29 September 2014

I Am Brave and Beautiful

I am Brave and Beautiful - a beauty movement that is sweeping the globe. Colbie Caillat started it with her recent song and video called TRY. My blogging friend Megan of Brassy Apple wanted to push this movement along and invited women from all over to share what they looked like without make up and I joined in!! Colbie's song says,

"Take your make up off. Let your hair down... Look into the mirror at yourself, Do you like you? Cause I like you... "

Megan and her friend Cobi of Peacefrom6pieces have been the team behind this whole project. Their worldwide vision included creating their own video inspired by the song TRY. The talent of Robbins Creative made it possible for them to pull it off. You have to click play and see the beauty and bravery displayed and you might even recognize a familiar face in there;).

Me along with 101+ other blogging women from different backgrounds, religions, ethnicities, ages, shapes and sizes have decided to be Brave and Beautiful! You can join in this movement too by sharing what you look like without makeup on. You don't need a blog either! Just tag your photo with #IamBraveAndBeautiful on Instgram and search the hashtag to see who else has joined in. ALSO, if you tag it with a second hashtag - #ColbieTRY we just might be able to get Colbie Caillat's attention since she was the inspiration behind it all!

Are you brave and beautiful?  I am!  Here I go!

"The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mode, but the true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul.  It is the care she lovingly gives and the passion she shows." (Audrey Hepburn)

Oh y'all.  Where to even begin.  I have been so excited about this beautiful vision that Megan from Brassy Apple and her friend Cobi had to emphasize the importance of inner beauty and being comfortable in your own skin.  I've been thinking a lot about how to express my feelings adequately and just how passionate I am about what this movement stands for.  And so for a lack of eloquence, I'm just going to spew out my heart a little bit in hopes that you leave this post remembering just how beautiful you really are.  And that a woman's true beauty is truly reflected in her soul.

If I had a nickel for every time in my life that I felt less than because I didn't feel beautiful in the eyes of the world, I'm sad to say I'd be a rich woman.  Like most women, I used the world's standard of beautiful to define my self-worth.  I let unrealistic standards drown me in a sea of pity parties about how I looked or how I didn't look to be more accurate.  There was one night in particular in early college that I laid in bed and cried because I didn't feel pretty.  It tore at my heart.  And it hurt.  Low self-esteem is a plague and can tear down the most beautiful soul if you let it.  It's a poison, and nothing good comes from it.  It took me a long time to realize that.  I probably didn't fully understand what I was doing to myself (all that comparing and what not) until I was pregnant and found out Reese was a girl.  And then it hit me like a ton of bricks.

What kind of confidence did I want to instill in my little girl?  Did I want her to hear me talk about how I wished I was thinner, tanner, and healthier?  Did I really want that to be the legacy I left for my sweet baby girl?  Absolutely not!  I knew I need to face my fears of inadequacy head on.  I needed to get to the source of my negativity.  I wanted to be gentler with myself.  I wanted to recognize that who I was on the inside would naturally make me a million times more beautiful on the outside than any kind of makeup could ever do.  I had felt that confidence before in my life, and I wanted to feel it again.

So I prayed.

I prayed with my whole heart.  I prayed consistently and honestly.  I trusted who I was praying to.  I trusted that He knew my heart.  I trusted that He believed I was beautiful.  Even if I didn't know it in my heart quite yet, I trusted in the concept.  Fake it 'till you make it, right?  And sure enough...day by day, week by week, I slowly started to feel my soul coming alive (yes, there is no other way of saying it! lol).  It was like I was on fire.  My heart slowly started to believe that what made me beautiful was not what I looked like on the outside.  My beauty resonated in my heart and how I loved the people around me.  That is what makes me beautiful.

Here is an excerpt from a recent post of mine, "I Didn't Feel Beautiful".  This is what I was reminded of after a lot of trusting and praying...

"I believe that loving, supporting, and serving the people around us makes us happy and beautiful.  You are beautiful because of the listening ear you provide for your friend whose marriage is struggling, whose transition to being a new, young mom is lonely, whose kids have all left home and being an empty-nester is lonely, or whose husband lost his job and money is tight.  You are beautiful because you texted that person to let them know how much they mean to you.  You are beautiful because you're a caring, invested grandma who wants each and every grandchild to know they're unique and loved.  You're beautiful because you make dinner every night even if it means ordering in from Papa Johns.  You're beautiful because you're a good sister who supports her family in their endeavors and ambitions.  You're beautiful because you fold the laundry and do the dishes, so when your hubby gets home from work the house is clean.  You're beautiful because instead of doing the laundry and dishes, you let your 4 year old pretend to be a chef and you were the customer at her restaurant or you let your 2 year old show you the mess he can make by being Godzilla and destroying all the toys and legos in sight.  You're beautiful because you're 15 and noticed that there was someone new at school, so you said hi, asked where she's from, and if she wanted to sit with you and your friends at lunch.  You're beautiful because you try to be a good student and good kid, even if things are hard at home.  You're beautiful if school is hard for you and you feel like you're barely scraping by because what no one knows is that you're going to be an artist, an engineer, a musician, a beautician, or some other talent that can't be measured by run of the mill "academics".  You're beautiful because you're a strong, independent, happy woman who loves to work hard, enjoys her career, and makes the workplace an uplifting, supportive community for her coworkers.  

You're beautiful because you are your own person.  

There is not one person who has the same heart and mind as you.  Don't let anyone strip that from you.  Don't let the media tell you what you should look like or how you should act.  Don't let the girl in your Chemistry class make you feel stupid because you don't understand what you're doing.  Don't let the girl on TV make you feel like you're not pretty enough.  Don't let the girls who have boyfriends make you feel like something's wrong with you because you're not in a relationship.  Don't let the mom down the street who always seems to have it together make you feel like you don't have it together.  Don't let the empty-nesters who seem to have found their niche make you feel like you don't have one.  I can't remember who said this, but whoever it was really hit the nail on the head...

“Sometimes people are beautiful.  Not in looks.  Not in what they say.  Just in what they are.”

Don't stop here. Get clicking around - its a blog hop! Below are more brave and beautiful women bearing more than their natural beauty. They each have a little bit of their heart to share with you. Some get very personal. Some share stories. For some this was very hard to do yet they gathered their courage and did it anyway. We hope as you click around (and YES pin these different posts!) you will feel the importance of it, the empowering effect it has and that it encourages you in some way.

>>>>>>>Important info! Blog Hops often have glitches the first day. If the link has an ERROR, simply click on the HOME button for each site, or google the blog name next to the link, and you should see their brave and beautiful post there. Links will be updated as soon as possible.<<<<<<<<<<<<
women sharing their natural beauty - no makeup
women with our makeup on and what makes them beautiful
women from around the world share their face with no makeup on - BrassyApple.com
Mommy bloggers share their face without makeup and what makes then beautiful
Natural beauty untouched photos
raw natural beauty - join the movement
beauty and bravery - women wearing no makeup - Brassyapple.com
#colbietry #iambraveandbeautiful

Ready in join in?Snap, hashtag and share! Tag @BrassyApple and @Peacefrom6Pieces if you can too!
Also follow our Bravery and Beauty PINTEREST board for more inspiration!


  1. Thank you so much for sharing. I too wonder what messages I'm sending my daughter without even realizing it. Sometimes, out of nowhere she'll just say, "Mama, you look beautiful," and I think....REALLY?! I look awful, I'm in sweats and I haven't showered. It doesn't matter. Thanks again love. Mwa!

    1. Haha story of my life sista!!! It doesn't matter though, you're so right! hard to remember sometimes, but you're so right. Thanks for reading! xo, Ashton

  2. I agree with you 100% that " loving, supporting, and serving the people around us makes us happy and beautiful". Such a beautiful post and such a beautiful woman!

  3. Yay! I love this! I loved reading your little spill and it made me so sad to think you would cry because you didn't think you were beautiful! You are crazy girl! You are so pretty on the outside, and I only know you a little but can tell just by reading this how pretty you are on the inside too! I was so glad to be able to meet you at the video shoot. I love the part of the video where it shows you and you are smiling and laughing big...so cute!! Hope we can see each other more!

    1. thanks girl! You're so sweet. Definitely low points! Lol. So glad to meet you too, hopefully we cross paths again soon!! Xo, Ashton

  4. Love this so much! I love your take on beauty. xoxo, Nicole

  5. Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh....LOVED THIS! And your natural head shot is so stinking gorgeous! You radiate, Doll Face!

  6. Wow! I love reading your story. Thank you for baring it all, natural beauty and soul. Your laugh in the video is perfection! I love that when the makeup comes off the smiles get bigger and laughs got louder. You've made the world a better place by sharing your story.

  7. Thank you so much for sharing your story. It's an inspiration. Lisa~


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