Ok guys, here it is!!!!!!!! This is the video to go along with the #FightingForSelfLove2016 photoshoot that I did today! Everyone looked absolutely stunning! Killer bodies and pretty faces everywhere!
I just wanted to say thank you to Brooke Doxey, Brittany Maklia Gordon, Melody Walsh, Felicity Mattison, Tiffany McDonald, Christina Gaus, and Noah Howard for coming and being excellent models! You guys are now at front line in the war against body image issues. You guys are all so great!
I wanted to give a special thanks to Paige S. Baldwin, Tiny Cox, Rachelle Blauvelt, and Melody Walsh for the extra help that I received from them! It was greatly appreciated!
Stay tuned in the coming weeks to see everyones photographs! I will be releasing one persons every Monday (Besides Aug. 15th)! Not only will I be releasing their pictures, but there is something a little extra as well! Love you guys! Thanks for watching and supporting!
(Top row: Brooke Doxey, Melody Walsh, Christina Gaus, and Brittany Gordom.
Bottom Row: Tiffany McDonald, Noah Howard, and Felicity Mattison.)
(Brooke Doxey, Melody Walsh, Noah Howard, Tiffany McDonald, Christina Gaus, Brittany Gordon, and Felicity Mattison.)
Ok everyone, so here are the interviews!!!!!! I would like to apologize for the staggering audio quality, it was quite windy when we did these and I was not 100% prepared for that. I would also like to apologize for the focusing on Felicity’s video, I accidentally recorded that on automatic so it was constantly adjusting. I am overall extremely happy with how this project is turning out! My clients stories are beautiful! I would like to thank everyone who was involved.
For starters, Thank you Brooke Doxey and Brittany Maklia Gordon for coming to me with this awesome idea and taking part in it as models as well! Also I would like to thank Felicity Mattison, Noah Howard, Christina Gaus and Tiffany McDonald for being awesome models as well! HUGE shout out to Melody Walsh for helping me with hair and makeup and also being a beautiful model!
Next, I would like to thing my grandpa and grandma, Dean Cheryl Miller, for letting me use their house and everything! Also, I would like to thank Paige S. Baldwin, Rachelle Blauvelt and Tiny Cox for helping me manage everything that day and being excellent camerawomen. Lastly, I would like to thank everyone along the way who has liked and supported me along the way! You guys are great! Love you all!
“My name is Tiffany McDonald, I am 23 years old. My whole life I’ve dealt with weight issues and acne but I couldn’t figure out why. I though it was just something I was going to have to deal with. Growing up I’ve had people call me fat and lazy. I was fat because I wasn’t skinny like all the other girls. I was lazy because I was fat. That’s what I always thought people thought about me. I don’t like to go out in public with out makeup on or dressing nicely. Because I fear that I’m not good enough.
My last relationship was 3 years ago. Since then I haven’t really had the urge to date anyone or even get to know anyone because of my self confidence issues. I’ve always felt that I wasn’t good enough for anyone. How was I suppose to be loved if I couldn’t even love myself. After my last relationship I decided, you know what I’m not going to go out looking for someone or try to catch someones eye like I always have before. I’ll let someone come to me. I want someone to look at me and think wow, that’s a girl I’d love to get to know.
In my senior year of school I dropped 45 lbs but I didn’t do it the correct way. I was now at 105lbs, people would tell me I looked gross or that I was to skinny. And that hurt my feelings so much. I thought I was happy and the fact that I put in a few months of hard work over the summer made me proud. The only thing I ate the entire year for lunch was pretzels and m&m’s. Sure everyone noticed and asked why I was only eating that. I’d just make up an excuse like, oh I’m just not that hungry or these are 2 things I love to eat together. Little did they know I was scared to eat anything else because I was terrified of gaining a pound back. After high school I was put on medication and my whole life tumbled from there. I gained 50 lbs in 1 month. I didn’t know how to handle it. I was depressed and didn’t want to do anything but sleep. 5 years later and I’m at my heaviest, sure I’m still sad and hate myself now and then but I know with hard work and effort I can lose it again. It’s not permanant.
Because now I know why I’ve gained weight, why I have acne and why I can’t lose it as fast as others. I found out just a few weeks ago that I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. My chances of having a child are very slim. But I have stretch mark from gaining all the weight that make’s it look like I’ve had a child. It’s very hard to look at in the mirror but I’m getting better day by day.
I guess what I’d like others to know about me is that I have a huge heart, big enough for even people that don’t deserve it. It’s not all about looks, it’s about whats inside. There are so many good things about myself that I keep hidden. One day I hope that I can unleash all the good that’s inside me. And people will truely know the person I am. Right now I have a shell covering my entire body because I’m scared to let people in because Ive been hurt so many times before.
To all the younger girls and boys out there, I just want you to know, that you are loved. No matter what you look like or how people view you. You are worthy of anything you put your mind to. Keep your head up and become the person you want to be, not what others want. Because believe me it will get you nowhere in life. You will just end up hating yourself and most of the people around you. So please, keep in mind that you matter. It doesn’t matter if you are 5’0 or 6’5, it doesn’t matter if you are a size 0 or a size 23. There is someone out there and there will be cruel people you just have to put them in the back of your mind. And I know it will be hard, 23 years and I’m still trying to figure it out. But you will get there, I promise.”
“My whole life I’ve struggled with accepting many imperfections on my body, from my weight to my build down to the size of my hands and my natural teeth. Growing up I was never self conscious about my smile, until 9th grade. We had mock class superlatives for our school newspaper and in the lunch line the day of “voting” it was what everyone was talking about. One of my good friends said to me, “You could have been voted best smile… If you didn’t have a gap.” Up until then my gap was huge, but when my wisdom teeth grew in it pushed my gaps closed all but 1/8 in. in the front. I was crushed. My gap had never bothered me until that day.
A few months later I had a dentist appointment and I begged him to let me get braces, but he refused, and told me he would not put braces on me because “I had perfect teeth”. Talk about a contradiction. I was so mad at this guy I swear he could see smoke coming out of my ears, but he didn’t give in. After that it took me a while but I’ve learned to embrace my gap, because if someone who looks at teeth all day long can tell me they are perfect, WHAT AM I DWELLING ON THIS FOR?! This made me realize so much, what one persons idea of perfection is really doesn’t matter because you can be the juiciest peach on Earth and you find someone who doesn’t like peaches. It’s a part of what makes me, me and now I love it along with all of my other imperfections in starting to fall back in love with!”
“My name is Noah Matthew Howard, I’m 16 and I was born without arms. Everyday since August 24, 2000, I have learned something new about myself. All of my life, I have overcome obstacles and have made others so proud. I remember someone telling me that I would never be able to do anything, like driving, or get a job. Sadly it did not end there. From kindergarten to most recently last year, I have been called demeaning names such as a “nugget,” or “worm”. I don’t completely understand the nugget one. According to Urban dictionary, a nugget is a person without arms or legs, but I’ve got legs for days! However, I couldn’t always just laugh it off. When I was younger, especially in middle school, I would cry my eyes out. The constant name calling essentially made me hate school. Recently, I have mellowed out quite a bit and have come to terms with my disability. Anywhere in the world, someone is going to look at me, and maybe whisper something to their friend about me, but honestly I don’t even care anymore. I was born this way for a reason. My body is never going to change, so I might as well get over it. That’s my message to anyone fighting for self love; you are born this way for a reason. There will be people out there that will say something, but you can’t just change your body every time somebody says something to you. Accept and embrace your beautiful self!”
““Your scar makes you look fat,” at first I took it very hard. I thought I wasn’t pretty because my scar made me look like I had a fat roll. I wore spandex all the time. I always wore layers of clothing just trying to hide it. I always wear a one piece when I want to go swimming and it just didn’t make me feel good about myself. I just hated it. I hated the fact that I wasn’t like normal people, but eventually I learned to except myself for who I am because that’s how God made me. It was bound to happen and I should be very thankful that I survive something like that.
I have become a better person because of it. I have learned to embrace myself for who I am. God made me this way for a reason, and you should love yourself because you’re beautiful no matter what. Even if your big or tiny. I am the youngest person in New York State to be diagnosed with this kind of cancer and how they found out I had cancer has only been done once and that’s me so it makes me very unique.”
“Growing up I’ve always dealt with people telling me “You’re fat” it made me feel awful about myself. I’ve always had a self esteem issue because of people telling me that I’m fat and that I’ll never find someone to love all of me. This is definitely what sparked my depression and anxiety, I was so worried nobody would like me that I spent most of my time trying to fit in and I never worried about my own happiness.
Now I know for a fact that I’m freaking fabulous and I love my body! My depression and anxiety isn’t nearly as bad as it was now that I think so much better of my self! Not only do I love my body, my face is my favorite part of my body. Because even though I love my body, my face is something that makes me love my body even more. I now know that when people said I’d never find someone to love me, when indeed I know that’s not true and I will find someone who loves every part of me.”
“My name is Christina Gaus, I am 32 years old. I have three beautiful daughters that are the light in my life. I am a very funny, kind hearted, loving person. I have always been this way but I also had other parts of me that were not so good.
When I started dating boys, in junior high, I apparently was dating the wrong people. The two serious relationships that I had resulted in my children, but also resulted in leaving me feeling beat up inside and out. These men were so mean and so cruel. Always feeling the need to call me a fat bitch, or lazy, or stupid, or even a whore, thinking I was sleeping around on them. They would always say the cruelest things when we would fight. I always responded with saying sorry for things I didn’t do, just to make everything better and to save myself and my kids from listening to an argument. I was a wilted woman and I was hating the person I had become, cowering to a man.
One day I said to myself “no more!” I made a promise to myself that I was no longer going to let a man make me feel like less of a person. I love myself now! I love that I make my own decisions. I love that my girls have a happy mama and a happy life, and don’t have to hear me arguing any longer. I still have days where I get a little depressed or down on myself, but I am only human and just push through those days the best I can. I still have anxiety when I am around people I don’t know really well; worried if they will like me or whatever, but I can give myself a pep talk most of the time and be ok.
So all in all, I am great. And I believe if we teach our children at a young age to love themselves and to not let what others say impact them, then we will have a better world. If we can raise the younger generation to love themselves no matter what, then they can learn to love each other. They will not worry what society is saying is beautiful, because they will already feel great about themselves if we teach them that. If you have more people feeling confident then they will have nowhere to go but up. They will be able to accomplish more and go far in life. So everyone reading this, know that you are beautiful and perfect just the way you are. Everyone is the same in that, we all have things that make us different and that is ok. God bless 🙂”
“When I don’t wear makeup my eyes look horrible. My eyelids get red, like I’ve been crying, even though I wasn’t and my skin sometimes gets dry and flaky. It would make me so self conscious that I’d do anything to avoid people all through middle school. Then I started wearing a little bit of makeup and it made me feel better about myself because I was covering up the redness. Unfortunately in middle school I didn’t know how to wear makeup well so most the time I looked like a raccoon haha but didn’t care since nobody could see the redness. Then in high school I started wearing more makeup and actually looking nice and more comfortable with myself. I got told countless of times that I was wearing too much makeup and I’d be prettier if I wasn’t wearing it. But those people didn’t know what I was hiding.
I got with my husband in high school. He made me feel like the prettiest girl in the world and all ways called me his princess. He didn’t care whether I wore makeup or not. He loved me for who I was and not what I looked like. We all ways joked that once we got married I would be promoted to a Queen haha. Now I’m his queen and his opinion is the only one that matters to me. “