Pictured above: Candice LeAnne Dennis. Age 31. No makeup. No Botox. Unwaxed eyebrows. No hairdryer or any hair products. No filters.
After this past week, I've seen hundreds of people in their RAW beauty. Men and women volunteering in our community after the devastation of the Louisiana floods have been stripped of their traditional morning wakeup routines. Workout gear, old oversized t-shirts, hats, rubber boots, and dripping sweat from their eyebrows is the trending look in Baton Rouge. And though Vogue Magazine might frown upon our southern getup, it is impossible not to see people's hearts and their true beauty.
My hairdryer blew out earlier in the week when the rain started, so through the chaos I didn't bother to buy another one. Someone told me today that I was looking pretty rough and should pull my hair up. Hahah! Well, that hurt and then I put my hair up. Then I laughed at how ridiculous it was that I even cared at all.
I consider myself a strong person and there are times where I let my insecurities get the best of me and I don't feel beautiful enough or fit enough or <blank> enough. Many of us, men included, suffer from the goal of perfection and often find ourselves comparing our beauty to others. We are constantly searching for new ways to stay youthful and captivating. Social media makes this struggle exhausting.
I am 31 and single. I pray every day that God sends my future husband into my life and I trust that He has my back on that. The guy that sees me in my RAW form and thinks I'm beautiful is the man that I am waiting for and I will continue to wait patiently. Ok, sooooo sometimes I'm not so patient. I mean, what the heck is He waiting on? Haha! Often, I think He is strengthening my self love and confidence before He places that person in my life. It's a daily challenge, but I get better at it every day.
Some people just have that inner beauty and energy inside of them, no matter what their age is and do you know what that thing is? JESUS. He is the energy that makes people shine and captivate and audience. So when life has you feeling a little rough around the edges, lean on Him. He sees your beauty and wants to know you more.
Middle school tends to be where these thoughts of comparison and self doubt set in and I pray that the teens I teach can start to create change and strive to build their own self love. They are game changers and I thank God every day for my job as a teacher.
Although our school and community have suffered severe loss, we will overcome for God gives us nothing we can not bare.