This might hit close to home or feel far away.
Chances are though, you or someone dear to you has felt this way before.
Can you visualize something with me friend?
You're standing in the checkout line of Target. It's a busy Saturday morning, the lines are long. You look to your left and see a shelf of magazines, you grab one and begin flipping through the pages.
Picture after picture of flawless, photoshopped faces attached to fit, firm bodies stare back at you. Each one more perfect, wrinkle and blemish free than the rest.
You think to yourself: these faces and frames don't look like mine. In fact, they don't look like any of the women I love and spend my days with.
As you dig deeper, the article headlines shout similar words and phrases.
10 ways to loose weight before summer.
The best ways to please your partner.
How to fit in those size 2 jeans again.
You look down at your stomach and awkwardly yank at your shirt that shrunk in the wash. Suddenly the dress you picked out to buy, laying on the belt, feels silly to purchase. And your mind swirls down a vicious cycle.
How could I wear a dress like that when I look like this?
Why did I eat that bagel this morning?
Am I ever going to get my lazy self to the gym?
I was a sophomore in high school when I went on my first diet.
A lot of girls were doing it, it seemed like the cool, hip thing and I desperately wanted to fit in. A friend recommended shakes for lunch. Though at the time, my body was used to way more food, so I brought a sandwich too.
With time, I became more disciplined.
One shake and half a sandwich.
One shake and no sandwich.
Half a shake.
Thankfully in time, I snapped out of this. I missed good food and was sick of being hungry. Yes, I ate more but the lies of not being pretty still snuck in and polluted my thoughts.
When I was a senior, our teacher told us we could study anything.
My mind swirled. What am I passionate about? What makes me fired up? What makes me smile or a little bit sad? What's something I know little to nothing about and wish I knew more?
For the first time in ever, I made a decision in less than 30 seconds. The topic I wanted to rip a part and pull through was clear.
How the media reinforces a negative self body image.
I wanted to research it. I wanted to shed light on the epidemic and how much I loathed the way women and men were misrepresented.
How the expectations presented were unattainable and deadly.
I share all of this with you dear reader, because I believe whole-heartedly in another way, a change of course.
And because I have to believe some of you have felt this way too.
I have to believe, though it pains my heart, that you've felt not enough. That you've felt guilt after eating. That you've screamed in the mirror after trying on fifteen different outfits before going out. I have to believe, because I've felt all of this too, that you've thought your story was too small or insignificant to share.
That maybe it wasn't a story worth telling.
If I could leap through the screen and hug you I would.
Can you visualize once more with me?
Imagine being at that same Target checkout line and reaching for a magazine on the shelf and finding a picture of...you.
Does that sound crazy in our world?
As you flip through the pages, you find women you recognize and admire. Women who've sat around your table. Women who know and love every laugh line on your face.
Imagine reading stories of courage and hope and redemption. Imagine finding heartache and friendship and laughter.
This dear readers, is what Verity Vareé is all about. This is exactly what this company of women are trying to accomplish. They seek to share your story, your mothers story, your neighbors story and publish it in a beautiful book for all the world to see.
But it doesn't stop there.
This publication is only the beginning of even bigger dreams. Dreams of hosting and running workshops. Dreams of speaking into the lives of young girls in schools and after school programs. Dreams of telling stories of real beauty - the kind that doesn't need to be filtered, altered or changed.
I believe in this company so much. I love, adore and admire every woman on the team. Head on over to their about page to meet them all too. And folks, these ladies need our help. Right now, we can all be part of the mission of celebrating true, raw beauty. We can all be story tellers and sharers.
Watch their beautiful video below to hear the heart behind this project. And head on over to their kickstarter page to learn more!