, I thought to have straight hair I had to have blonde hair! So for the longest time I wanted blonde hair! Haha itâ€™s kinda ridiculous looking back on it, but I know that kind of thinking still influences me today. I wanted to have perfectly sculpted calves because all the girls on my high school cheerleading squad seemed to have them. I wanted high waisted shorts and a thin waist with a light touch of abs because all the girls my freshman year seemed to have them. I wanted to have long hair abroad because all the Argentine girls seemed to have it.
ou notice how I say â€œseem to haveâ€?? Those same girls I would admire and strive so hard to look like probably never saw that in their own selves. In fact, I get compliments about all those features I just mentioned above, and laugh when people
say it! I don’t have perfectly sculpted legs, or a thin waist, or long, flowing hair! But what I’ve come to realize is that this is the body that I’ve been given by God. God himself sculpted my legs and shaped my waist and placed every single hair on my head. How awesome! So no, I shouldn’t want someone else’s body features because they weren’t meant for me in the first place! I’m teaching myself how to appreciate the artist for His artwork, but that is, of course, harder said than done.
How did it feel to not wear makeup during the shoot?
actually donâ€™t wear makeup at all really, usually just a touch of eyeliner. But it was different having pictures taken of me, and some up close, consciously knowing that I wasnâ€™t wearing anything to cover up whatever imperfections I have. But I had to let that slightly anxious/nerve wrecking feeling go and remind myself that my real beauty comes from the inside.
When do you feel most confident?
feel the most confident when I feel I look my best. I definitely live by the motto that when you look good, you feel good. But I’m slowly learning that the “look” part of that equation doesn’t have to be what other people think is good. I look my best when I’ve chosen clothes, accessories, shoes, etc. that I genuinely like and express who I am!
What makes you feel selfconscious?
he imperfections of my skin, not wearing an outfit that I love, and having messy hair tend to be my go-to things that make me want to hide in a cave forever haha. But you know what’s funny? When I’m out camping or hiking, I have all of that and I love it. I love seeing my mismatched outfit that covers my sweaty body and dirty hair to top it all off. They’re almost like my battle scars: proof that I not only survived, but I thrived in in the heart of nature. It means I was able to live freely in the wild without worrying like I usually do around people.
What is your favorite part of your body?
love my smile! And I think itâ€™s because I love smiling. Whenever I see someone, even if I donâ€™t know them, I smile. Because why not? I have the power to influence this personâ€™s life for just a second, so why not make a positive impact on their life by simply smiling?
What was the last meaningful compliment youâ€™ve received?
omeone said I was good, like a good person. And it was interesting the way they phrased it, but I really appreciated it because it showed that Iâ€™m really being the best that I can be.
How do you build your own self-confidence?
y relationship with God has really given me confidence, and itâ€™s so refreshing. I can just say a quick prayer about how grateful I am or read a quick Bible verse and just thinking about how awesome God is makes me feel so strong and empowered. From exams to my appearance, I know that God is the one that gives me the power to conquer any situation, and itâ€™s simply from being full of his love.
ocus on what’s important, and I mean what’s really important to YOU. For me, that’s my relationship with God and with others, so I love just hanging out and spending time with people. Also, focus on what gives you joy, not happiness. Happiness is great, but it’s fleeting. It’s only temporary, and once it’s gone you’ll be searching for the next thing. If you focus on living life with pure joy, you’ll find that feeling of happiness lasting way longer than usual.
Photography by Megan Won