Mega babes @danger_raegun and @thecurvysoprano via #projectbreakingbeauty use the hashtag to share your images and be featured instantly on www.breakingbeauty.co.uk you can also find breaking beauty on facebook.com/breakingbeautyproject twitter @projectbb_uk and breakingbeautyproject.tumblr.com ♥
@misslaake here, creator of Breaking Beauty! Don’t be afraid to wear whatever you want whenever you want. Who cares about the ‘rules’? I dug out one of my favorite dresses last night, from the sea of black clothes that is my wardrobe, and wore it with pride. I don’t care if people think my 6'1 tall, curvy frame shouldn’t wear skin tight bodycon cuts, I ALWAYS dress for me. No matter what size you are, what shape you are, wear what makes YOU happy and no one else ♥
The reach that the Breaking Beauty Facebook page would have if every follower I have across all of my social media outlets liked the page and invited one friend, would be IMMENSE.
If you agree with my statement that ‘Beauty has no size, it has no shape, it has no gender, it has no race’ then please take a second to 'like’ the page and share it with anyone that you feel may be interested in the Breaking Beauty mission to promote beauty as all inclusive!
I post all of the projects images via facebook and I am able to interact with more of you on there too! Plus, the more people that like the page, the more people get to discover it through facebook notifying them when their friends click 'like’ through 'pages you may like’.
Just made a flipgram of all the images currently posted to #projectbreakingbeauty and instagram won’t let me post it as there is STILL an issue with instagram for android and posting video content :( here’s a selection of some of the lovely images you guys have been sharing recently. Top left to bottom right: @misstwilee @quirkyloverosee @danger_raegun and @kaitlynashleiigh ♥ tag @breakingbeautyproject and #projectbreakingbeauty (not breakingbeautyproject) and you’ll be instantly featured on breakingbeauty.co.uk in the interactive gallery ♥ #bodypositive #bodypositivity #selflove #selfworth #selfacceptence #selfies #art #beautyideals #effyourbeautystandards #antibullying #allinclusivebeauty #sizelessbeauty #genderlessbeauty #beauty #regram
#PROJECTBREAKINGBEAUTY TO SHARE YOUR ART, SELFIES AND BODY POSITIVE STORIES AND FOLLOW @BREAKINGBEAUTYPROJECT ON INSTAGRAM AND YOU'LL BE FEATURED ON WWW.BREAKINGBEAUTY.CO.UK
All of these lovely ladies have been using #projectbreakingbeauty on INSTAGRAM to share their images.
Follow @breakingbeautyproject on instagram and use our tag and you’ll automatically be featured on our website and we feature some of your images and stories too ♥
Olivia Neutron Bomb for Breaking Beauty. Shot and styled by @laakephotography @misslaake It was so wondetful to work with one of my closest friends to create this image for Breaking Beauty, and it’s even more wonderful to know I have friends that are enthusiastic about what I do and want to get involved. ♥
THIS IS JUST A SCREENSHOT - TO VIEW IN HIGHER QUALITY, CLICK HERE:
Dont forget to hashtag your own images #projectbreakingbeauty to get involved ♥ #projectbreakingbeauty #bodypositivity #bodypositive #self love #selfacceptence #allinclusivebeauty #honormycurves #livemyworth #antibodyshaming #effyourbeautystandards #
So many of you are contacting me with your private messages of support in regards to Breaking Beauty and really opening up to me whilst telling me how much you support the cause. I feel that it is only fair that I too, share with all of you my story; not in some attempt to gain sympathy, or use a…
If you’ve not already read my personal reasons behind Breaking Beauty, here’s the piece I wrote a few weeks ago. It was incredibly hard to post and incredibly hard to write but, I felt the need to write something explaining why I chose to do this due to the overwhelming amount of correspondence I received from you guys, telling me your personal stories and the likes.
Every reblog would be much appreciated; I want people to know they’re not alone!
So excited to be in the studio today! Follow @misslaake and @laakephotography for behind the scenes content! #projectbreakingbeauty #bodypositivity #effyourbeautystandards #selfworth #selflove #allinclusivebeauty #beauty #bodypositive #positive #comingsoon #followers #bodypositiveart #selfacceptence
All of my instagram feed goes to twitter and tumblr too and this post of @mangedebauch has gone absolutely crazy on tumblr. 110 reblogs in the last 11 hours alone. ♥ #projectbreakingbeauty #bodypositivity #effyourbeautystandards #selfworth #selflove #allinclusivebeauty #beauty #bodypositive #positive #livemyworth #comingsoon #followers #bodypositiveart #selfacceptence
So last night, I made a vlog. I intend to use the YouTube channel to post all kinds of things. Video blogs on subjects relating to breaking beauty, behind the scenes on shoots, all kinds of things. I know that putting yourself in the public domain is always going to attract some form of negativity, which is in part why I’ve waited until I’m in a position where I can ignore such comments to start one.
However, I find myself today at the other end of some pretty awful comments about, of all things, my choice to use a formal accent in my videos as opposed to my laid back regional dialect and slang. I want my videos to be accessible to a global audience, not just small town northern England, so I made the choice to speak in the accent that I use when speaking to:
- My family
- People on the phone
- People in formal situations/situations where I need to project my voice
in my vlog as opposed to talking in a northern accent. Apparently this makes me a ‘fake’ etc. I don’t know of a single other person that doesn’t have a formal accent for use in situations where being well spoken is needed and my decision to speak formally in my video addresses to the people of the internet was based upon the fact that I know that even other people that use English as a first language don’t understand 'Geordie’! I know I certainly don’t either; I thought the man that works in the Deli at my university was polish for two whole years because he was THAT northern. Point made.
I’m not from Newcastle, for a start. I’m from County Durham and that automatically makes a difference to the way that I speak anyway but the geordie is still there; I say 'wey aye’ as much as the next northern bird, but that doesn’t mean that I’d stand up and speak to a conference like that, or give a talk like that, or speak to someone in a call centre that way. I want my content to be easily accessible and that means speaking in clear, eloquent, uncomplicated tone of voice; a non regional dialect (or at least, as close as I feel comfortable to one).
Essentially though, it doesn’t matter what I’m receiving negative comments for. Granted, feedback as a whole has been utterly wonderful and I’ve received well over a hundred views, and a few subscribers after posting the vlog less than 12 hours ago, but it’s still not nice to think that people would go out of their way to be mean to ANYONE on the internet. I don’t see why it’s a thing.
The Breaking Beauty community are so like minded and wonderful, and I just want to say, don’t let internet trolls get you down. As much as I’ve sat and been upset for a few minutes in regards to what certain people have decided to say to me, I remembered that I’ve started something wonderful to combat some of the things I’ve just been upset about.
I’m happy with myself. That’s all that matters. My voice doesn’t make me any less of a person. My appearance doesn’t make me any less of a person. I am of no less worth than anyone and the only people that are truly ugly are those that go out of their way to seek out content produced by people in a positive manner, only to victimise them for it for no reason other than they want to be nasty.
I know this is a little bit of a personal blog but I wanted to get some words down as I think it’s important to talk about cyber bullying, no matter how laid back or extreme the content is, it’s still not right, it’s still cyber bullying and can SERIOUSLY effect some people.
For my images for Breaking Beauty I’ll be recreating already existing editorial fashion and beauty images with models that would be deemed unconventional by the fashion and beauty industries as a whole. Here’s an image I recreated for an entirely different reason though! The Tyneside Cinema exhibited this as part of their Iconic Film Stills Exhibition to celebrate their 75th anniversary in 2012 #pulpfiction #tarantino #laakephotography
@misslaake here, the one behind this page. Sorry for Breaking Beauty being so quiet these past few days, I spent the weekend watching live music and letting my hair down! It’s always important to take some time to focus on yourself, so I did! Felt good about the harness I made myself on Friday so I took a couple of photos of me wearing it! It angers me that people unfollow me when I post ‘selfies’, not because I care about what they think of the way I look but because I don’t see why people have a problem with someone posting a photo of themselves, why shouldn’t I post photos of my makeup or outfit? So what if I’m happy with the way I look on occasions. Post YOUR selfies and outfits via #projectbreakingbeauty to be featured on www.breakingbeauty.co.uk ♥ #projectbreakingbeauty #bodypositivity #effyourbeautystandards #selfworth #selflove #allinclusivebeauty #beauty #bodypositive #positive #honormycurves #livemyworth #comingsoon #followers #bodypositiveart #selfacceptence #selflove
#PROJECTBREAKINGBEAUTY - USE IT ON INSTAGRAM TO BE FEATURED ON OUR WEBSITE
USE #PROJECTBREAKINGBEAUTY on INSTAGRAM to be automatically featured on our website! Use the feature to share your body positive stories, images, art, selfies etc. Get involved! You can also follow @breakingbeautyproject to see our content and we’ll also be featuring your posts via our page too alongside the content produced specifically by Laake Photography for Breaking Beauty Project! Check out the interactive live feed via the link below!
See your image? www.breakingbeauty.co.uk now features ALL instagram posts using #projectbreakingbeauty ♥ use our tag to share your body positive stories, selfies, art, you name it (as long as it’s relevant to our cause in some way please!) and you’ll appear on our website under the interactive section.
So many of you are contacting me with your private messages of support in regards to Breaking Beauty and really opening up to me whilst telling me how much you support the cause. I feel that it is only fair that I too, share with all of you my story; not in some attempt to gain sympathy, or use a…
I’m so overwhelmed with the response that I’ve received to this post in just 24 hours. Thanks so much to everyone that’s reblogged, reposted on other social media and followed this page!
Please read, repost, share etc. The more people that see this, the more of an audience my project will receive and we’ll have the potential to make a bigger difference!
My Story - The personal reasons behind Breaking Beauty Project.
So many of you are contacting me with your private messages of support in regards to Breaking Beauty and really opening up to me whilst telling me how much you support the cause. I feel that it is only fair that I too, share with all of you my story; not in some attempt to gain sympathy, or use a sob story to further the project, but to let you know that I know exactly how you feel and that it’s possible to find the ability to love yourself no matter what you’ve been through. It’s been very hard for me to write this as despite sharing what may seem like a lot of my life through social media, I am a massively private person. But, here it goes…
As a 6’1 girl, with a curvy figure, an alternative dress sense and numerous health issues that show physical symptoms, I have all too often been at the receiving end of victimisation and abuse because of the way I look.
My earliest and continuing memory of being treated differently due to my appearance is that of an occurrence in Nursery School. I must have only been about three or four years old at the time. As part of nursery school we were made to hold hands, stand in a circle and sing and we were also made to hold hands in partnered groups, to move throughout the nursery yard. I so vividly remember the shock and disgust of one little boy when he was asked to hold my hand. It was not because he had to hold hands with a girl; it wasn’t the usual ‘cooties’ business, or the ‘girls are gross’ thing. It was not because he was just being awkward. In front of me he turned to the nursery teacher and began to tell her just how ‘dirty’ and ‘disgusting’ and ‘scary’ my skin was and that he was scared of me because of it; I have atopic eczema that was pretty severe as a child. Although I know now that children can be very vocal and very abrupt in circumstances where they are confronted with something that they have never encountered before, I was still utterly confused and hurt by the fact that this child that had spent at least half a year with me five days a week, acted as if there was something gravely wrong with me just because of the way my skin looked.
The taunting because of my skin condition continued throughout my primary school years. I was often called a ‘freak’, told just how ugly I was, called names, excluded, and I was severely bullied when I was forced to wear cotton gloves during school time due to skin infections; yep, cornered and abused for wearing gloves. By the time I reached the Junior period of primary school, other problems had developed too. My asthma was very severe as a child too. I was bullied firstly and fore mostly for having an inhaler, as a lot of children are (which isn’t really appearance based as such so I’ll not go too far into it). It was ‘geeky’. As my asthma began to worsen due to the stress and effects of being forced to engage in P.E during times when I was ill, I was forced to take long courses of steroid tablets. The steroid tablets (which I still have to take on occasions these days when I get a chest infection or a cold) caused severe swelling of my face and sudden weight gain amongst other things, such as stretch marks all over my body, and flushing/reddening of my cheeks. These symptoms are often known as Cushing’s Disease. Of course, this was the next thing that the bullies jumped on. I was ‘fat’, I had ‘hagrid hair’, I had a ‘moon face’, and again I was called a freak. I used to cry when eating meals sometimes because of all of the people calling me fat, and acting as if I looked that way just because I ate too much. The cycle worsened. I was made increasingly ill by their verbal and physical abuse taking it’s toll on my stress levels, which then effected my health conditions. By this point I had no confidence. Unfortunately, puberty for me began in the last year of high school. I was already a lot taller than my peers (which the boys, especially, decided to malign me for) and I’d also started to develop physically; I was then bullied for the fact that I’d developed breasts. Looking back at it, I really can’t understand why they were doing it and can only assume it was jealousy but, I suppose, there’s not really any reasoning to any of it anyway; people are just cruel.
I was quite confused during my younger years as, as a child, I spent a lot of time travelling to Sweden with my family and everyone over there seemed to look like me. Everyone was taller, their hair was, for the most part, the same blonde as mine and no one ever treated me differently. Naturally, the fact that people’s reactions to me over there were so different to those of people of my own country, gave me some hope and my family always assured me that in other countries there were other people like me (mainly the tall part, I felt so alone due to my height back then).
By the time I got to high school, my asthma was still not the best but my eczema had improved greatly. I was able to wear a little bit of foundation to school, which was a first as I’d never really been able to wear makeup before, except on perhaps Halloween. I wasn’t scared about high school. I assumed that because everyone would be older and more mature than the people I’d encountered in my previous school, that the atmosphere would be different. I’d encountered older people outside of school through various hobbies and activates and as a whole, apart from the occasional person calling me ‘fatty’ or ‘frizzy’ in the street, I’d had a good general experience of older teens. But, on my first day in high school I was bullied for the way I looked; I was cornered by older students, tormented and eventually I managed to get away but, it just got worse. Despite being one of the most, shall we say, ‘developed’ girls in the school, I was bullied by both guys and girls and told I was a ‘man beast’ and constantly told that I was a man. Cruel rumours were constantly spread about me and staff at the school I was attending really didn’t help. I was called some awful things, that I really don’t want to put into writing and again I was bullied for my weight, my breasts; I’m pretty sure I recall one girl even telling my tutor that I was wearing a padded bra in an attempt to get me sanctioned for the way I looked (I’m unsure why I’d have ever been punished for that, but never mind).
I was a pretty typical high school ‘goth’ (not really a goth, but once you’d worn black nail polish for the first time and so much as owned an eyeliner, you’d already been tarred with the goth brush despite not identifying as such); baggy jeans, band hoodies and skate shoes. Although we had to wear uniform during school time, as is commonplace in UK schools, my peers had encountered me out of hours. I then started to receive backlash for this, as most people with an alternative dress sense seem to around their early teens. The rumours got worse, the bullying became worse, people I didn’t even know began to threaten me whilst I was out and about because they were friends with people who bullied me to start off with. None of this was because I was a bad person, or because I’d done anything wrong, it was purely just because I looked ‘different’. My height was constantly used as a weapon, the bullies then focused on my smile because I had a gap between my two front teeth and needed to wear a brace on the my top set of teeth. The rumours and names about me being a man got worse, there were rumours about my sexuality, all kinds of things that really egged my abusers on. I was physically assaulted numerous times, to the point where the police got involved. Again, just because of the way I looked. It became a huge issue.
My already non existent confidence was sub zero by this point and the physical and emotional trauma was clearly too much for my body. My asthma worsened again after a period of it being so well controlled I had been able to join sports squads to compete and assist instructing trampoline lessons and I contracted bronchitis. I never fully recovered. My body went into shutdown and I was left bed bount. For some time, I’d already been experiencing the physical and mental symptoms (not that I knew it at the time) of Myalgic Encephalopathy/M.E/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and the symptoms worsened after my bout of bronchitis to the point where I missed around a year and a half of school due to being physically unable to move from my bed. Eventually, I managed around 15 minutes to half an hour of school a day, often attending in my wheelchair. And then it began again. I was in a wheelchair. I looked disabled. I was subhuman. Not only was my place of education abusive to the point where I had to take legal action, in regards to my attendance and my hospital home tutoring, but they also did absolutely nothing about the fact that I was now being bullied for being in a wheelchair. I was constantly told I was faking and because apparently I now looked physically ‘fine’, I was told I must be making it all up; a little bit of a contradiction really calling someone a ‘spacker’ for being in a wheelchair yet telling them they’re not ill at all because they don’t look unwell. My weight had also dropped considerably too, due to both ill health and the fact I was no longer on such high doses of steroids. I was bullied for that too.
After dropping most of my qualifications due to my health being so terrible, I spent the period of time between the beginning of the last year of high school trying to make some sort of improvement health wise. The fact that I’d dropped so many subjects and was coincidentally away from the bullying atmosphere at school lead to me making a very slow but positive recovery. As part of my recovery, I purchased a DSLR camera with some of my life savings. Prior to my illness I had been highly creative and used to draw and paint at a near constant rate. Although that kind of activity was utterly exhausting for me, I decided that taking photos was a way to maintain my creativity in a way that was a little less mentally challenging. I started to take photos around my garden of the plants and flowers and in the woodland that surrounds where I live. It would often be a whole day task just to go out and take say, 4 photos, with the assistance of my mother, but eventually I found I’d learned some basic photographic knowledge.
I then progressed to college. After a tough application process without many of the vital qualifications to get in and the uncertainty as to whether I would be able to attend, I got a place and signed up to study, amongst other subjects, Photography. I had my wheelchair stored in the college building and had it written into my learning plan that I was to use it at all times whilst on campus but I refused to as I didn’t want people to really know about what was wrong with me as I saw it as a sign of weakness due to the bullying I’d received due to the way I looked whilst using it previously.
Even on the first day, I made friends. It was brilliant. There were people like me. There were fellow creatives, there were people who had already found their style and their confidence. I still had very little confidence, although I had learned by this point how to put on a façade. A slick of red lipstick, bright blonde hair and sunglasses (which were really to combat my sensitivity to light caused by my M.E/CFS) helped people to believe that I was confident and I learned that that, in turn, meant that very few people ever said anything mean to me whilst at college. Of course, there would be comments from outside, that would have previously upset me but I started to become able to block them out. People had started to actually compliment me on the way I looked and even though I couldn’t take the compliments at that time due to my lack of confidence (which lead me to believe that they were waiting for me to take the compliment to throw it back in my face) I did notice that people were being nice about the way I looked. My photography went from strength to strength and by my second year of A Levels I was already working the occasional clothing company job and event as well as working alongside local alternative models to produce my first personal portfolio.
Through researching for my A-Level exams and projects I started to come across body positive movements and the likes. I was already also all too aware of the heart breaking situation involving Sophie Lancaster (for those of you who don’t know what I’m referring to, click here) and the foundation set up in her memory to try to stamp out prejudice hate and intolerance towards alternative subcultures. I started to realise that I was not alone. It sounds silly writing this now, to think that I ever felt alone; I now know of the vast number of people that suffer under similar circumstances to those of which I encountered but at the time I felt so very isolated, alone and scared.
I began to slowly but surely become more confident about the way I looked. I purchased high heeled shoes for the first time, no longer completely afraid of my height. I started to dress the way I wanted to dress without fear of other people making comments about it. I began experimenting with hair colours. I started to embrace my creative side. I experimented with makeup and makeup brand Illamasqua opened up a stall in the city I live in. I was able to find a foundation that was pale enough for me to wear, and that spiralled into new lip colours, and eyeliners, and eyeshadows and eventually false lashes; I was ever so inspired by the people that worked on their counter too, with their theatrical makeup and amazing confidence! I was able to create art, through makeup, on my own skin and I felt like I’d finally gotten back to being able to express my creativity fully again; instead of painting on canvas I was painting my own skin. I started to become less afraid of what people thought of me and I realised that the people that had once tormented me to the point where it nearly killed me, in regards to my image, really weren’t better than me and that their words held no water. Their cruel, hate filled opinions and jibes actually meant nothing. They were not the entire world, no matter how much it seemed that way at one point, they weren’t even a drop in the ocean. I never used makeup to hide behind, and I still don’t to this day but I do believe, at one point, I did probably use it to draw some attention away from some of my other physical features that I was once taunted because of; if people were looking at my face, they weren’t looking at my height, or the shape of my back, or my teeth.
Through my new found confidence, improved health and general positivity, I managed to pass my A Level exams and also landed myself an unconditional offer based upon my portfolio, for a photography degree (which I also passed too!).
Now a photographer by trade, I also am all too aware of how the the media and society’s vision of an ideal human form, and the beauty ideals derived from that, effect the way people view subcultures or individuals with a style/appearance that differs from the ‘norm’; so often hate and confusion is aimed at people that don’t fit the ideals that we are so often faced with in the media! I am so, so happy that due to all of the positive things that have happened in the past few years I have learned to love myself for being perfectly and utterly me. I now have the confidence to stand up tall and embrace my individual beauty and style. Because of this, I finally felt that it was time to launch a project of my own a couple of weeks ago; a photographic project recreating popular fashion, editorial and advertising imagery with models that are deemed as ‘unconventional’ in the public eye. Breaking Beauty Project. For Breaking Beauty I plan to photograph people of all genders, all ages, different subcultures, different races, and different physical abilities. I truly believe that beauty has no size, it has no shape, it has no gender, it has no race. I intend to start shooting the project’s images soon and have just launched an interactive feature on the project’s website so that people using #projectbreakingbeauty can share their stories, images, art, etc and spread the message of all inclusive beauty, body positivity and acceptance.
I want #projectbreakingbeauty to be an outlet for people that have also felt alone. People that have also felt like there was something wrong with the way they looked. People that are still experiencing these feelings now. I also want Breaking Beauty to, perhaps, lead to people taking a step back from being nasty to others because of their appearance; which people so often do because they don’t realise how wrong it really is. I will openly admit that when I was at my most insecure I too made the occasional mean comment about someone else’s weight, or their clothes, or their body shape; not ever to their face, but in general, to make it appear that I was confident in the way I looked or something along those lines. I think we can all safely say that in one point in our lives that we’ve made a comment about the way a stranger in the street looked, or we’ve joked about how ugly someone is, but, it’s not big and it’s not clever and it’s certainly one of the most cowardly of human acts and I honestly will NEVER make a comment like that, to anyone ever again because I realise now that everyone is beautiful in their own way as long as they are happy, and they are healthy, and they are human. I have realised that (and I will now repeat it) beauty has no size, it has no shape, it has no gender, it has no race; beauty is all inclusive and we all have it in our own way.
So, this concludes my ‘story’ and although this version is very condensed (who’d have thought that just shy of 4,000 words, I’d be referring to a piece of writing as condensed haha) and I’ve omitted some occurrences that I really do not wish to bring to light, I now feel that I’ve been able to share at least something personal with all of you, as you have so kindly done with me.
I’d like to add, in parting, a little note to any readers of this post that may feel the need to say anything negative about it’s content. No matter how trivial some of this content may seem to some people it is MY story and in no way shape or form is it meant to be a long drawn out sob story or something to laugh at. If you haven’t grasped that the intention of this piece of writing is that of being open and honest to those that have opened up to me, then, perhaps you should skip past this post in whichever news feed you’re viewing it in, and forget you’ve ever read it.
If you have taken the time to read this, then I thank you. If you agree with my statement that “Beauty has no size, it has no shape, it has no gender, it has no race”, then please take a second to follow Breaking Beauty on the following sites: