SOUL&STORY ft. Lis
Nominated by Christina
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
What is your ethnicity and what is considered beautiful in your culture?
am half Nicaraguan and half Mexican. I think skin color is a big thing in almost every culture. The lighter you are the prettier people think you are. Sometimes I feel like that is the case with my culture too. I would even see it in the telenovelas my grandma used to watch. Lead actors were usually lighter skinned than those that portrayed servants in the show. That or a lot people usually compare all Latinaâ€™s to a subset of celebrities like J.Lo for one. Curvy but slim. Tiny waist, big butt, big lips. I think it did impact me when I was younger. I would idealize these people and try to imitate them in their appearance. Along with that my family is pretty vocal about whether youâ€™ve put on a little weight or should curl your eyelashes. So I was always aware of the way I looked. But I was also super fortunate to grow up in a home where natural
beauty was emphasized. My dad always told me I was beautiful and that I didn’t need makeup. He also didn’t let me wear any until I was in high school. Today I’m incredibly grateful for that.
What is your story? I think around middle school I became aware of my body and the way I looked. I was self-conscious about just about everything: my weight, my hair, and my face. I worked out a lot and became a little extreme with food to the point where I no longer really enjoyed it and I know it could’ve gone in an unhealthy direction. It wasn’t till I got a little older that I began to see how uncomfortable it not only made me but others around me to the point where it separated and isolated me from others. When I went abroad I realized nobody cared about what I looked like. All my life long friendships were made over consuming one to many pizzas and ridiculous amounts of pasta. I’m not encouraging overdoing it by any means. I do believe life requires balance. What I’m trying to say is that while abroad I was able to find joy in eating again and was able to do so over communion with friends. I no longer sought out my worth in the way I looked but rather in the kind of friend I could be and the things I could do.
How did you feel when you heard you were nominated? How did it feel to not wear makeup during the shoot? I was so honored and kind of shocked at the same time. Initially, I was going to say no haha. While I thought it would be a great thing to do I also thought it would be a little uncomfortable and would feel kind of exposed. But my friends and I have something called a â€œbold listâ€? where we doing something that scares us everyday. We made this one of them. At first it definitely was uncomfortable but I got over it and just had fun with it. In fact it was pretty liberating.
When do you feel most confident? I feel most confident when I’m with by the people that I love, when I’m listening to jazz with a cup of jo’ or when I’m blasting my favorite music in the car or on the track. This is going to sound weird but I feel sexiest when I’m out for a run with my earphones in. It’s like I’m in my own world and I’m completely unstoppable.
What makes you feel selfconscious? Tight clothing and bikinis. I would also say I’ve always been a little self-conscious about my legs. But they’re the only ones I’ve got for the rest of my life so I’ve decided I got to be proud of what I have. They’re mine and one of a kind haha.
What is your favorite part of your body? My smile. Whether I’m wearing makeup or not I feel confident when I give a little smile to someone. As cliché as it sounds I think a smile can radically change someone’s day. I’m pretty sure I’ve received one a day changing smile from someone else at some point.
What was the last meaningful compliment youâ€™ve received? On my birthday one of my best friends shared with me one of her favorite memories of us together. It was one I had completely forgotten about but had apparently significantly impacted her. She told me that I had prayed for her in a time when she was anxious. She shared with me that she had always been someone people depended on and that for the first time in a while she was able to depend on someone else and that she was grateful. It really touched me!
How do you build your own self-confidence? I surround myself with people that build me up and speak truth into my life. I feel like we have so many things showing us what beautiful is and telling us what we should look like. Those things can be detrimental to our self-image and idea of what beauty is. When I’m feeling low I just hang out with my girls and we remind each other about what beauty really looks like. That or I just blast “flawless” the remix by Beyoncé and remind myself what a badass boss I am. Not gonna lie every once in a while I give myself pep talks in the car. Sometimes you gotta be your own cheerleader!
Last Comments When I was younger I think I wasted to much time caring about what people thought. If there is any piece of advice I can give to my sisters itâ€™d be to fully embrace who they are with all their strange wonderfulness. Those that really count will be blessed to know and love them and be loved by them.
Photography by Megan Won