True Beauty

2016 True Beauty Candidates: Taylor Boucher,  Jonelle Reinert, Valerie HarderKatrina CareySammy Shipman, and Brylee Thompson

Crossroads Photography El Dorado KS“It’s not about what you do, it’s about who you are.” As my mom shared this with me in the middle of another one of my perfectionistic “I have a B in psychobiology!” meltdowns, I brushed her advice off. Sure it sounded like good advice, and probably a very valid argument against why I shouldn’t be freaking out about my first B in college when it was my senior year. But that day, it really didn’t sink in. Who I thought I was was defined by my grades, my good behavior, and my accomplishments. I was what I had done. Or so I thought.

Now, several years later, I see young women all around me with similar attitudes. “I am valuable when I look pretty,” or, “I am special because I’m good at volleyball.”  Where did they get these misconceptions? These already beautiful girls are receiving erroneous messages from the media that their worth is determined by their waistline. Their schools are telling them that it’s their grades that matter, while their boyfriends are saying who knows what. With all this going on around them, I want to rise and repeat, “It’s not about what you do, it’s about who you are.”

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YOU. You are special. Whether you are a young girl reading this right now or not, the truth remains the same. You are special, just the way you are. Say it after me… I AM UNIQUE. I AM VALUEABLE. Nothing that you ever do or don’t do is going to change that. And that’s truth.

Maybe I am passionate about this issue because I was that young girl once. Nobody put the pressure to perform on me except for me. But still, I believed the lies. But other young girls coming up, they don’t have to. And we can change that.

The mission of Crossroads Photography is to inspire others, specifically young girls, to believe in their own unique beauty. This beauty is intrinsic–nothing can change it.  My aim is to remind every woman that she is beautiful and valuable and that the world needs something that only she can give.  I don’t think she can give the world her all until she is confident in her own skin.  May I spread the enthusiasm that it’s not outward appearances or talents or accomplishments, but who you are, that truly matters.  When we harness the power that exists in this truth, every woman can’t help but shake the world.

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In order to fulfill this mission, I am looking for girls with true beauty in 2016 who will rise to the occasion and take back their beauty. I am on the hunt for special, one-of-a-kind girls who aren’t afraid to take a stand to inspire others.  Every other month, I will feature a different girl here on the blog, sharing her story and what makes her shine. She will receive an hour and a half photo session with me, customized to her personality and interests. I don’t know about you, but I’m inspired already!

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Did you know that you can help?  Surely you know of a middle school to college-aged young lady who has risen to the occasion and displayed her remarkable beauty.  Help me by nominating her to receive her own stylized photo session where we capture her personality and her heart.  This young lady will be featured on the blog where she will get a chance to tell her story and inspire others to go be beautiful.

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In your nomination, please explain why you believe this young lady is remarkably beautiful.  What is it that inspires you about her?  How has she risen to the occasion and are there any challenges she has overcome?

Nominate her here:


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Meet Bayley Reiswig.

Bayley is a freshman at Kansas State University majoring in chemical engineering.  As valedictorian of her class at Flinthills High School, she worked extremely hard in her math and science classes so that she could go straight into honors courses at KSU.  When I asked Bayley to tell me about her hobbies, she said that right now, they include homework, homework, and homework!  She also enjoys outshooting her boyfriend and spending time with friends.  Bayley adds that she is really interested in women in STEM fields, especially engineering.

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She shares, “Being a woman in a “man’s” world pushes me to be the best I can be in the classroom and also as a positive role model for young girls.    More often than not, girls are discouraged from liking classes like math and science.  This discouragement comes from their peers–both boys and girls.  If there was a greater push early on for young girls to break the mold and go for their nontraditional dreams, then men and women could one day be equally represented across all vocations.”

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Bayley is also interested in the KSU program, Women in Engineering.  She is planning on becoming a leading student in the program in order to bring a love of math and science to young girls in the area.  After graduating K-State in 2019, Bayley wishes to pursue a chemical engineering career with a petroleum emphasis.  She would like to stay in the area and work at the refinery in her hometown of El Dorado, Kansas.

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In closing, Bayley wants to tell young girls, “Don’t be afraid to go against the current!  That’s how you make waves.  No one ever made a difference by going with the flow.”  She also points out that as women, especially in the STEM fields, we need to take advantage of the opportunities that didn’t even exist 20 years ago.  Way to go, Bayley!  Congratulations on your accomplishments and thank you for sharing your heart with us today here on the blog.  You are definitely a true beauty!

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