Courtney Watson!

My Beautiful Courtney! I met Court about a year and a half ago studying the same course at Tafe. I didn’t ever think that we would be as close as we are and I am beyond thankful that we share the friendship we do today. Courtney is a forever friend and a soul sister. She has done nothing but blossom into this beautiful, wonderful and crazy confident woman! Her beauty Journey is amazing. Thank you for letting me capture you and thank you for your honest words my incredible, fearless, courageous friend xxx

Written by Courtney Watson.

Age 21.

1. What is your idea of beauty? Beauty is you. Beauty is all of us. Beauty is the world that we live in and what and who we surround ourselves with each and every day. Our minds. How different each of us are and how we all look and experience all things so differently. Our minds, our bodies and our spirit. Beauty truly is endless. Beauty is feeling, feeling joy, feeling pain, feeling sadness, giving love and being loved. Our mental capabilities are incredible and it is these things that make us who we are and individual with our own spark of magic to share in this world.

2. Where do you place your worth?My worth is up to me, it sits in my hands and my heart. I struggled when I was younger with my self worth but I think that all just comes with time and truly understanding and learning about who you are and once I came to peace with who I am and had the ability to love me, I was proud. Proud of who I am and all that I’ve been through to become me. Just like we all have and will.

3. What has been your biggest obstacle in your self worth journey? If you asked me this a few years ago I would have said how I saw myself. But ask me this today, and that would not even enter my mind. Through all experiences there was always a struggle but each obstacle made me who I am and gave me the outlook I have on life and everything that is thrown in my direction. As much as I sometimes wish that I didn’t have the body image struggles that I did in my school years I am also grateful because it gave me the strength and love that I do today! There is always a positive in every negative.”Change your thoughts and you change your world”

4. What has been your greatest achievement in your self worth journey? My mental and physical abilities and strength. A lot has stemmed from finding what I love to do and what/who makes me happiest. I would always push my own feelings and needs to the side and always take care of others before me. I have finally found my balance between loving others and myself all in one and eliminating all negativity from my world. I have never been more content with all of the people that play such a big part in my life today. So yes, my biggest achievement is me.

5. How do you view yourself today? Strong, loved, empathetic, positive, healthy, wise and incredibly blessed.

6. What are the three things you do to practice self love? My exercise time is me time. I forget everything and focus on me with my headphones in and music playing as loud as I want it too. I’m constantly surprised of what my body is capable of and is definitely a self-love favourite of mine that I am able to do for me. It is something that I have learnt to push myself mentally and physically more and more and has certainly helped mould me into who I am today and how I see myself.

Writing and reading is an important part of self love for me. Writing especially gives me the outlet to write down whatever it is that is in my head in that moment is such a beautiful outlet that can also give me the opportunity to reflect back on later but to also know that there is never any judgment. My words are for me.

 I also find self love when I am around people. The ones who know me best and that I appreciate more then words could ever describe. I constantly feel loved and beyond lucky when I am around my closest friends and family that always make me feel supported and over all happy and loved. When you are blessed to meet someone who makes your life flow easier and makes you laugh a lot, keep them, thats all you need.
7. If you could give advice to your younger self in regard to self worth and body image, what would it be? You are beautiful, even if you don’t see it. Your going to go through lots and lots of great times and your going to have to conquer hard times that will test you and how you see yourself but your going to make it, make it all on your own and when you truly know you and the women you become your going to appreciate all these things that now seem like big deals but will later be looked at as little pebbles in your road to finding you. Love you baby and who you are today, your one of a kind and keep on doing you! Embrace everything and everyone in your journey and love, you wear your heart on your sleeve and don’t let anyone or anything take that away from you.

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Jessica McDermott!

My Cousin, my Best friend and my soul sister. This is my Jessie, my forever friend. I’ve known her my whole life and absolutely adore her more than anything. I am beyond proud of her and am so thankful for her honesty with this project. Photographing her wasn’t hard at all, her beauty shines, you’ll be able to see it in her photos. She’s natural, wonderful and completely captivating.  I hope you can see that Jessie.
Written at age 22.
Jessica McDermott:
1. What is your idea of beauty?
My idea of beauty is probably totally warped and influenced by what I’m sold by the media but I am on a journey to fix my view of true beauty. In my head I know beauty as ones strength, kindness and courage! Beauty is more a personality trait rather than appearance. Although this information is yet to drop inches from my brain to my heart!
 2. Where do you place your worth?
Every day is a battle for me to place my worth in God rather than in my insecurities.
Unfortunately I haven’t yet got this concept and I find myself placing my worth in what others think and in other peoples success. I’m slowly learning that other peoples success is not my failure.
 3. What has been the biggest obstacle in your self worth journey? 
The biggest obstacle for me on this very long self worth journey is probably how others look.
As a mum I expected to ‘bounce back’ {as I was told I would hundreds of times}  but when I didn’t after 6 months I found myself hating myself and the way I looked, then I fell pregnant again! After the birth of my second I was even more harsh on myself and still am now. I find myself looking at other mums who did ‘bounce back’ and wanting to cry because I didn’t. It almost sounds stupid as I type it but for me it is a real obstacle that stops me from being happy and feeling beautiful or of any worth. How sad that so many of us feel this way? is our worth really measured by size?
 4. What has been your biggest achievement in your self worth journey? 
Not a huge achievement nor does it happen regularly but sometimes I get up put clothes on that aren’t PJ’s, do my hair and makeup and I feel good! To me that is an achievement! My goal is for that to be more common 🙂
 5. How do you view yourself today?
Today in this very moment I feel powerful! I am proud of myself and how far I have come. I am on my way to the woman I want to be! I feel beautiful as I sit here typing eating a cookies and cream magnum {YUM!!} at this very moment I couldn’t care what anyone thought of me! This is not always though….. some days I struggle to look in the mirror.
 6. What are 3 things you do to practise self love?
1. I do a facial! I always feel great after I pamper myself!! Y’all should try it 😉
 2. I sit and stare at the ocean! It makes me think and it calms me, when I’m calm I put things into perspective and I become empowered! I am inspired by the strength and beauty of the ocean.
 3. I write down all negative thoughts I’m having or anything I’m worrying about and put it in a box. To me writing it down is a release and putting it away is like putting it out of my mind. I then think of something I like about myself for every bad thing I put in the box.
 7. If you could give advice to your younger self in regards to self worth and body image, what would it be?
It doesn’t matter! At the end of the day no matter what number is on the back of your dress, YOU ARE BEAUTUFUL!!!! Happiness and health is what counts. Be happy, nourish your body and live for yourself!

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Courtney Cook!

This is One of my most treasured friends Courtney. I’ve known her since our early high school years. We met at youth and small group and from there our friendship grew. Courtney is incredible, humble and so loving. Our friendship is unique and I am SO proud of her and her journey of self love and self acceptance. Read her words of courage and embrace the beautiful girl she is.

Written at age 20.

Courtney Cook:

  1. What is your idea of Beauty?
    I think beauty is something that is all around us, found in places and people we would not expect or we don’t see in ourselves. I think beauty is shown differently through each human, thanks to God’s crazy, good imagination.
  2. Where do you place your worth?
    From past experiences I often struggled with worth. I’m not quite sure when it changed but it had something to do with my relationship with God, He mended my heart and I found a love that was everlasting, embracing and whole.
    Through my spiritual journey I found my worth along the way.
  3. What has been your biggest obstacle in your self worth journey?
    Feeling unloved, unwanted or unneeded.
    Under appreciating myself and who & how I’ve been made to be.
  4. What has been your greatest achievement in your self worth journey?
    Pushing past the feeling of being unloved, unwanted and not needed. It took a while because for years I had something, someone pushing against it but once I was able to accept that it wasn’t my fault, that I was not these things because of something one person had done to me, it really have me a sense of freedom, self worth and self love.
  5. How do you view yourself today?
    Stronger,
    Wiser,
    Healthy,
    Loved,
    Lucky & able.
  6. What are 3 things you do to practice self love?
    Exercising daily is one of my main ways of practicing self-love, it’s not something I do for others but purely for myself.Nourishing my body with foods I believe do so, despite what others say about it.I also spend time with myself; I journal, read, walk or listen to music. Spending time with myself allows me to a better me for whatever is ahead.
  7. If you could give advice to your younger self in regard to self worth and body image, what would it be?
    You are who you are, and those things you dislike about yourself right now you will learn to love.
    You’ll love the colour of your hair despite the torment,
    You will appreciate your size no matter what the person standing next to you looks like and all the things running through you head you will overcome and be stronger for it.

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Unveiling Beauty.

I’m going to be starting a new photography project for my blog called unveiling beauty inspired by the book captivating!
My vision is to create a space where girls are able to feel comfortable to express themselves through their own individual self image, share their body image story and beauty back ground without fear of judgment! I’m all about being raw, real and authentic so it’s basically going to be the same series of questions to a different bunch of girls with how their self image journey has played out, along with some photos that highlight THEM in all their beauty. This is a project that’s been on my heart for a while now and to finally see it start to come to surface is beyond exciting for me!

It’s close to my heart because my entire teen years were filled with doubt, discouragement, hurt and emptiness in regards to my self image. I’m so damn passionate about this and I am going to try my very best to make a difference for the generations of women to come and also for the ones that have been! I want women to gain perspective of other girls body image journies. I want this space to be relatable, empowering and inspiring! I want them to know that they aren’t alone in their awful thoughts and that they can conquer feelings of doubt! Join me on this journey of self love and a movement of beauty!