Let's get naked
If you asked me to be vulnerable with people three years ago I'd probably cry a little inside.
Being vulnerable with someone, let alone everyone, is difficult. Totally understandable. It's even harder when the other person is essentially asking you to open up to specific topics that touch on areas of your life that you may not be comfortable talking about.
When it speaking to specific topics such as "what makes you feel beautiful", it can be even harder to elaborate on because maybe you never feel beautiful, or loved, or appreciated. Maybe you feel as though you're just a human in this world that is constantly comparing themselves to what their idea of beautiful is.
If you asked me to be vulnerable with people two years ago, I'd be hesitant.
Not a lot of people understand what it's like to battle depression or anxiety. Not a lot of people understand that with this mental constriction, your perception of yourself is skewed. Your perception of you as your beautiful self may be under construction. It may be requiring some TLC in order to get it in tip-top shape to be a floundering, flawless aura of beauty that brings about self-awareness, confidence, and a great deal of self-esteem. You may claim that being vulnerable is something that you're working on, as I believe that it's something that we are all working on, but whatever it takes you'll do it to get yourself confident enough to stand in front of a mirror and say "I am SO beautiful".
If you asked me to be vulnerable with people today, I'd be pretty keen on the idea.
I am by no means the type of person to walk into a room and within 5 minutes, the crowd knows my entire life story; I'm still pretty reserved when it comes to sharing my emotions. But in the two years that I have had this amazing blog, I have been gone from sharing little quiet thoughts about life, to being completely raw and open with you all about everything in my life. Publicly. Keep in mind, anyone can read my blog. It ain't private! No, I don't sit on here and tell you what my uncle's kids name's are and what doctor's office I go to, but when it comes to the self, I love dishing the details to you all. I am so unbelievably grateful that I have the luxury of sharing my story with people.
the naked project
My best friend has started an Instagram page @the_nakedproject which showcases people around our city in their absolute raw, makeup-free and filter-free form, talking about what makes them feel beautiful. She interviewed me last weekend after we had a killer workout at the outdoor track here in Kelowna, where I had the opportunity to open up about some of the most difficult subjects to talk about with any given person. She has had the pleasure of working with many different individuals in the city, from children, to students, to entrepreneurs. Each interview is unique to that person, all of which resonate around what that person perceives beauty to be. Yesterday, I had the pleasure to interview her on why started the project.
The woman behind it all
r: What inspired you to start The Naked Project?
b: I started the naked project when I was studying for my final exams, I remember I had, like, 10 hours just to sit down, focus, and study. I probably spent an hour studying, and 9 hours on social media, that's not even an exaggeration. At the time, I was at a constant state of comparing myself, feeling inadequate, looking at girls' sisters, best friends, friends, girlfriend's pages, and I had no idea who they were. I was wondering why they looked the way that they did and I looked the way that I did. It was a constant feeling that I wasn't enough, and I wanted to fix that. I had deleted social media in the past, and was going to delete it again. My boyfriend told me it wouldn't fix anything, and he was right. My feeling of comparing myself would still be there, just because it's gone it doesn't mean that it goes away, I just needed to use social media in a different way. So I took that to heart, and I said I was going to change the way that I use social media, I want other girls to feel that if they are comparing themselves and if they don't feel confident and have low self-esteem because of what they see on social media, I want them to know that there are other girls that feel the same way and that we are all real people, not this unattainable ideal of beauty. I made the page The Naked Project because I wanted it to be open to all genders, all identities, all ages, everything. The reason I created it was to allow people to come to this page, and if they feel that their self-worth is diminishing or they feel inadequate, I want them to read these interviews of real people in the community, that go through struggles, are vulnerable, are open... I wanted them to feel that they could relate somehow. By doing this, it has been helping me, as selfish as that is. But when I meet these people and I interview and learn more about them, I find pieces of myself in what they say, it allows me to relate to them and not feel like I need to compare anymore.
r: What have you found the results have been? How have they felt after you interview them?
b: I think they have felt liberated. It's extremely difficult to be vulnerable, but once you are there is this freeing sense to be yourself. I feel like we are so afraid to just be ourselves. No makeup, no filters, no edits, no photoshop, no nothing. We are still beautiful. I always say to people, if you are walking 10 feet in front of me with makeup on, I would say "yeah, I know who you are and I would recognize you". If you were walking 10-feet in front of me with no makeup on, I would still recognize you. You are still the same person inside and out, whether you're wearing makeup, have a filter on, if you photoshopped your face, you're still the same person. That's what I wanted to showcase.
r: That's awesome. I was talking to one of my friends the other day and he had made a really good point about something. When you were an embryo, in your mom. You were just a spec of light, you were perfect. Nothing was wrong with you, you had no feelings, you had no doubts, you had no negative energy. You were just perfect. It's funny how life over time will alter that and it will change your perception of things twice, three times, a hundred times over. I'll just say what I love about The Naked Project is that even after I had done my interview with you I was like "wow, I do feel beautiful after that, that was awesome". It's so great to sit there and have a vulnerable sense of heart and thought, and express it to the whole world, and not feel like you're being judged in any which way or form, because every person is beautiful in their own sense.
b: I wanted it to be a place where people would say "oh I know that person, I've actually compared myself to her multiple times, and here she is being vulnerable about her insecurities and the things that she deals with and struggles with". If it allows people to have more compassion and grace towards people that they may judge or compare themselves to. I'm grateful that people are being receptive to it. I am gaining a lot of self-confidence back from it, and I'm using it as a reminder to myself when I am feeling in a dark place with my insecurities, I use it to bring myself back up. I am grateful for everyone who has been vulnerable and authentic, it just creates space for somebody else to be just as vulnerable and accept who they are, despite their flaws.
r: What would you say is the best key advice that you could give to someone about how to achieve their goals?
b: I would say first, write your goals down. They become more tangible that way. If you live and breathe it every single day, if you watch videos on it, read quotes on it, read books about it, they're constant reminders about how to achieve that goal. No matter how big and how outreached it might seem, it can happen if you put your mind to it. Don't do it for the applause of other people, don't do it to make people think a certain way. Do it because you want that sense of self-accomplishment and success.
r: Where do you see The Naked Project in the next year?
b: I hope to take it into elementary and middle schools as self-esteem projects. I really want every gender to feel that when they leave school, I don't want them to ever feel the way that I feel about it. I really hope to take it into schools and have workshops done on self-esteem, and social media awareness; how harmful it can be and how positive it can be. I want to make workshops out of it.
I really do believe that there is a great opportunity for people to be open and vulnerable. I believe that. I would encourage people to reach out to points of opportunity in their life in which vulnerability can be enhanced. As I mentioned earlier, blogging as been my outreach. I can literally write as I speak on here without a single peep of judgement from anyone, and I am grateful for that.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post, and most of all, thank you Brandy for opening your heart to me about The Naked Project. I encourage you all to get naked with yourselves today.
7/16/2017 10:10:45 pm
Wow I read your whole blog and the Let's get naked campaign your starting is such a amazing thing. This really opened my eyes to how the way I want to see others and view myself. As I suffer from anxiety and depression. Also with low self esteem. This gives me hope and to look back on to read to remind myself that I am beautiful that I can set goals for myself. Thank you so much for being so vulnerable and opening up to everyone. You are beautiful and you are amazing. May life take you in so many more directions with this. But I really love this campaign it's one of the greatest. Best of luck to you girl! ❤️ Xo
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