Dear you, I apologize.

Dear young girl,
I apologize you have been born into this very cruel and bi-est world. I ought to warn you now before it becomes too late, life will never be fair. You will be brought up to “be a lady”, but be expected to do everything a man does, in addition to everything else. You will be judged unkindly, treated unfairly, and expected to take it all with a smile and the grace that is you. You will often be ridiculed for the most meaningless things, and more likely than not you will try to escape into a world known as the beauty and fashion industry. For this too I apologize.

Dear young adolescent girl,
I apologize you have been treated so wrong, and learned to be self-conscious of your looks. Even though I can assure you through my eyes and many others you are beautiful both on the inside and out, I know my words will mean nothing to you. You have already begun to fixate on how “horrible” your complexion is, how you “hate” a certain feature, and how you will never look anything like the current supermodels currently on press. If only you knew that they do not even look anything like that au natural, would that make any difference to you? No, I suppose not. We after all have trained you to think like this. For this too I apologize.

Dear teenage girl,
I apologize for the heartbreaks that have led you to where you are today. If I could assure you any more that he really was a jerk and it had nothing to do with your appearance, believe me I would try. Those freckles you had ever since you were young, and your perfect button nose had nothing to do with him cheating on you with your best friend from middle school. These are not your flaws, but instead part of your charm that makes you unique. Please understand that just because you resemble no one else in your entourage does not make you weird. It makes you even more beautiful. For not being able to see and recognize it, this too I apologize.

Dear young woman,
I apologize the economy has drained everything out of you, and that you are now forced to work full time instead of going to school. I understand you had dreams of becoming a lawyer and are now forced to fold clothing to pay your bills while being surrounded daily by glamorous advertisements for things you feel you will never afford. As your eyes become puffier and your dark circles more pronounced every morning, you feel farther and farther away from the princess you once believed and felt you were many many years ago, and begin to pick up habits you would rather not admit to. For this too I apologize.

Dear mother and wife,
I apologize for the time that seemed to have just slipped by. You are even busier now than you ever felt possible, and hardly seem to ever have a moment just for yourself. The few moments you do have, you find yourself stuck in front of the television just trying to “de-stress” while watching your favourite television stars and all the their “perfection” covered in plastic surgery and botox. It is not until you wake up the next morning to see your reflection in the mirror and you realize how indented your fine lines have become that you wonder how easy it must be to just undergo a simple procedure, no matter the cost. For this too I apologize.

Dear you reading this today,
I apologize for all that my wonderful industry has done to you. Know that you are not in fact imperfect, but beautiful no matter your age, skin, or experiences. I know this because I too once was in your shoes. I too fell into the trap of thinking how hideous I must be simply because of my “flaws”, and how I wished I could do anything to change it. I too was on the dangerous path. I hated the way my eyes were never the same, my eyebrows never match, how wide my nose was, how I never looked anything like the models in print, and so much more. Then I became a makeup artist.

Now that I have worked behind the scenes I can personally tell you, we all have flaws, we are all imperfectly perfect, but most importantly, we are all beautiful.I know it will take so much more than just these simple words for you the believe me, but I promise you it is true. It is for this reason I would like you to join me in creating a movement to reach every individual, male or female, in letting them know beauty truly exists.

To participate, upload a picture of yourself with the hashtag, #IAMBeauty and share this. Help me in making this the most beautiful opportunity ever to hit social media.

Thank you,
Ashleigh Arshinoff,
Freelance Makeup Artist