I was enjoying my morning coffee while watching “The Today Show,” as I often do. The theme for the week was “Love Your Selfie.” They were celebrating women’s and men’s self-worth and inner beauty. I instantly loved this and thought about the great women in “The New Hollywood” Women’s Goal Group Inc, (TNH). TNH, a 501c3 non profit, is a philanthropic goal group consisting of women within the entertainment industry. This theme represents exactly what TNH stands for, except we celebrate our inner beauty 365 days a year, not just one week out of the year. This inspired me to post a request on Facebook asking women to share a photo of themselves with no makeup and no filters…just their true, raw beauty. I also asked them to say something they loved about themselves. Reading the posts and seeing the photos from all the brave women put a huge smile on my face and warmed my heart. I saw that inner beauty needs no makeup and that each of us has a unique quality that shines brightly in every single photo. Our inner beauty, unlike our physical beauty, which usually grabs the spotlight for itself, shines in everyone…inspiring and touching people’s souls. This inner beauty is what makes you truly beautiful.
As I went on with my day, I dug deeper and asked myself, “Why are these Facebook selfie love posts so important to me?” I realized it was my younger self who was so excited and moved by this idea. When I was younger I was always told by society who I needed to be to be accepted, and what I needed to be so I could have success. This left very little room for me to find my true self and figure out who I really am. I was the type of girl who lived for approval from others and people-pleased to get acceptance. This behavior only led to self-destruction. I lost friends, jobs, and even my own identity when I let my ego and fear tell me I was a product of what everyone else thought about me. It was only when I was able to block out the noise of society and sit in the quiet of my mind that I was able to find who I really am. Cristen was enough. I had never told myself this before and definitely never thought or believed it. What I finally understood was that it’s a choice: you are who you say you are, and only your own thoughts can guide your path. Don’t let fear and shame keep you from becoming who you are meant to be.
Strip away all the makeup, hair, perfume, and clothes that we put on to make ourselves feel better, and we are all equal. Equal, but with unique souls designed to change this world. We all want the same thing, LOVE. And, until we are able to love ourselves, we will never be able to fully love one another and have the compassion it takes to make a difference in this world. In knowing this, why wouldn’t we push to support one another and celebrate each other’s inner beauty and gifts? As long as I can remember, women have been in constant competition with each other. Tearing each other down so their egos were fulfilled not knowing the damage they were causing in another person’s life.
I leave you with these last thoughts. As women, we need to encourage each other and the younger generations. Let them know that our beauty lies in our uniqueness just as God has made us. No one can take away your true self; you are the one who gives that power away and self-sabotages. No job, no person, no physical accomplishments, no success will ever be who YOU are. Sit in that quiet headspace and ask yourself this question, “Who am I?” When you find the answer, take action. Starting today skip, shout, and celebrate the amazing incredible woman you are. You have so much to offer this world. No makeup, hairstyle, or outfit will define that for you. Just the raw, true you, who is so beautiful you can’t help but shine. My hope for each of you is that when you lay your head down at night that your heart is filled with so much self-love and love for others that when you wake up the next day you are the best version of yourself. The universe responds to gratitude by filling your life with blessings. I have found such inner peace when I trust that everything in my life is for the greater good—that I am designed perfectly the way I am.
Thank you to the TNH ladies for constantly being an inspiration in my life and a support that lifts me to heights I never could have imagined. We are bettering ourselves, which in return is bettering each other. And thank you to the “The Today Show” for inspiring me to find and celebrate my inner beauty.
*Please note that not all experiences, beliefs and ideas are shared by each member of the “The New Hollywood.” We are a group of shepherds, not sheep.
I love my heart and strength! -Cristen Dawn Coppen