The Announcement

by Heather on August 25, 2010

Good morning everyone! Today’s the day I’ve been teasing y’all about for a while now :)  This post could get a little wordy, but please read all the way through since this is something that is very near and dear to my heart.

If you’ve been reading Heather’s Dish for a while now, or even if you’ve just stopped by to check out the “About Me” section, you have probably read about the fact that I struggled with body image issues and disordered eating for 14 years of my very short life.  I could go into detail here on how horrible it was physically, emotionally, relationally, etc; however, the hardest part of it all to swallow now is the realization that for 14 years I had no idea that I was beautiful exactly how I am.  It’s not for lack of people telling me though.  I have the most incredible family a girl could ask for, and my husband tells me every day that I’m gorgeous.  The thing is that internally I was unable to see the beauty in myself and constantly compared myself to others.

As Nate and I continue to embark on the photography journey, we hear almost constantly the phrase, “Oh, you can just PhotoShop that out, right?”  And I’ll be honest…when it comes down to it, PhotoShop is not a bad thing.  When people pay for photographs they want to see the best possible version of themselves, and that’s OK.  What makes me sad about it though is when I see videos like the one below from Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty and see the behind-the-scenes of what goes into making models and celebrities look the way they do:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hibyAJOSW8U&fs=1&hl=en_US]

Again, I’m not harping on PhotoShop or even the people who utilize it.  The thing that kills me about this is the fact that young girls and women of all shapes and sizes will see photos that are touched up like this all over the world and believe that they are not beautiful because they don’t look like that.  Research has shown that up to 90% of women are unhappy with the way that they look. These women and girls will go through their lives not ever truly believing that they are incredibly beautiful just as they are.

What I want to do is start a CELEBRATION of our natural beauty.  What if we took things like wrinkles, smile lines, gray hair, blond eyelashes, crooked teeth, crooked noses, shorter necks, etc. and saw the beauty and the LIFE in them?

I have started FacesofBeauty.org as a place to post pictures of real women (and men!) and the beauty within them.  It’s very simple actually:  every post will feature one beautiful person (that’s YOU!) with a headshot that follows the following guidelines:

  • must be wearing minimal to no make-up (no colored eyeshadows, lipsticks, etc)
  • cannot have any editing of any kind;
  • must be at least 1200 pixels on the long side of the photo.

Each photo should be accompanied with a 500-word or less description of what you think is beautiful about you and why, the story of your journey to self-love, and/or what defines beauty to you.  Email the photo and paragraph to me at heathersdish [at] gmail [dot] com.  Also, if you’d like to be linked to your blog just include the URL for it as well.

My prayer is that everyone who reads this today will join this celebration and spread the word to their friends and families.  That you would email me your photo and paragraph, then copy this link and email it out in mass quantities and that the world would be moved by our transparency and celebration of the beauty that we all have! This is my formal request…bring on the emails!

I understand that I’m asking everyone who comes across this blog to participate, and that by participating you are taking a chance. You’re putting yourself out there.  You’re exposing yourself.  You’re making yourself known.  But what you’re also doing is encouraging others to truly look inside themselves and see that they are beautiful as well.  It is my belief that life is too short for anyone to take another 14 years to learn to love themselves, so let’s celebrate it now!

Do you believe that you are truly beautiful?

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{ 77 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jessica @ How Sweet August 25, 2010

Love, love, love! I took a picture at the gym this morn with my crackberry… didn’t come out so well and it was in the mirror…lol! Gonna try to get another tonight or tmw. :)

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2 Nicole @ making good choices August 25, 2010

I LOVE this! What a beautiful idea!

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3 Becky August 25, 2010

This is an incredible idea! I am going to have to take some photos :)

Can’t wait to visit the site and see all the beautiful faces each day – love the positive energy!

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4 Kara @ MyWellnest August 25, 2010

You know I’m in, I’m THIS CLOSE to being done!!!
This is a wonderful idea :-)

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5 Melissa (MyMcDonaldMeal) August 25, 2010

What an awesome idea! I’m very excited for you and can’t wait to see all the amazing posts on your new site. I’ll turn the camera around soon and shoot a picture of myself to add to your site. Best to you!!

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6 Tammy August 25, 2010

So…I really kinda love this! I’ll either have to find a picture or take a new one. This is really kinda meeting me where I am at in life. Post pregancy body + another pregnancy in progress. Kinda just have to accept my body and not obsess. Easier said than done but getting there!

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7 Heather C August 25, 2010

Look at you go! This is awesome and I can already tell it’s going to be a great thing :)

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8 Katie @ Health for the Whole Self August 25, 2010

So excited for you, Heather, and for this wonderful idea!!! It’s going to help so many people! :)

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9 couchpotatoathlete August 25, 2010

Heather this is so wonderful! I will definitely send you a pic. We need to see what REAL PEOPLE look like!

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10 TheHealthyApron August 25, 2010

That video is ridiculous! No wonder we all have such low self-esteem! What a great idea though heather! I love all the positive body image vibes going around! Maybe if we start today, we can change for our future girls!

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11 Sarah August 25, 2010

This is a great project!

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12 offeringmyownconfusion August 25, 2010

Just did a post with my fresh faced picture. This is such a wonderful idea, especially in a time when girls and women grow up with an unattainable image that somehow they are supposed to fulfill. Thank you Heather! :)

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13 Angela August 25, 2010

Congratulations! This is a great idea, so empowering. I know it will be a success. Thanks for putting this together!!

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14 Brittany (A Healthy Slice of Life) August 25, 2010

What a cool video! Of course you know I love this idea and will definitely be submitting an entry!

I think your website will be BIG! :)

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15 Lindsay @ Pinch of Yum August 25, 2010

This is such a cool idea! Thanks for acting on your passion. :)

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16 Salah August 25, 2010

you bet your behind that I’m going to email you a photo!!! LOVE THIS HEATHER!!!!!!! You are amazing :-) love you big sis!

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17 Anna August 25, 2010

So cool!!!! Love, love, love this idea, Heather!!

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18 Estela @ Weekly Bite August 25, 2010

I LOVE this idea Heather! I’ll be submitting a photo very soon!!

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19 Christie {Honoring Health} August 25, 2010

LOVE IT!

I will be submitting very soon.

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20 Nic August 25, 2010

This is an amazing idea. I can’t wait to check out the new site and see all the beautiful, natural, real people! Thank you!

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21 LiveForTheRun August 25, 2010

Be still my beating heart. How terrific. I’m behind you 100% happy to spread the good word.

I love this!! Wow, you were really up to something!

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22 Tina August 25, 2010

Without a doubt I am in! I still have to get my 500 words written and to you. I’m working on it. And I love what you’re doing here.

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23 steff (steffsays) August 25, 2010

i love this idea! be expecting an email from me later. :-D

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24 Jackie (Peaces of Earth) August 25, 2010

AMAZING! I absolutely love this idea!!! I think this will touch so many people’s hearts and help them see their own beauty. Love, love, love.

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25 Noelle August 25, 2010

This is such a beautiful idea Heather. What an inspiration and truly one to make us think of our worth. I am signing up!

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26 KeepItSweet August 25, 2010

what an incredible thing!

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27 Healthy_Heather August 25, 2010

hugs to you and a high five as well. I will most def submit a photo. I stopped wearing makeup recently for this very reason – I honestly think I look better without it!

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28 Anne @ a daily slice August 25, 2010

I love this. I’m totally participating :)

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29 Amy @ Second City Randomness August 25, 2010

Love that you’re doing this. And I’m totally down. Look for an email soon. :)

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30 Maria @ Oh Healthy Day August 25, 2010

What a great idea! Wishing it all the success that I’m sure it will have. I literally just whipped out my camera :)

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31 Jean@RoastedRootsandPumpkinSpice August 25, 2010

It’s so great that you are doing this! I’m going to try to send a photo soon :)

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32 tropicaleats August 25, 2010

this is so neat! Great idea :) you are beautiful!

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33 Sophie @ yumventures August 25, 2010

This is WONDERFUL!!!

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34 Krista (kristastes) August 25, 2010

I love this idea, I’ll write up my post for you soon! I get so annoyed with ads of crazy thin/airbrushed women that set an ‘ideal’ no woman will be able to reach in a healthy way. Makeup-free days are always nice too — makes my morning routine snappy ;)

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35 The Wife of a Dairyman August 25, 2010

What a great idea! I have a feeling you’re about to become very busy:)

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36 Jessica @ Dairy Free Betty August 25, 2010

YOU ROCK!

This is amazing!!! Love it and am going to check out the website now!!

Great job Heather!!

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37 Katie August 25, 2010

This is a beautiful idea… I haven’t showered yet today (haa) so after I do and before I put on any mascara or touch my hair, I’m going to have my mom take a picture. I’ll try to get her to get on board too. SUCH a great idea.

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38 Lisa August 25, 2010

What a beautiful idea Heather! xoxox

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39 Shanna, like Banana August 25, 2010

I’m very intrigued by this and think I may do it!

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40 spokesnoats August 25, 2010

As I sit here and ponder this fabulous idea and the prospect of myself perhaps submitting a photo it’s easier to imagine working up the courage to send in a photo, but a whole other prospect to envision coming up with things you like about your own face in all its “nude” glory. I can’t wait ’til this takes off. I look forward to being inspired.

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41 Amber@momsgottheruns August 25, 2010

What a fantastic idea! I can’t wait to check out the website!

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42 Maria August 25, 2010

You are amazing! I love this idea!

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43 Matt August 25, 2010

Great idea! Maybe I will do this :)

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44 Heather August 25, 2010

You totally should…boys need to know they’re awesome too!

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45 Sarah for Real August 25, 2010

I SO want to do this! Any tips on taking the picture?

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46 Heather August 25, 2010

Well, I had Nate take mine with all of our camera equipment, but definitely do it outside in natural light! brings out the glow even more :) you could do a self-timer, have someone else take it for you, or just snap a self portrait :)

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47 Heather August 25, 2010

also try not to use flash if you can and keep the background simple!

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48 Julie August 25, 2010

Fantastic idea! I’m currently dealing with trying to figure out how to inspire my young nieces and my own children to not get caught up in all these traps we got caught in. Hooray for such a great endeavor!!

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49 Heather (Where's the Beach) August 25, 2010

This is awesome girl!

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50 Beth August 25, 2010

W0w this is such a great idea!!

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51 adventuresofpretendcook August 25, 2010

This is an amazing idea! I am going to get this done today or tomorrow. I love it. I love it. I love it!

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52 It All Changes August 25, 2010

I love this. I will get Hunni to take the picture this weekend. Thank you for showing us as we are.

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53 Axelle the french reader August 25, 2010

This is sooooo EXACT and right and true ! … I would like to participate, but I love myself so much that I delete each picture someone takes from me …
But you’re right, you know.

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54 Gracie @ Girl Meets Health August 25, 2010

wowowow…love this! I would love to participate.

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55 peanutbutterfingers August 25, 2010

what a wonderful idea!!! LOVE IT!

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56 glutenfreemuse August 25, 2010

What a great initiative! Maybe you can take my post race picture for the website! That will be a pretty one :-)

~Alyssa

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57 Becca D. August 25, 2010

This is such a beautiful idea! I hope that soon I can get the courage to post a pic on the site….this concept is definitely something I have been struggling to believe for quite some time!! I absolutely love that you are putting this out there in the world…way to go Heather!!

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58 Penny Lane August 25, 2010

Way to go! I will be working on my Pic (takes me a bit to get pics taken) and my 500 word essay. This is something that I have been something that has been close to my heart for a few years.

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59 Dorry August 25, 2010

Love this! You have an incredible heart. Excited to watch this grow for you. :)

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60 Val August 25, 2010

This is such a great idea! That video was very moving. It made me sad that women use so much energy striving to look like something that clearly is not a reality.

I will be submitting soon!

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61 Jess @ MTL Veggie August 25, 2010

What an amazing project! I love this idea and would love to participate :)

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62 Amber@momsgottheruns August 25, 2010

Heather! OMG! Please don’t think I’m a nut when I responded to your comment on my blog about my pregnancy! For some reason I was thinking Heather from another blog (who’s pregnant!). So sorry! I’m really not crazy! LOL

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63 lpskins August 25, 2010

Congrats sista!

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64 juliemgannon August 25, 2010

LOVE it! Already sent the link to my sisters :)

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65 Gena August 25, 2010

What an amazing and wonderful idea! Let me know how I can help out!

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66 Heather August 25, 2010

Hey Gena! If you can submit a photo and paragraph and spread the word that would be amazing! Anything to participate and encourage others to participate helps :) Thanks so much for asking!

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67 Alex @ IEatAsphalt August 25, 2010

First of all, I think that you are gorgeous! Secondly, this is an amazing idea and I can’t wait to be a part of it!

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68 Ashley Solomon August 25, 2010

Phenomenal idea! You are beautiful in so many ways =)

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69 Tasha - the clean eating mama August 25, 2010

Heather, you amaze me. What a wonderful project! I cannot wait to submit my own =)

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70 Katie @ Healthy Heddleston August 25, 2010

Wow, awesome Heather! I’ll be sure to send a picture over — my blog has plenty of makeup-less-me on it already! Good job girly, this is really going to make a difference.

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71 kelsey@snackingsquirrel.com August 25, 2010

Heather, this just makes me love love love your blog and who you are so much more! ur a wonderful person <3

i agree that photoshopping isn a HUGE epidemic..but the lack of celebration over natural beauty IS!

xoxo

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72 Ellen@FirednFabulous August 25, 2010

Ohmygosh I LOVE THIS IDEA!!!! Love. I struggle with body image, but I’m slowly getting better. I definitely want to participate! Congrats!

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73 lisaou11 August 26, 2010

I have a picture–its actually pretty close up of my face, but I love it. Will that work? Also–how do you figure out if it’s 1200 pixels?

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74 Heather August 26, 2010

That will definitely work! And to see how many pixels, just highlight it in the Finder or folder that it’s in…it should pop up a bunch of info about it to the right, which includes dimensions!

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75 Katie August 26, 2010

This post made me tear up a little. Absolutely love this idea and this post was so incredibly well written and inspiring! :)

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76 Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) August 26, 2010

amazing and i will look thru my stash and send you something. 99% of my photos on my blog are no make and not retouched. as if i have time for all that, i have 17 things to do every day and hair, makeup, and photoshopping dont make the cut!

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77 bumblebeerunning August 26, 2010

What an amazing idea. I love it!

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