November Instagram Challenge

Once upon a time I told my 50-something friend Tree that she looked beautiful in a certain purple dress. Months later she mentioned, "You know, you told me I looked nice in my purple dress one time and I think about that everytime I put it on." I almost wanted to cry.

Our words are so powerful.

As a stylist I'm aware of the power I have to change someone's perception of themselves. I get emails from clients and students telling me how often they've thought of something I said and how much it's buoyed their confidence. That power is a bit addictive and I confess that I now speak compliments far more often to strangers on the street or a woman I'm standing behind in line.

You have the power to make people around you, friends or strangers, feel more beautiful for who they are both on the outside and the inside, with your words.

Yet I confess in the bustle of daily life, being afraid I'll sound awkward, thinking it but not saying or doing it -- I miss far too many opportunities. Before the swirl of the holidays, and as here in the States we head towards Thanksgiving and a season of gratitude, Anna of In Honor of Design and I are thrilled to bring back #EncourageBeauty and a month of seeing and celebrating what matters most.

 

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#EncourageBeauty is 30 days in which we celebrate and are grateful for our own beauty and that of those around us.

Some days will be a prompt about how you look such as "Confident in Color" -- share a photo of your own happy ensemble that day that day, post a pic of someone else who looks gorgeous in color, make a point to keep your eyes open for a friend or stranger who looks gorgeous in colorwho you could compliment. Do one, two or all three.

Other days like "Tweetspiration" you can go at-reply someone with a compliment, tweet out a compliment, screengrab that tweet and share it on Instagram. Do one, two or all three. {We'll be over on Instagram at @HilaryRushford and @InHonorOfDesign getting inspired by what you share!}

In general, there are no rules but to encourage earnestly, encourage often, encourage yourself, encourage others, because courage begets courage, and beauty begets beauty.

 

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Share your challenges with us daily on Instagram or Twitter. Blog about them. Print the above calendar and tape it to your desk at work or the mirror you put your makeup on in at home. Share this with a friend and hold each other accountable. 

When we hosted the first #EncourageBeauty in March, Anna and I were blown away and so moved by how ardently some bettys took up this challenge and the powerful experiences they shared as they blogged about it.

Just think, if every Dean St and IHOD betty were to do this, and everyone we encouraged then paid it forward ... You could be walking down the street and be encouraged by an IHOD betty not even knowing that she too was on the same mission this month to #EncourageBeauty. Delovely. Oh and we've got some sweet little graphics to inspire and share throughout the month, so steal the quote above for your desktop background or Instagram it, and Anna has another for you in her post.

So are you in, lady? Mission #EncourageBeauty starts Friday ...

 

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