Step Into Growth – Spreading the Message

It is VERY exciting for us at Beautiful U to be collaborating with others who share the same mindset and want to spread the same message. In this sort of campaign, we are stronger together, not as individuals! Check out these two amazing women who started a project called “Step Into Growth”.

The Step Into Growth Project began with a spontaneous conversation about eating disorder recovery. Our discussion ranged from topics like Buddhism-centered therapy to origins of creativity, which eventually evolved into multiple brainstorming sessions about spreading eating disorder awareness artistically. Eventually, we chose photography as our first platform. After recruiting friends as models, turning a dorm room into a studio, and learning how to use a professional camera, we finally had a collection of emotion-driven photographs.

As college students, we live in a community of people buzzing with anxiety. We spend most of the day in classes that yield a generous amount of homework, and when it comes time to do the work, we get overwhelmed and spend more time worrying about it than actually completing it. I’m sure this pattern isn’t exclusive to students either. From what I gather, it’s similar in the “real world.” I was personally driven by the distress that everyone (including myself) seemed to be drowning in. I needed answers, and I needed shareable solutions. This is when Step Into Growth really took shape.

Susie (the co-founder and assistant director) and I decided to look at the big picture. Rather than zooming in on eating disorders, why not look at a more universal problem? During this time of exploration, I became what some might call “obsessed” with self-care, so I knew that would be highly integrated into our project. And after examining the roots of eating disorders, Susie and I discovered the importance of self-love and body positivity. So we had our main areas of focus, but we didn’t want to be the sole contributors to the project. We knew how important our first photographs were to our own growth, so we decided to make the project collaborative with anyone who felt moved by our mission. Today, our meetings consist of contacting creative individuals, writing, filming, and networking with other eating disorder recovery and self-love organizations.

We are incredibly excited about connecting with the Beautiful U Journey founder, Heather Deranja! Seeing as our passions for self-love and self-care are mutual, it only made sense to share our project stories with each other and with you.

If you want to share your personal message of self-love, body positivity, self-care, body image, recovery, or anything related, please collaborate with us! We always accept artistic photographs, blogs, videos, music, and ideas! We’d also love to just chat with you!
You can contact us through our website:!

We can’t wait to hear from you,

-Shelby and Susie (creators of the Step Into Growth Project)

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