Embracing Beauty -My Thoughts on Calvin Klein’s New Model, Myla Dalbesio

HI!

You might have recently seen the buzz around Calvin Klein’s New Model Myla Dalbesio who’s measurements are not the current Fashion Industry sample size standard , size 0-2. She is what is being called in “in betweenie”. Not thin enough to be doing runway , but not what you’d consider standard plus size. She is absolutely stunning, and there is no reason to give her any kind of label!

When I saw these posts  on Facebook about her and the Calvin Klein controversy all I could think was she’s going to have to have a ton of strength and courage to answer questions, and do interviews about this topic. Women should strive to be fit, to feel healthy, be strong, and believe in their beauty!

The labels  are precisely the problem in my opinion. My dream would be that all women could just embrace their looks and body for how it is, and not to be constantly comparing themselves to other women to try to look like someone else.  Being consumed with body image leads to so many unhealthy addictions, patterns and behaviors. I LOVE that Calvin Klein is not putting limits to who they use for their campaign. People should not be categorized by size, or how they appear in general. If you feel beautiful, and you believe in your talents, and strengths that’s what matters most.

I love that people are discussing this “appearance based” issue right now in the fashion industry, and I applaud Myla for being so open about her thoughts, and struggles being in the modeling world. More women need to come forward and be open about how they feel about their body and their image. Opening up makes you vulnerable and being vulnerable builds confidence!!

Myla Dalbesio is represented by JAG Models in New York City.

Love Came Down

It’s well past 1 am,  and I haven’t been able to sleep. Today was not the easiest of days….

I can think of about a million things I need to do right now , but for some reason, I don’t think I’ll be able to sleep until I write. I know New York is going to be amazing for me in that way, it inspires me in every way, especially writing.

I went to church tonight at Hillsong NYC in midtown Manhattan, and met some great new friends. The worship and message being given really hit me hard and convicted me to write and share my thoughts. As I was listening, I kept getting this prompting to share how it had impacted me, I told my myself I’d consider blogging about it. But, it wasn’t until the end of the service that the pastor said something about it “being useless unless we SHARE the message with others” and I was convicted…all I was thinking about on the train ride home was, I need to go home and WRITE!

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With that said,  how are you feeling right now in this moment? Are you heartbroken…Lonely…worried about finances..scared of the future…ashamed of something you did or said…feeling defeated…angry with something or someone? Well, I can say I’ve felt all these things and more over the past week. I’ve only been in New York one week and I’m excited for what’s ahead, but also trying to adjust to all the drastic changes  and my new life here!

I am doing the best I can to trust that God will provide for my needs, and help guide me on the path that he wants me. I know it’s not going to be easy, but nothing rewarding is ever easy.

Tonight, as I went into Hillsong to worship, I was feeling very broken. I’ve had a lot of disappointments recently.  The message tonight was HE can RESTORE it ALL. No matter how deep our pain is, how broken hearted we feel, how lost or far off track we’ve gotten, through him, we can be made NEW again, our slate wiped completely clean. And, it is NEVER too late. God is not only ABLE to completely heal us from our pain and hurt, he is WILLING. It doesn’t matter how bad, how lost, how many times we have sinned …he’s GOT us. That is so reassuring; to know that there is a God who LOVE is so powerful, so unconditional, that all we have to do is ask him and we have restoration.

I will admit, as a single, independent woman I find a lot of disappointments in my life come from men. I am not saying that men are bad or anyone for that matter is bad…I’m simply saying that as humans, we disappoint each other, we don’t live up to each others expectations, and we hurt each other and after a while of repeated hurt you begin to lose hope and become hardened to trusting others.  But, being reminded that God’s Love is the only unfailing Love gives me peace and restores my hope…He is the only one who can fill that void in our heart that no other person or thing can possibly ever fill! 

I believe that my best is yet to come, I believe that YOUR best is yet to come. It is never too late to turn things around, start clean… be restored , and start new. Because He’s completely got you. And, it doesn’t matter how many times you’ve done wrong, HIS Love is absolutely unconditional, and unlike anything else in this life…it is the one thing I can be CERTAIN of and ALWAYS trust and count on. He’s GOT me. HE will carry me through any tough time I am going through.

That said, I know I’m in New York for a reason, it’s been on my heart and I feel more inspired here than anywhere else I’ve ever been!!  However,  just even within one week I’m reminded that in New York more than anywhere else I’ve been it is very apparent to me that sin and brokenness is all around. Everyone is hurting. We all have a past, and scars, insecurities and pain. But something the pastor said tonight was, “your clean is contagious…GREATER is God within you  than the culture around you.” That gives me so much peace! What a beautiful, amazing thing knowing that Jesus lives within me through the holy spirit, his power to make me clean, make me whole…can help others. And, knowing that gives me purpose. I am here for a reason, and so are you! You NEVER know what someone is going through, and a simple smile, or kind gesture, or just listening to someone can make a huge difference in their life!

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So, no matter what you have going on in your life right now, how bad your hurting, how lonely you are, how scared or lost you feel…know that God’s Love is unfailing, and he WANTS you to turn to him. Not only is he ABLE to heal you of your hurt, he WANTS to! Maybe you’re reading this and have never prayed before, try it. Tell Him what you need and how you feel.

Wishing you all an amazing week! LOVE YOU!

Lauren

New City, New Lipstick

Hey Guys!

If you haven’t heard the news;  I just moved to New York, my favorite city of all. While adjusting to life here can be stressful and overwhelming at times, I took a break this week to go to MAC and pick up some new lipsticks (as if I need anymore).

I chose a few shades that I didn’t have and felt I could use as an artist as well as for my own personal use. Here are four of the shades I picked up.

Relentless Red-a bright pinkish coral Matte.

Fashion Revivial- a dark muted raspberry with a semi Matte finish.

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Blankety- a soft pink beige , amplified cream formula.

Pander me- a soft peachy mocha with a matte finish.

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Looking Ahead: Swimwear Trends Around the World For 2015

2015 a wonderful fashion trip we need to take together. All around the world the trends are anywhere from digital prints to vintage cuts. Whether you are in Majorca or Miami the most important decision is the swimwear style. For this reason, high fashion designers have recreated themselves to make a bold statement or simply taking your waterside credentials to a higher standard.

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Bathing suit available on Sunbain.com

  • AFRICA Sharm el-Sheikh, Watamu or Diani beach are only some of the destinations full of turquoise waters and wide beaches. The trends for 2015 are a swimwear line with bright colors, high quality fabrics and sexy designs catering to the woman´s body. All designs inspired in the influence of the water and the uniqueness of the artisan’s world.
  • ASIA swimwear designs combine a traditional Chinese style with fashion sports and inspired in people´s imagination. The inspiration comes from Asian art and the four elements. Earth, water, air and fire are the fantasy and core of their collection. 2015 in Asia comes with contrast color matching of red, blue and pink showcasing luxurious glamour.
  • EUROPE Known for its vibrant colors and designs this 2015 the tiny bottoms are still in first choice accessorizing with hats, vest and pretty elegant dresses. This trend is forcing brands in the industry to a higher level of designs, materials and craftsmanship. Designers are introducing fresher looks and a much needed unique aesthetic. 2015 collection is inspired in the European style architecture.

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Bikini available on Sunbain.com

  • ANTARCTICA destinations like Deception Island or Black Sand Beach are the home of a summer wrapped in luxury and sophistication. In 2015 they are focusing on striking color palettes and neoteric feminine shapes.
  • AUSTRALIA polished satins, metallic shades, sequins and shiny jacquard designs are the key trends for this part of the world in 2015. Wildlife zebra and tiger stripes are used alongside sparkling stars. Gradient colors, holographic and iridescent finishing effects are all the motifs for this new season.
  • LATIN AMERICA Geometric Op Art designs layered or super sized to produce an elegant garment. In 2015 colors play an important role by using an exploding rainbow with many shades and phosphorescent bright creating architectural designs, enhancing the women´s silhouette.

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Swimwear 2015 available on Sunbain.com

This is where the beach and the swimwear meet in the red carpet of the waves. The trend is to look seductive, elegant, feminine and comfortable all at the same time. Cover yourself with glamour and sophistication with the adequate fit for you and optimize your stunning presence with some jewels and accessories. Anywhere from Monte Carlo to Cabo the key is to celebrate the season in an elegant and exciting style. The dress code for this event: FABULUOS AND SEXY. Enjoy 2015 looking like a movie star!

Visit Sunbain.com and check out the latest swimwear trends and designers.

Moving On, Timing, and New York

Hey Guys,

I will start off by telling you about my day because it is what brought about all these deep thoughts I’m about to disclose. I woke up thrilled  to spend time with my 2 nephews, my sister and my mom, my dad was sick unfortunately. I got to spend some quality time with them and I was overwhelmed with joy when the words, “When are you coming back?” came out of my oldest nephews mouth.  My heart melted and I looked at him and told him, “very soon, ok?!” His sweet response was,
“well it has to be this weekend on Saturday or Sunday because the other days I will be in school. “

I could have cried it made me so happy to hear him say that. Was he actually saying he wanted to see me again soon, and that he wanted to spend time with me??!!??!?!? He’s 5. This all came after my sister had just got done telling me that the only way she got my other nephew (who’s 4) to smile the other day for a picture was to tell him that she was taking a picture to send to me, “Auntie Lauren”. :)

God hasn’t had it in my plans for me  to have children at this point in my life and I’m ok with that for now, because I know he has other plans for me. But, I feel absolutely blessed to have nephews who want to spend time with me. So, on my car ride back home tonight, I felt a little sad because I realized in just a few short weeks I won’t live as close to my sweet little nephews, and sister, and mom, and dad and brother, and sister in law, and all the wonderful friends I have in my life.

This brings me to my next point and something I haven’t talked about yet. I’M MOVING BACK TO NEW YORK!!!! Yes, it is definite. I don’t have a place to live yet, but I will figure it out, and I am certain in my heart about this happening. And, now that I am declaring it on my blog it has to happen. lol. I have been thinking about moving back to New York since I left 6 years ago. And, now the timing feels right and things seem to be falling into place. It’s time for me to move forward and to move on and New York, well…it’s calling me. I took this year to really try to process some things that have happened, to travel, to learn as much as I can and make sure that New York was really where I felt like I needed to be.  And, it is. I’m SO excited.

But, with all that excitement comes a little uneasiness because with such a huge change I know there is certain to be some difficult things ahead, but also really rewarding adventures. These past 9 months I have really been shown who my close friends are, who my loved ones are, and I have tried to be as open and honest with the people I love and care about to let them know how much they really mean to me. Because I’ve had all this growth , I’ve gotten closer with many people and my relationships have really developed, and now…I’m leaving. The fact that I am leaving so many people I love so much and know that I won’t see them nearly as often is really hard. But, I also know that these people who are in my life who really love and care about me, will always be there, no matter where I’m living or traveling to. So, I’ve decided to let it all go… and go after my dreams. I know at the end of the day it’s only going to make me stronger than I already am.

Lastly, I just want to say how amazed I am at God’s timing. I get so anxious worrying about how everything is going to work out but things ALWAYS fall into place. They really do. HE always takes care of me. You may be going through the most difficult time right now, but as time goes on you will soon realize, why that all took place, why you had to go through it to get where you are now, and how it was preparing you for something even greater; a bigger picture than you could ever imagine. Hold on and don’t lose hope.

I’ve never believed in allowing myself to get  too comfortable… I’m addicted to the energy that New York Life brings me. I saw this quote and they couldn’t be more true to me. “There is an inherent energy in NYC that it’s famous for; it makes you want to get up and do a million things all day and stay up all night.”  I want that again…  

Thank you all for reading this post. I appreciate you who take the time to read the things I write.  I’m so excited to see what the future holds for me in New York (Round 2) and I am certain that there are great things to come.

These verses give me so much peace.

“The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though I may stumble , I will not fall, for the Lord directs me by his hand. ” Psalm 37:23-24

“God is within her, she will not fall; He will help her at break of every new day.” 

 

Love, Lauren

 

Inside the Mind of an Eating Disorder and the Infamous “Thigh-Gap”

Hi Guys, 

I’m actually shaking a bit as I begin to write this. I’m nervous about what I’m about to talk about and post but I can’t get it out of my head, and feel compelled to share a few words with you. I wasn’t sure if I’d ever write more in detail about my eating disorder, but now that it’s out there…and I received tons of messages of others confessing their struggles, I know it has been placed on my heart to do ALL I CAN to help. Even if it just touches one person and helps them get out of a dark place, realize they are not alone, seek help, or see that there is hope. 

If you are reading this right now, you could be struggling with an eating disorder, know someone who does, or just have seen that term, “thigh-gap” and are curious about this post. Basically, there are hundreds of pictures now out on the internet promoting the “thigh-gap” as a desirable thing. If you don’t know what this is-it’s basically when you put both your feet together standing up and your thighs don’t touch from the hips to your knees. *** I want to make this clear before writing more- I want to promote healthy body image and self esteem and I am not saying that HAVING this desirable “thigh gap” is a bad thing. If you have one…it’s beautiful, if you don’t have one, you’re still beautiful! All bodies are beautiful. 

What I want to talk about is how this infamous “thigh-gap” trend can detrimental to a girls mind who is struggling with an eating disorder. It can be dangerous to try to get yourself to look like an image you see in the media. Most images  are edited, photoshopped, corrected in SOME way. Also, standing with your butt pointed backwards knees turned in and toes slightly turned in will ALSO give many women the look of the thigh gap…NOT ALL IMAGES YOU SEE are real, so why are you damaging your body trying to achieve something that is not even true. This shouldn’t be a surprising statement to any of you, I know that most of you know that images now a days are altered, but the problem is when young girls who’s growing bodies are becoming OBSESSED with these images and do damaging things to themselves to try to look like what they see in the image. 

This is how I’ve decided to get my message across. I am going to post some images of myself when I was in a really dark place. I will admit-I am slightly uncomfortable with this, as I have never showed people these photos before except for my very first agency in New York. I cropped most of my face out in these images because I am NOT this girl anymore. The girl in these photos was very sick, she was destroying her body, and not the woman she is today. But my hope in posting these photos is to take you inside MY mind -what was really going through My HEAD as a girl with anorexia. The thoughts may surprise you-and these images are pretty disturbing to me looking back. They are reminders of a very difficult time. 

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As you can see in these photos, my bones very clearly cut through my skin. In the photo on the left, you can actually see my ribcage in my upper chest. I was not straining my neck although it looks like I am because you can see veins protruding. In the photo on the right, I was 18. It was one of the first shots my agency took of me. It’s alarming to me looking back because clearly I HAD A PROBLEM, but no one in New York told me I was too thin or asked if I was doing ok- (I never believed there was such a thing as too thin). I think I could have been a skeleton. 

When these photos were taken I STILL thought I had too big of a booty. I thought my face was too round, I thought my thighs were too big.. even when I looked like this. And, please note- at this point in my life, I did NOT have a thigh gap. My thighs touched.  But, if I had lost anymore weight at this point to try to ACHIEVE that desirable thigh gap , I may not be around today. So my point is this… NO MATTER what size you are, if you don’t love who you are not for what you look like but WHO you are, you won’t be happy. When I was at this point, I was MISERABLE. I had NO energy to workout, or go out with people and have fun,  all I did was sleep and try to get through the day with as little to eat as possible and trying to make my agents an clients happy.  

One of my dreams is that women would encourage each other more and lift each other up for our individuality instead of critiquing each others bodies or appearances. We are all created differently. 

We are all beautiful.  Love yourself for your valuable and unique qualities. Life is full of too many wonderful things to keep trying to be someone that you weren’t made to be, to struggle to look like an image you see. BE YOU. LOVE YOU. 

Til my next post!

Love,

Lauren

Jen’s Story- Beauty at a Makeup Counter

The other day I was catching up with a friend and she recalled an incident that happened to her while passing by the makeup section at a department store. I found it very powerful and wanted to share it with you guys! 

I want to preface this by saying that I used to work retail for a makeup company and the only reason I felt confident doing this was because I TRULY loved and believed in the product that I was selling. I wore it myself and found it easy to tell customers about a product I loved. By nature, I am not an outgoing person, and always feel pushy and “fake” when I am being told to say something specific to help the sales of a product. So, for that reason I have always enjoyed the “artistry” part of my job as a makeup artist and found that if it was  something I truly believed in and used myself sales came naturally. 

Back to Jen’s story. She was out shopping, running some errands and lives in Hawaii. It is the hottest time of the year right now and she happened to be out and about without any makeup on. While passing the makeup department a makeup artist who worked at a counter approached her and said, ” I have the perfect COVERAGE for your complexion.” 

Jen replied, ” What’s wrong with my complexion that it would need coverage?” He stumbled over his words taken back by her response. He then told her that it is his JOB to say that to people in order to help drive sales. She then asked to speak with the cosmetic store manager and told them that she was VERY upset by this sales approach and the words that this makeup artist said to her.

She said she was trying to be confident running around with a natural face and no makeup and didn’t need anyone telling her there was something to “correct” or “cover” on her face. She expressed that she believed they should re-think their sales approach and their view of real beauty. 

When Jen told me this, I was so PROUD of her for being bold enough to say something about how she felt in this situation. I think this is a very common approach from employees who need to sell makeup. They are told to say certain things to draw the customer in… after all it is THEIR job to SELL the makeup, but at the end of the day, “WHAT ARE WE DOING HERE?” Are we telling women that they NEED to cover up their under eye circles and blemishes in order to be more beautiful? I will admit that I feel more confident when I use makeup to put my best face forward. And, since I am a makeup artist, I like to present myself in that way. It’s also fun for me to enhance my features to the best of my ability. But- I also know that it is not what makes me a beautiful person. 

So my thought was, maybe the cosmetic industry just needs to be more mindful on their sales approach when going up to women in a department store. Don’t tell women what they NEED to FIX, tell them what you find beautiful about them… strike up a conversation, ask them how their day is going, then maybe as you connect with that person they will want to spend more time talking and if they are looking for makeup, they will trust you enough to help them with some tips and tricks. This is just a thought. :) You don’t need to fix or cover anything, you’re beautiful for how you were created and for the qualities that make you YOU-believe that! 

I wanted to wrap this up by posting a  “no makeup selfie” I took with my nephew…since USUALLY all my photos I am wearing makeup and I like to post pictures like that cause you know me and my mascara are tight like that. HAHA ;) Remember this “Just because she’s beautiful, doesn’t mean you’re not”.

 photo 1-9One of my best friends asked me one day, “Lauren, do you think you’re beautiful… do you know you’re beautiful?” I almost started crying… because I had to think about it. 

So, this is my challenge to you… ask yourself this question today, “what are the things that make me beautiful? Do you KNOW you’re beauty.” For me I must remind myself of these things daily. It’s a daily struggle and I think for many women it is.But-I’m here to encourage you!

Love you all! 

Lauren