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GIRL POWER

Redefiniranje ljepote, neobrađeni selfieji i potresne ispovijesti u fokusu su ovog moćnog Instagram profila

DefineBeauty predstavlja zajednicu ljudi koji svojim primjerima nastoje propitkivati uvriježeni način poimanja ljepote

Svi korisnici Instagrama vrlo dobro znaju da on često može biti okrutno mjesto koje ostavlja dojam da svi žive savršenim životom u kojem brige ne postoje – osim vas. No, i ondje možete naići na fenomenalne profile s plemenitim ciljem, a jedan od takvih je svakako i DefineBeauty. Riječ je o internetskoj platformi koja je najvidljivija upravo na Instagramu, a koja teži tome da se redefinira uvriježeno poimanje ljepote. Posjetite li njihovu web stranicu, pozvat će vas da i sami postanete dijelom zajednice.

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“As a wheelchair user, it can often feel like a struggle to find the beauty within you. The moment i let go of the view i had of myself pre-injury, focusing my attention on being healthy and happy NOW, my view on life changed. I quickly realized that too often we put our happiness in the hands of others. Rather than living for approval of others, live YOUR life for YOU. ⠀ The other lesson I’ve learned as a wheelchair user is that there is often opportunity in our obstacles; a positive in every negative. After the motorcycle accident that resulted in a spinal cord injury, i could have given up on life. Instead, I’ve used it as a platform to empower individuals to act now! Don’t wait to make the changes you want in your life, tomorrow isn’t promised. I live each day through the motto “stay grateful, stay humble, stay hungry.” Grateful for what you have and what you are manifesting to your life; Humble, because regardless of where you go in life you need to remind yourself where you came from; Hungry because hunger is where dreams come true.” (Jesi – Charlotte, NC, USA)

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Kako? Pa, tako da jednostavno priložite svoju fotografiju (s ili bez lica), na kojoj se vide sve potencijalne nesavršenosti koje su vam kroz život stvarale probleme (akne, strije, višak kilograma, kožne bolesti, …), a onda i ukratko predstavite sebe i svoju priču. DefineBeauty Instagram feed je tako prepun doista moćnih i inspirativnih priča ljudi iz cijelog svijeta, najrazličitijih profila, a u nastavku smo izdvojile neke od onih koje su nas se ponajviše dojmile.

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“This is a message for my skin and body. I want to say sorry. I’m sorry I’ve been so harsh with you for so many years. I’m sorry it took me so long to realise i shouldn’t be ashamed of you two. I’m sorry for feeling like wearing a brown paper bag over my face because i thought my skin was too disgusting to be exposed to the world. So today i want to celebrate you two and say thank you. Today I’m so proud of the hard work my body is doing behind the scenes to keep me alive and healthy. Today I’m so proud of my scars giving me this “je ne sais quoi” and making me feel confident and sexy af. Today I’m happy, radiating and glowing. And i hope you are too. This is a message for all of you struggling with skin conditions and body image. We got this. This world ain’t always gentle with us, so let’s all be kind to each other. Let’s be the light in the darkness. Let’s normalise any skin or body types because we’re all god damn beautiful, no matter the pimples or belly rolls. This is a message of hope and love for all of you beautiful souls. ♡” (Morgane – Edinburgh, Scotland) ⠀ #wedefinebeauty

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“‘I wish i could go back and tell scared, self conscious little 14 year old me that it’s all worth it. You’re going to be okay and turn out to be so, so strong and have so many amazing, beautiful people in your life who truly do love you. You’ll have people come and go and there will be people who you allow to treat you like shit. You’ll make mistakes and there’ll be days where you won’t want to get out of bed. You’ll look in the mirror and hate the person looking back at you. Just know this, it all works out to be okay, you just gotta learn some things along the way.’ ⠀ This is what i wrote for the 2009/2019 Challenge. And has some stuff happened since then! I’ve been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, spent months in a psych ward for the first time and got back in touch with myself and started learning to love me again. Struggling with mental health AND body image is harrrrd! There are still days where i don’t want to look in the mirror. I see advertisements for “plus size clothing” with beautiful women no bigger than a size 16. I don’t feel represented in mainstream media or society. So i joined body positive groups. Support groups designed for women to celebrate themselves and lift each other up. A platform for people to embrace themselves and LOVE themselves exactly how they are. There are times where my mental health is particularly bad, so i put reminders on my mirrors and force myself to look at my reflection and do two things. 1. Find one thing i like about myself physically, no matter how small. And 2. Say something nice to myself out loud. The things that my inner voice says about myself, I’d never say to my worst enemy. So i think it’s important i train myself to be nice to me. Surround myself with positive people, both in reality and online. ⠀ Mental health, self love and body love is a tough journey, but as Mumma Ru always says, ‘If you can’t love yourself, how the hell you gonna love somebody else?’ ❤️” (Danyel – Gold Coast, Australia) ⠀ #wedefinebeauty

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“I think back on the days when i was younger. I had always wished that i had a cool scar, thinking that it would make me seem more tough. I did not know that in the future i would be in an accident right at the beginning of my adult life that would leave me with a plethora of them. Shortly after the accident, i would remember thinking to myself, “Why would you ever wish for these?” i tried to hide my scars in almost every picture i would be in. But now i realize these scars make me unique. These scars make me strong. These scars have made me thankful. But most importantly, these scars have given me the best gift of all- these scars have made me realize to always make sure to live every day to the fullest and with the utmost gratitude.” (Hunter – Sonoma County, CA, USA) ⠀ #wedefinebeauty

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“My name is Lucy. I have Recessive Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa, a terminal genetic condition with an average life expectancy of eighteen years old, and currently without a cure. I am now twenty. While academics are my love and joy and i am currently studying at St. Andrews, i began writing to raise awareness for RDEB after a woman told me i looked like i had been mauled by a gorilla. My condition, often called EB, is so rare that it is called the worst disease you've never heard of, and our children will have a 1 in 1.5 million chance of being born with my exact subtype- RDEB Inversa. I thought of what i could do to bring awareness to not only my condition, but to the topic of visible disabilities in general. So, i began to write. To my amazement, people listened. My first article was published on the Huffington Post before my eighteenth birthday. I've since been in the New York Post, The Daily Mail, and many others, and i am honored that i also had the opportunity to complete a Tedx talk with my university about the stigmas surrounding visible disabilities. Studying and writing remind me that the only things that EB can't touch are my abilities to learn and teach others. Soon I’ll be able to publish my book and share more of my experience. But reading my words was not as potent as seeing me, seeing my scars, and therefore my life. I began modeling and sharing the images on my Instagram as a way to raise awareness, and most recently i have used it as a platform to document my hand surgery. I now see it as a way to control how other people view me and my condition. Growing up with a visible disability was never easy, especially during my teenage years when I'd rather be anywhere else than a hospital room, waiting to be wheeled off for surgery. But i realized that i could control how i view myself and my body. Yes, i am covered in scars- i can't change that. But would i view my body as something negative, something to fight against and hate, or as something amazing- look how hard it works to keep me alive! ⠀ ✨Continued in comments✨

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“Weight and facial hair is what I’ve struggled with the most in my life. There were days when i would just starve myself because i couldn’t find my size at stores. I would cry and cry because i was too embarrassed of my cellulite. My name means smile and yes i smiled all the time and even made people smile every time but there was always a part of me that wanted to be thin. I wanted to feel accepted in the eyes of my loved ones and of course the society. My own loved ones started to tell me to get rid of my facial hair because it looks too manly. It’s funny and sad how your loved ones can degrade you in the name of love. ⠀ Such remarks by my family took a toll on my confidence and i couldn’t make eye to eye contact with people. I even started avoiding meeting new people because i was just too scared that they would think the same of me as my ‘loved ones’ did. But thanks to the Internet i saw @harnaamkaur and many other people who embraced their body hair. And now i don’t give a flying f*ck about what anybody has to say about my facial hair or weight because as @alessiasmusic says, ‘YOU SHOULD KNOW YOU’RE BEAUTIFUL JUST THE WAY YOU ARE.’” (Muskan – Meerut, India)

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“In the middle of a depressive episode, i feel so ugly. Not necessarily physically ugly, but mean, emotional, unapproachable, short. It takes so much energy to tuck that ugliness down because i feel, deep down, it’s me, not them. ⠀ The episodes come about at the most random times. Yesterday, i hung out with friends and had such a great time, but today, i feel like i can’t face people. Usually i can identify my episodes, and know when they are coming, based on life and tiredness, but many times they sneak up and leave me suddenly not wanting to engage in anything. These episodes leave me feeling unworthy, incapable, sloppy, worthless, hollow… ⠀ I cry all the time, over everything, usually alone so people won’t ask. I get angry easier, i get irritated faster, i snap more quickly, i leave a path of destruction that is still there when i come out of it, causing even more anxiety to clean up in the end. ⠀ The people who stick around and refuse to question my faith are the ones i keep. They don’t throw in a “love God more and things will be different.” They don’t shame me with “you should haves” and “you need to’s.” They get it. ⠀ Every assumption made about me is more vivid. Every word means more. My body hurts more physically. Every action is harder. Leaving the house is nearly impossible, and i simply carry on out of obligation and responsibility, but those things are heavy and hard suddenly. ⠀ I either can’t care, don’t care or care too much in the middle of it. I feel like i need to just be with someone, but i don’t want to be around anyone. ⠀ I want to talk about it, but i feel like the “shame phrases” will be thrown out, causing more guilt, so i don’t talk about it, which makes everything so much worse and plummets me down darker roads. I don’t know how to articulate it. ⠀ Nothing causes it, yet everything causes it. Everything is irritating. I just want to sleep all day, but i lay awake all night. ⠀ I replay conversations. I hope i didn’t bite too hard. I wonder if i bit hard enough sometimes. I worry about what people think about me. ⠀ This list of “feelings” could go on and on. ⠀ I post this here with some anxiety. ⠀ ✨Continued in comments✨

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“My name is Rebecca, i am a dark skinned South Sudanese woman who was raised in Australia. ⠀ Growing up in a westernised country was a blessing for me and my family. Cultural diversity has been a newly advertised and celebrated part of western culture, however through personal experience, i have found the nation-wide mantra “embrace your differences” is usually coupled with “but don’t be too different.” ⠀ I’ve experienced my fair share of racism growing up, not only from people of other cultures but also my own. At one stage in my life i started stealing skin lightening cream because i had been taught the definition of beauty was to be lighter. Of course, later in life i realized this product caused irrefutable damage to not only my health but also my mental state. With my own motivation to find a healthy lifestyle balance, i reconditioned what i considered beauty to be and established a personal empowerment of my own. I hadn’t realized before that the only opinion that mattered when it came to my skin and its beauty, was mine (and my dermatologist). ⠀ I had felt so alone, like nobody else could possibly experience such painful discomfort and disappointment in themselves, yet unfortunately there are many others who do. An endless colour spectrum of little girls and boys go through this every day, having no one to tell them they are beautiful and perfect. It doesn’t matter if you’re the darkest shade or the lightest, you’re beautiful and remember that there is more than one kind of beautiful, you just need to love and embrace yours.” (Rebecca – Brisbane, Australia)

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