Last night, one of our Tri Delta sisters Stacy Nadeau came to speak at a JMU Panhellenic event. Her presentation was incredibly inspiring, entertaining and empowering. For four years, Stacy has been going from campus to campus spreading the word on the REAL definition of beauty.
Her story began in 2005, when she was selected with five other women to appear on a billboard in one of the busiest areas in the United States… New York City. Stacy and these five women appeared on an advertisement that was very different and unique than the typical advertisements of thin supermodels. These women posed confidently in their underwear representing various forms of beauty. This ad launched The Dove Campaign for Real Beauty and began a movement educating society of the hypocrisies presented by the media and pressure for women to meet the “thin ideal”.
Not only was it wonderful to support our own sister, but it was amazing to see such a strong role model to women talk about her story and how we can reverse the “thin ideal”. As women gathered in Memorial Hall last night to listen to Stacy, I sat in the audience and thought about this powerful campaign where I came to this conclusion:
I believe the most beautiful women are ones who love themselves.
This is something I have not always believed while growing up. As a young girl, I thought the most beautiful women were the fairy tale princesses I hoped to one day become, the pop stars who had all the fame in the world, or the popular girls in high school who always had boys smitten with them. Although these women are still beautiful in so many ways, they were sending me and other girls a message that is completely untrue of what it really means to be beautiful. Princesses like Cinderella, Ariel, and Jasmine were recognized for obtaining their happiness by finding their own Prince Charming. Pop stars became celebrities not by their powerful lyrics and undeniable talent, but by their slim bodies and sexualized behavior. The popular girls disregarded their intelligence and values in order to maintain the status quo that every high school endures.
Beauty is not about perfection; it is about going against all of these expectations that our society has brought upon us.
Inner beauty must start from within. Lucille Ball once said, “Love yourself first and everything else falls into line.” The most beautiful women I know are ones who without a doubt love themselves. Their glowing smile radiates the room they enter and commands the attention of others.
Beautiful women are those who exhibit courage and welcome every obstacle they face with a fearless mentality. Beautiful women express a powerful voice that demands to be listened to by others. Beautiful women exhibit the value of integrity, which guides their morals and principles daily. Beautiful women are vivacious and bold who go against the crowd by marching to the beat of their own drum. Beautiful women have dreams that they are determined to reach and will not stop until they are achieved. Beautiful women are passionate; they put their whole heart into what motivates them. Beautiful women are ones who have flaws and embrace their imperfections. Beautiful women are selfless and will make sacrifices for the benefit of others. Beautiful women offer support for their loved ones and lift them up when they fall down. Beautiful women empower each other by proving society wrong and demonstrating that this is what beauty really is.
So instead of thinking that being beautiful means you have the “perfect” body seen on models and actresses, think about women who exhibit some of these qualities above. Your role model, friend or Stacy Nadeau herself. Those women are truly beautiful.
The sisters of Gamma Tau are committed to empower women and help transform the meaning behind beauty with Tri Delta’s Fat Talk Free Week, Reflections Body Image and Panhellenic’s Be Beautfiul Campaign. We hope you will join us!
Check out these videos from The Dove Real Beauty Campaign and Reflections Body Image Program!