#ProjectYouToday is Liz Louize's body positivity campaign that encourages women to celebrate who they are in this exact moment. Far too often, women hold themselves back from things out of fear of not being "thin enough," "pretty enough," "smart enough," the list goes on and on. We set these unattainable expectations for ourselves, knowing that they are unreasonable and farfetched, and then tear down our self-esteem when those "goals" are not reached. Maya Angelou once said, "You alone are enough, you have nothing to prove to anybody." As women, we need to remember and understand this. We are all on this earth to serve a purpose. We are beautiful, inside and out, and we should not wait until that "perfect moment" to start enjoying our lives.
When my blogger friends Liz (With Wonder and Whimsy) and Anne (Curls and Contours) told me their idea for Liz Louize's campaign and invited me to participate in it, I immediately said yes. I felt honored to work alongside a handful of other women to help spread the message of self-love to our local community and beyond.
Work for the campaign began at Liz Louize's boutique in Royal Oak. It was my first time going into the store – they had so many nice pieces! The shop is very cheery and welcoming; I especially loved that everything was organized by color. It made shopping around so much easier! We all tried on clothes, and were gifted with our favorite item plus an accessory to match. I chose an off-the-shoulder blue and white striped floral mini dress. I love the bell sleeves and how easy-breezy this dress is. I can glam it up with a block heel or make it more casual with a flat sandal. Because of the print, minimal accessories are needed. I can see myself wearing this several times this summer and even in the fall with jeans underneath.
Once we were done trying things on, each of us did a video interview talking about our relationships with our bodies. I talked about how I used to wear SO many bright colors at once, which resulted in people in middle school referring to me as "Skittle," lol. I went through a phase where I didn't know how to dress for my body type. I've never been thin, but once I started developing as a teen, things just got really confusing. My boobs were bigger than most of my classmates', so I would often wear sports bras to make them look smaller. I would get flustered in stores because I couldn't fit all of the cute, trendy things my friends were wearing, and I was embarrassed to say I got all of my clothes from the girls' plus-size section at JC Penney. When I got to high school, I started developing my own style, and my confidence boosted when people would compliment me on how I would hook up my school uniform. I knew I had an eye for putting things together, and although I still was not as thin as some of my friends, knowing that I had the ability to style my outfits in a unique way made me feel really good about myself and my body.
Over the past few years, I've been learning to really embrace my curves and my womanhood. I realize now, more so than before, that EVERY part of my body serves a purpose. There are people in the world that do not have some of the very things that we take for granted (eyes, sense of hearing, legs, arms), and for me to complain about something so silly like stretchmarks, is honestly pretty selfish. Nothing in life is guaranteed; we all need to be kinder to ourselves.
The following weekend, all of the participants got together again at the DIA for the campaign photo shoot. Were were all asked to come up with a word that describes our style and a phrase that aligns with who we are. I, of course, chose the Angelou quote for my phrase. The word I picked to describe my style was "timeless." I don't want to date myself. Twenty years from now, I want to look back at pictures and not be embarrassed by what I had on. I want to be a classic woman, one that is beautiful, graceful, humble, kind and memorable. I hope I'm on the right track!
The campaign officially launched on the first day of summer. I was so pleased with how all of the content turned out. The photos look wonderful and I think the message comes across very clearly. If you're reading this, I hope you take the time to celebrate and love on yourself. You are your best thing; don't you ever forget that.
All photos taken by Jen Boris