Real Beauty: Uncovered Showcased at the President’s Interfaith and Community Service

Really excited to announce that Real Beauty: Uncovered was showcased at the President’s Interfaith and Community Service last week!  We are making a difference one step at a time! Take a peek how we were showcased.

Refections of the Summer Program

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We had a blast with our students this summer!  Learning about each other and growing into a more authentic self for the upcoming Freshman year in High School.

Our students where all 8th graders making that transition into High School, which I think we all remember that summer when everything was a clean slate.  I remember looking forward to meeting new people but scared that I wasn’t going to fit in,

 

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My Best Friend and I in “that” summer between 8th and High School. 

This year we were honored to hear all about the stories and the fears of the new phase of their lives.  Knowing that we all have gone through the same thing, which I think is the key.  The knowledge that we all go through the same in some way shape or form makes transitions a bit easier.

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I know that with each week our students became stronger!

 

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I look forward to hearing from all of the students as they make their way through freshman year!

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Just Be You!

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Feeling the Love…

I always feel so honored to have one of my RBU girls give the project some love! 

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Introducing Elena B

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Growing up in a family with eight siblings, I was the middle child. To say the least, things was not simple for me. The more I look at the world around me, the more I found flaws in my self. For instance, I was bigger than girls my age, and my complexion was not the way I wanted it to be. The other girls seem to be thinner and prettier with smooth light brown skin and their hair always look nicer than mine. However, in my mind this is what beauty was to me. On the other hand, I wanted to be black as tar so no one could see me, my self-esteem at that time was very low.

Unfortunately, my self image of life carries me well into my early twenty, late thirty. I did not like the way I look. I became an alcoholic, this was my way of dealing with my self image. Drinking made me feel pretty and sexy I had a false confidence. However, one day I said “enough is enough” and I had to love me for me no matter what I look like. Real beauty begins when one excepts them self for who they are and how god made them. Also, not allowing the world to dictate on how one should look.

Beauty to me is understanding one’s self and being able to help another person who is feeling down. Also giving of one’s time and energy, bringing out the best in someone, that they may feel better about themselves. Real beauty is skin deep, no matter how you look on the outside, what’s on the inside will come out rather it is good or bad. Therefore, real beauty is being true to thy own self, and one will always be the most beautiful person in the world.

My life Motto is “To Thy Own Self Be True”

Radio Interview with Cristina Maria Rojas-Fernandez for Transforming Gifts!

I was so honored to be interviewed by Cristina for Transforming Gifts! She made me feel right at home and talking to her about how Real Beauty: Uncovered became what it is today.  For anyone who knows me this is not such an easy task because I do tend to get a bit shy when I talk about my personal things.  But I wanted to audience to really get to know me and the reason why this movement is so important!

Before we started she guided me and told me some of the questions she was going to be asking.  Even when we had a little hiccup she was right there cool and collective!  Such an amazing women who I have the privilege of getting to know!

Thank you again Christina for your light and your wisdom!

Take a listen!

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/transforminggifts/2015/06/11/live-wdani-allen-co-creator-photographer-of-real-beauty-uncovered

Introducing Nicolette V.

And now, it’s a great honor to introduce Nicolette!

Her Story…

“When I was in high school, my older sister battled an eating disorder. However, the way it came about is a little different than what they preach about in the media. My sister didn’t start restricting because she was unhappy with herself. She was never overweight and was absolutely beautiful. Her stress and anxiety took control of her mind and body and caused her to become extremely underweight. Her organs started failing and she was slowly killing herself without a choice. Throughout the entire process, she knew how sick she looked. She wanted to gain the weight back, her body just wouldn’t let her.

Fast forward 4 years and now I’m in college surrounded by people who have no idea what my sister went through. You wouldn’t believe how many times “I’m gonna stop eating” or “sometimes I wish I was anorexic” gets thrown around in casual conversations each day. These statements would infuriate me because I knew that my sister did that, was there, and absolutely hated herself for it.

From watching my sister fight her battle, I didn’t learn to eat solid meals, I didn’t learn to you have to be a certain weight, and I sure didn’t learn you had to follow trends to be beautiful. I learned beauty is what you make of it. If you’re overweight and feel beautiful, then you are. If you have a six-pack and are proud of it, then you have a reason to be. To me, there is no definition of beautiful. If you feel beautiful, you are.”

Lillian Faderman…

It’s not everyday that you get to meet someone with such a rich history.  I was fortunate enough to sit down with Lillian Faderman after a powerful presentation at Rider University.  I knew I was in the presence of a wonderful speaker when the first sentence was spoken and the whole room gazed upon her, eating up her every word like the most delicious sundae on a hot summer day. Refreshing and very much needed. In the busyness of our lives, we forget to slow down and remember our past. Remember where we came from and how far we have come.

Lillian Faderman is an internationally-known scholar of lesbian history and literature, as well as ethnic history and literature. Her work has been translated into numerous languages, including German, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Turkish, Czech, and Slovenian. Among her many honors are six Lambda Literary Awards, two American Library Association Awards, and several lifetime achievement awards for scholarship, including Yale University’s James Brudner Award, the Monette/Horwitz Award, the Publishing Triangle Award, the ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives Culture Hero Award, and the American Association of University Women’s Distinguished Senior Scholar Award. The New York Times named two of her books, Surpassing the Love of Men and Odd Girls and Twilight Lovers, on its “Notable Books of the Year” list.

When sitting to ask her some quick questions and take her photograph (which by the way was not on her schedule, but she agreed to do anyway because she is amazing), I noticed the tenderness in her eyes. It was truly an honor to get to talk to her. Here is my favorite question and answer from our chat:

Q. “What is Beauty?”

A.  “Nature is Beauty. The ocean gives me energy and peace. Beauty for me is two chairs looking at the ocean.”

Thank you, Lillian!!!