Project: Be-YOU-tiful

The vision for this started a long time ago. I was rounding my 21st birthday and had just moved to Denmark when I finally felt like I was becoming confident in who I was as a girl/woman. I had spent years working on building my confidence, accepting my flaws, and being ok with who God made me to be. It was a long, hard process but I knew that if I could be a woman who was confident in her own skin, I’d be among a rare breed of women. It didn’t take me long to realize that I knew way too many women who didn’t like much of who they were. The double chin, the pudge on their belly, the jiggle in their thighs. Whatever the case was in each individual person, there always something that made them feel inferior and less than what they were really worth. And here is where the vision started. I believe in a God who created the world as we know it and, according to the bible I read, WOMAN (Eve) was the last thing He created. And with every creation of His from the beginning of time things got more detailed, intricate and…beautiful.

Psalm 139:14 says “you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb. Body and soul, I am marvelously made!You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,how I was sculpted from nothing into something.”

And I got to thinking, why on earth would the Creator of the universe create anything that was less.than.perfect? The answer: He wouldn’t. He didn’t. And He hasn’t. But the problem is that for so long women have compared themselves to the idea of beauty that has been set before us by the media, by our culture, and by society. To most of us beauty is associated with being tall and thin, sexy and sultry, and a magnet for men who crave our bodies. But beauty, as I have grown to understand it, has very little (if anything!) to do with that. True beauty stems from the core of who you are, from the things that make you uniquely you. Your heart and soul. Your mind and intellect. And, yes, even your pudgy thighs.

A few years ago I began shooting boudoir photography in hopes of helping women feel like they are beautiful. I wanted to photograph women in an intimate settings and with very little on in order to focus on the things about their body that they loved and, ultimately, help them realize how stunningly beautiful they are. While I have enjoyed shooting boudoir photography, and will continue to do so, I still felt like it was slightly missing the mark of what I had a vision for. Boudoir photography caters toward younger women and, by nature, generally markets itself toward women who are in really good shape or at least feel good about their bodies. It certainly does not attract the mom who feels like her body is covered in stretch marks after bearing 3 children. It doesn’t attract the 50-something year old woman who, despite the fact that she bathes in eye cream every night, feels as though her wrinkles could rival any award winning AKC Shar-Pei puppy. And, try as I may, I’ve been 100% unsuccessful at convincing any Grandmas to come my apartment and have their timeless beauty documented. This is where I was missing the mark. Because these are the women I wanted to photograph. The ones who, maybe at a time felt good about themselves, but who lost that feeling somewhere along the road called life. The women who don’t realize (as many of their husbands would attest to!) how absolutely beautiful those laugh lines are on their face, and how proudly they should be bearing stretch marks that resulted from carrying and raising 3 beautiful children.

Enter Sue Bryce. She recently did a workshop online that transformed my idea of boudoir photography and completely hit the nail on the head about my vision of capturing beauty. And so it began, the late nights of me laying in bed wide awake with ideas of what I could do for women…REAL WOMEN…to help them realize how beautiful they really are. So, I introduce you to Project: Be-YOU-tiful.

I am SO excited to be launching a new brand of my business where the sole focus is on women and their beauty. I want to photograph women of all ages, all shapes, all sizes. I want to help them see that beauty is not just about what they see in the mirror, all the while helping them feel beautiful on both the inside and outside.

And to kick this project off I have decided to gift 10 ladies with a Be-YOU-tiful session. The sessions will take place on April 7 at my apartment in Hartford and, together with the help of the talented Jocelyn Tonne, we intend on giving 10 women an experience they will never forget. In this initial day of Be-YOU-tiful sessions, I want to photograph the woman who needs a boost of confidence. I want the woman who has looked in the mirror recently and frowned at what she saw. I want the woman whose wardrobe is made up primarily of black because she wants to hide the few extra pounds she’s put on the last couple of years. I want to photograph the teenage girl who constantly compares herself to every model that graces the pages of Vogue. I want to photograph real girls, and real women. If you, or someone you know, fits in any of those categories…or a similar one…I want you to be there on April 7. If you feel like this is you, or have someone to nominate, please send me a photo and the reason why you think you (or someone you know) should win one of these gifted sessions. Emails should be sent to info@Noeyehasseen.com by March 22 so that I can choose the winners before the end of March. Upon receiving your email, I’ll send you a bit more information about the session. 🙂

I’ve come up with an inspiration board for the Be-YOU-tiful sessions on April 7 in order to inspire you and help you catch the vision of what I am going for.

Will you help me in spreading the word about Project: Be-YOU-tiful to every woman you know?

(Before and after images taken by Sue Bryce)

  1. Jocelyn Tonne

    March 14th, 2012 at 8:29 am

    AMAZING – SO PROUD OF YOU!!!!!!

  2. Jola

    March 14th, 2012 at 8:41 am

    Really beautiful idea! You have a gift & I’m glad you are sharing it with the world!!!

  3. auna

    March 14th, 2012 at 8:42 am

    INCREDIBLE! I’ll be sharing this with my readers! <3

  4. maren

    March 14th, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    this is an amazing idea and so, so awesome! i came here from the pursuit 31 group on fb and wanted to leave some love! this is incredible!!! God is using you through your talents and passion… what could be better?! :o) yay, you!

  5. Charissa Steyn

    March 14th, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    I LOVE this!!! such a beautiful idea!! 🙂 I love your photography by the way!

  6. Angelsea Urban

    March 14th, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    Beautifully written and conveyed. Love this!

  7. Jessica Chavez

    March 14th, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    You are such an amazing girl!!! This new project is marvelous!! I’m sure you’ll have a greater impact than you think!! <3

  8. Susannah VanDyke {Lukas VanDyke Photography}

    April 5th, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    This is awesome, Alicia. I can’t WAIT to see more before + afters, boosting some confidence for fab women!

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