Ryan Haley

What does it mean to be beautiful?

“I always did what I was taught or what society teaches us: sit down, be quiet, behave, be "ladies", don't speak up, don't say how you feel or what you think.  But as I get older, I realize you have to disregard all that or else you suppress yourself.

To me, being beautiful means just being yourself.  I'm the most beautiful when I can be myself, express myself, be my true self with someone, wherever, whenever.”

Ryan_sitting

What would you tell your 20-year-old self about what it means to be beautiful?

"Dye your hair pink and don't worry about what anyone else thinks or says.  At the end of the day, you have to go home with you and you have to be happy with what you put out there, and that's it.  

Everyone has opinions. and we're not conditioned to disregard people's judgements."

What things influenced your idea of beauty?

“I come from a big Irish Catholic family that had no boundaries. There was a lot of judgement, and I never felt like me.  I always felt suppressed. As I got older, I realized I have to do what is right for me. I still have my moments of self doubt, but if I hold back, I end up regretting it.”

When self-doubt creeps in, what do you do?

"When I go there,  I have to stop, pull myself out of it and put myself in a child's position, a smaller me.  What would I say to that child? How would I handle that for her?

And then it becomes so much gentler, so much easier, so much sweeter, so much kinder, so much nicer and then it teaches me something too.  

How would you say that to little you?  How would you want someone to say that to you?"

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