jessica tholmer
January 26, 2015 10:54 am

What were you doing in high school? Doing schoolwork? Working after school jobs? Applying for colleges? Having a dramatic breakup? Redefining beauty standards?

Now there is absolutely nothing wrong with being a normal high school student partaking in normal high school activities, but for 16-year-old Kaylen Dailey, high school means something different. Dailey is a junior at Woodinville High School (in my wonderful home state of Washington) and spends her days not just doing the normal high school stuff, but also creating an incredible organization called Real Beautiful Powerful (RBP).

The organization aims to change how many young girls understand beauty. As Dailey explains on RBP’s site, she was totally uncomfortable with the way her friends and classmates were engaging with society’s MEGA unrealistic beauty standards. She writes, “I . . . began to understand how ‘beauty’ impacted my peers. It was misunderstood. It drove them to try to become something they were not, instead of encouraging them to embrace who they were.” Dailey explains that she came up with the idea for RBP after she noticed how this understanding of beauty incited a pattern in girls she knew. Because of the societal importance on the superficial, girls she knew were focusing less on smarts and studies, and more on perfecting perceived physical imperfections. Dailey told Hello Giggles that as they got older she watched her friends begin to change; she watched them start pretending that they weren’t smart because that ditzy vibe was seen by boys to be “cute.” It got personal for Dailey, when she realized this beauty-standard mindset affected her little sister as well. Daily told Hello Giggles in an interview:

“My sister, who was a seventh grader last year, seemed to be impacted by ‘beauty’ as well. She would spend hours getting ready for school, trying to conceal and ‘perfect’ what was already amazing the way it was. She began to focus all her time on her routine of primping and prepping, rather than loving herself and finding her inner beauty.”

Dailey created RBP to fight against this kind of norm, especially for junior high and high school students. Her mission, and RBP’s mission, is to promote the philosophy and mindset that women and girls are beautiful just as they are, and that they do not need to change supposed imperfections. We’re all perfect just as we are. Dailey said that her high school has allowed the club to be open to all students, which has helped the organization’s impact school-wide. But the impacts of RBP are not limited to Woodinville High School.

RBP works with elementary schools, presenting students with information about inner beauty and empowerment, to help young people realize and embrace the idea that they can really be whoever they want to be.  After high school, Dailey hopes RBP will take on more of a national status so that she can continue managing the organization throughout her college career. We totally hope RBP goes national as well. With awesome 16-year-old young women spearheading incredible projects like this one we can’t help but feel a flutter of heart-hope for the future.

Moral of the story: we are all beautiful just as we are. And don’t you dare let weird and unrealistic beauty standards make you think otherwise. Hats so off to dear Daily and the rest of Real Beautiful Powerful for driving home that oh-so-important truth. And we cannot wait to see where their journey leads.

Also, mini-PSA: RBP is right now running a logo contest (for their new logo). If you are interested in winning a $250 prize (and fame and glory!), check out realbeautifulpowerful.org for more information. Rumor has it, hand-drawn is best, so they can see original work!

[Images via]

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