About 5 years ago, I started hearing from EVERY mother of a middle school girl, how their self-confidence plummeted when they reached middle school. Their once out-going child, was now shy, sad, guarded and kept to themselves most of the time. Parents can tell them until they’re blue in the face, how beautiful and special they are, but teens need something more. Having self-confidence at this time in their life is vital for building a strong person, that will believe in themselves and succeed at their life goals.
So, I began Fearless Spirit Model Crew for girls 12-16 years old, who are really struggling with their self-confidence. Teens are selected to represent Storybook Studios, by sharing their Fearless Spirit Portraits to social media & friends. They get their own personal photo shoot, with professional hair and makeup and access to the amazing dresses from the Storybook Closet. They also participate in 6 monthly fun and artistic group sessions. The parents get a discounted rate on all of the portraits. By seeing beautiful images of themselves, over and over, for 6 months, they start to see how beautiful they are and how cool it is to be unique and stand out from the crowd.
The video below is a "behind the scenes" video of the very first Fearless Spirit Model Crew session. Some of these girl's were so shy they couldn't even speak to me, the first time that I met them. I asked the girls what are the names or phrases that bullies called them. We wrote those words on their skin. I also asked them to pick out a temporary tattoo that they related to. We put the tattoo on them as well. I photographed them individually and at the end of each girl's turn, I asked her to wipe off the silly word or phrase they had been called...leaving the positive words on them. Powerful.
One Year Later...
Over the year, I concentrated on teaching these girls to be proud of who they were, even if others ridiculed them for it.
For example: Amber was joked for being too tall...so, I made her even taller in these portraits. Victoria was called "Good girl in a bad way" (Goody-Goody), so I made her look strong and powerful. I photographed them, in front of hundreds of people, at a carnival. They weren't scared and not one of them cared what people thought of them. They came SO far. To stand up with their head held high and proud of all of the quirks and scars and ALL of things about them that had been ridiculed before. They OWNED it! These girls changed my life.