behind your b e a u t i f u l

There’s a filter for that

In today’s world it’s easy to look good, great even.  Flawless, stunning, sexy, to be considered attractive–hot!  And with the right Instagram filter you go from having bags under the eyes to instantly tight skin, in seconds.  If you’d like to shave off years of  stress and tiredness showing up in your skin–there’s a filter for that.  Appearing slimmer and slimmer, there’s a filter for that.  Contoured cheekbones– there’s a filter for that.  If you’ve always wanted that dream body with a strong desire for chocolate bar abs, there’s a filter for that and if not satisfied –a few Photoshop actions later and you’ve got ’em, faster than any gym session.  We live in an Instagram world–a perfect world entrenched with perfect pictures of life– bikini abs, the perfectly posed breakfast, perfect babies, perfect eyelashes, perfect vacations, perfect workouts, perfect  friends, perfect family, perfect everything.  Even feet look perfect in the perfect insta world.  Perrrrfect!!!  All of it.  Even the Kermit jokes are perfect.  The “ugly” pictures are perfectly ugly.  It’s life on fleek.  Fleeeeek!  Did you know that fleek is an SAT word?  I’d never have known.

What if your beautiful, isn’t perfect?

What if beautiful was a noun? a verb? an adjective? an adverb? a sixth sense? a lifestyle?  What if there was a place where we could train our eyes, our minds… our hearts to see the beautiful–to think beautiful thoughts–to act beautiful? What if your beautiful isn’t perfect?  What if you don’t know what your beautiful looks like?  What if you are a young girl who doesn’t really believe that you are beautiful?  What if you have now grown into a woman?  What if you know that young girl?  What if that woman is your sister, niece, mother, aunt, your friend?  What if that woman is writing this?  What if that woman is you?  The woman who believes her being beautiful is tied to looking like someone else?  Because the truth of the matter is that sometimes behind your beautiful there’s immeasurable pain, an unexplainable brokenness, an unimaginable silent suffering.  Sometimes inner beauty is more than just hidden.  Sometimes it’s suppressed.  Sometimes it is masked by the external beauty– in fear, in protection.  Sometimes it’s covered up, as a shield from the blows of offense.  Sometimes it’s hidden because of an untold abusive past.  Sometimes it can be seen in attitudes, behaviors, tendencies and choices.  Choices that become habits that become character.

A conversation.

It’s a conversation brewing deep on the inside of many of us.  A quiet conversation–a necessary one– that needs to be had, one that often doesn’t go deeper than saying things like, “Beauty is really on the inside.”  There are numerous magazine editorials with detailed rhetoric featuring the messy flawlessness (!)of its covergirl but too often the articles end with summaries that dismiss the article’s main topic <external beauty> and declare that beauty, true beauty– is on the inside.  The problem is that the article ends with that declaration without showing what that inside beauty looks like.  So what’s this true beauty? This inside beauty that is mentioned but not addressed. What does that look like?  In the presence of this inner beauty would we even know?  Must it exist with the external ideals of beauty?  Does this inner beauty have an age?  Does it have a skin color?  Or a level of education requirement?  What does inner beauty look like?  And what about the outside beauty?  There is no shortage of advice on how to look like a beauty; it’s splashed across magazines, television, blogs, and now even more rapidly and rampantly on social media.  But is the outside beauty, the external idea of what beautiful is–found in selecting the right tube of mascara, the best pushup bra, perfect pair of skinny jeans or the right shade of red lipstick?  Is it limited to a particular body image type –hourglass shape, small boobs, big boobs, tush, no tush, abs, no abs, a particular number on the scale?  Is it reflective of the word skinny or the word fat?  Perhaps it’s our hair texture?  Perhaps it’s the shape of our noses?  What does it look like?  What is it?


noun: city; plural noun: cities; noun: City; noun: the City
a large town.
“one of Italy’s most beautiful cities”
a place or situation characterized by a specified attribute.
“panic city”

A city for you.  A city called B E A U T I F U L.

What I look to do here on CityCalledBeautiful is to create a city–a place where we can examine, explore and encourage what’s beautiful.  What’s really beautiful.!?  A place where we can search for beauty in daily living– in the middle of a hard day, in the middle of a humdrum errand, in a challenging work environment, during a difficult season, in the people of our lives, in the places we go, in nature, in ourselves.  Beautiful– beyond the social media filter, beyond our mind’s veil of perfection.  It’s a conversation brewing deep on the inside of many of us.  Defining our beautiful — refining outside beauty against the pruned landscape of our inner beauty.

It’s a conversation– necessary between mothers and daughters, best friends, sisters, women, girls.  It’s a conversation.  The heartbeat of CityCalledBeautiful.  The inside.  The outside.  Beauty.  Raw.  Beauty from ashes.  Putting down the perfection.  Putting away the idolization.  Unpacking the pain.  Truth.  Leaning into nature.  Picking up beauty for ashes.  Letting go.  Loving.  Crawling out of brokenness.  Walking into wholeness.  Beautiful. ♥D

Models: Annelise Adams & Remi Brixton

Hair & Makeup: Phillipine Demeestere

Photography: Evelynn Photography

Assistant: Irina Palmer

Creative Direction> Styling> Writing: Diarra Yaw



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