The most exciting and fulfilling aspect of being a photographer is the ability to show people their beauty in a way they hadn't seen before. Recently, this photographer has been hearing so many heartbreaking stories of bullying and low self esteem among young girls, and I knew I had to do something about it!
Last weekend, I was able to bring together a group of girls to instill in them a most needed sense of worth and confidence. Of course, I could never have accomplished this on my own! I had the help of some truly remarkable and altruistic photographers who found something within themselves that saw a need and wanted to help. In preparing for this event, we worked to build a network of fierce women who wanted to stand up and tell these girls they matter.
One of these women was Marty Ward, a wonderful life coach as well as an Anti-Bullying advocate. Her message of self-worth and her call to focus in on each individual person's talents, abilities, and gifts was priceless to these girls.
Before Marty's presentation, we had an ice breaker of sorts that held a powerful message. We asked the girls five simple questions about themselves prior to the event. We asked what their favorite activities and school subject were, what they felt their talents were, and words to describe their personality. I printed out the answers they gave randomly and without names, and passed them out to the girls at random. We then asked the girls to guess who's paper they had in their hands based only on the appearances of the other girls.
Out of all of the girls present, only one girl was given the paper that held her own answers.
I watched as the girls looked around and saw only one girl raise their hand. First there was confusion, and then as the reality set in, their expressions only showed sincere realization. The knowledge that what people see on the outside has nothing to do with what they hold inside of them. That their outward appearance is only a minuscule fraction of what makes them who they are. That they are so much more.
During her very moving presentation, the girls and their mothers were guided through a Being Me Matters Ceremony by Marty, in which the mothers and daughters told each other why they are important and what difference they make in the world. It was a very powerful moment, and I found myself attempting (and failing!) to hold back tears.
After Marty's presentation, anyone could see the immediate change in the girls' demeanor. They stood taller, they smiled more readily, and their confidence was through the roof. It was a unique experience and a true testament to how powerful our words are.
As we split into smaller groups, we spoke to the girls and learned all about their hobbies and interests. The girls played and laughed with each other, and they found that even though they were all very different, there was something they all had in common: a longing for friendship and acceptance.
Though it is uncertain how long the feelings of confidence and sense of self will last in these girls, all of them left that day with the knowledge of how it feels to be accepted for who they are, and not who the world tells them they should be. It is my sincere hope that given this small taste of fearlessness, these sweet, talented, and fierce girls never settle for anything less.
For this project, I had the help of a select few wonderful photographers who worked in tandem with me to capture amazing images for these girls. Joining me was Trilby Saldana of 3 Hearts Images, Loni Phipps of LKPhipps Fine Art Imagery, Wanda Loubriel of Wandafully Made Photo, Kim Matteson of Kimberly Matteson Photography, and Jennifer Harden of Jennifer Lee Imagery. Please show these wonderful photographers some love, as their pages are linked!
We have every intention of repeating this event, and building upon the foundation we've made. If you have a daughter who would like to participate, or if you have it in your heart to contribute to this cause in some way, please contact me at KrissyBeePhotography@Gmail.com!
All images in this post are the intellectual property of Krissy Bee Photography
Copyright by Krissy Bee Photography 2018