Filterless

Filterless is our campaign encouraging women to show their true, authentic, beautiful selves without feeling the pressures to conform to the unrealistic expectations of social media. Let’s show the world our real, imperfect, messy lives that we love! We deserve to celebrate who we truly are, without the filters!

woman jumping in the air at the beach who is happy with her body image and swimsuits in the summer

When Body Image and Swimsuits Collide: A Guide for Every Woman

Sitting here with a bad sunburn after a day at the lake for Father’s Day, I can tell you one thing that has changed my life and my summers with my children: not caring about my size or what people will say when I slip off my bathing suit cover. I was 5 feet 5 inches tall and 95 pounds in high school. My mother was 5 feet 3 inches tall and 100 pounds, so I was a small girl. Back then I would lift weights to bulk out a little. All those wonderful kids I went to school with gave me the nickname ‘Toothpick.’ Oh, if they could see me now. I was skinny and never had a weight problem, but […]

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three happy women in bathing suits taking a selfie on the beach and not worried about body image issues

The Airbrushed Bombshell: Brushing Back Body Image Issues

As I look through my Instagram feed, I’m greeted with numerous pictures of beach attire including the dreaded bathing suits. Every year or so, we ladies go on the adventure of finding the perfect swimsuit to accentuate our bodies. Maybe before the big shopping adventure, you go on that New Year’s resolution diet of low carbs and water, or maybe you have been going to the gym six times a week in anticipation of this forthcoming season. Maybe you are like me and getting close to 40 and don’t feel comfortable in your skin, much less with your skin showing for the entire world to see. Body Image Issues: Focused on the Imperfections When I gaze into that mirror, the first thing

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My Life Isn't Insta-Worthy, But I Love It All the More

My Life Isn’t Insta-Worthy, But I Love It All the More

If I could choose one phrase to perfectly sum up my stage of life, it would be “in the trenches.” I’m in the trenches of motherhood, playing carpool taxi, housemaid clean up, chief organizational officer, head referee, and principal disciplinarian every day. My life isn’t Insta-worthy. I’m in the trenches in my marriage, fighting for even a simple date night, fighting for connection in the busy, fighting to stay together through the hard stuff of parenting. I’m in the trenches in my life too, my own personal time of trying to grow my dream project from the ground up, putting in hours of blood, sweat, and tears often to little or no applause or grandeur. Yes, the trenches are where I dwell.

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I Did a Social Media Detox and Learned Why We're Always Reaching for Our Phones

I Did a Social Media Detox and Learned Why We’re Always Reaching for Our Phones

One day after my 8-year sober birthday, I decided to do a social media detox for a month (or as long as I could). In the beginning, there really wasn’t any end game in mind. My motivation: I realized that somewhere along the way I started caring what people think. And this started to affect how I felt about myself. Oh, and also: I was spending way too much time checking my phone. I wish someone could have taken my picture and posted it as I contemplated what it meant to erase the Facebook and Instagram apps from my phone. I held my finger on the screen and the icons did that little dance, that shaky “please don’t delete me” dance. This

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Bible Verses From the Grit and Grace Team on Self Worth

Bible Verses on Self-Worth From the Grit and Grace Team

From where do you derive your self-worth? Is it in the busyness of your job, where you clock up to 60 hours a week? Maybe it’s in your doting husband and your three smart, well-mannered children. Or, on the other side of the spectrum, maybe your self-worth is at rock bottom and you feel useless, as though your life holds no value. We’ll stop you right there to say that’s not true, friend. Here are some Bible Verses on Self-Worth that will help you: But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 1 Peter

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how to crush comparison with a compliment

How to Crush Comparison With a Compliment

I love games. I come from a very competitive family, so winning has always been important to me. Just ask my husband. I sometimes get super bitter if he beats me in a game (okay, scratch that, I always get bitter if he beats me). I will never forget when I was visiting him in Springdale, Arkansas early in our dating stage. We went to Cracker Barrel for breakfast, and we played the peg board game that they offer customers to play while waiting for their food. I should have known better than to suggest it because, let’s just say, I lost and breakfast wasn’t the most enjoyable after that. Some days I beat my husband, and other days I lose. But the

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5 Truths About the Best Kind of Beauty

5 Truths About the Best Kind of Beauty

I repeated the phrase to myself again and again. Think on things that are noble, pure, and true. Beautiful things I’d told myself as I tried and failed to will myself to think positively. Noble, pure, and true I reminded myself as the blinking LED light slowly but surely diminished my attention span. Positive. Noble. True. I whispered as though something magical was about to happen, but the pull of social media proved strong as the blinking blue light beckoned my focus. Not quite capable of 100% resistance, I checked the notification bar. Instagram was waiting, seemingly where the best kind of beauty resides. As if the blinking LED light gave me permission to move forward, I clicked the notification, diving headfirst into

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10 Things That Make a Woman Beautiful

10 Things That Make a Woman Beautiful

Here are 10 qualities that make a woman beautiful: 1. She can laugh at her silly mistakes, knowing it doesn’t diminish her dignity. 2. She gives the benefit of the doubt. 3. When she comes across something that reminds her of someone special, she buys it for them. Just because. Even if it’s just a candy bar. 4. She gets to know the people around her: baristas, security guards, receptionists, etc. Strangers become her friends. 5. She chooses to see the good in all people, knowing everyone is a work in progress. 6. She can let go. 7. She’s humble, but finds satisfaction in a job well done. 8. She’s strong, but she doesn’t use her strength to push other people around.

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When You Go All in on the Life Hand You've Been Dealt

When You Go All in on the Life Hand You’ve Been Dealt

“It’s not about the cards you’ve been dealt, but how you play the hand.” -Randy Pausch Hello. My name is Amber. I love God, my family, coffee, sports, and a great lip gloss. I have received accolades and awards for my academics, music, athletics, and writing. I have a wonderful husband and four beautiful girls who make me proud every day. My friends are some of the best, and I laugh daily. On the surface, I’ve been dealt all aces. But underneath the surface, the cards tell a different story. My name is Amber. I also battle depression and grief. I overreact in situations that upset me, and my mind races and imagines scenarios way beyond reality. I have struggled with my weight

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Have You Ever Said It I’m Not Good Enough NEW

Have You Ever Said It? “I’m Not Good Enough.”

“I’m not good enough.” Chances are, you have said this to yourself. You feel inadequate in a relationship. You missed a work deadline. You’re not as put together as that other woman you see at school drop-off. You hurt someone you love. Here is the good news: You aren’t good enough. That’s probably not a line you’ll see on a greeting card, but here is why this really is good news. There is grace for us. 2 Corinthians 12:9 states, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in your weakness.” In a culture that celebrates self-reliance, we are constantly trying to prove our power, our worth, and our control over our circumstances. It may seem harmless, those

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For Everything There is a Season: Reflections on Turning 40

For Everything There Is a Season: Reflections on Turning 40

(Listen to the audio version of this article here.) Almost to the day of me turning 40, I began receiving emails from my dermatologist with deals for $10 shots of Botox. Along with some other strange things like: silver hair appearing around my temples, thinning skin on my forearms, random jutting veins like tributaries on an old map on skin only visible when I wear shorts (which is rarely), under eyes like crinkle paper, new ridges etching into my forehead (what my daughter calls: “squigglies”), groaning when I bend down to pick something up, creaking when I wake up the morning after a workout, calling college students “kids,” and needing that overhead light to do the dishes… I also started recognizing a

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Why Am I Going to Church? How I Lifted My Filter and Found Pure Motives

As I planned my weekend, I knew going to church Sunday just wasn’t in the cards. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always faithfully gone to church, but I certainly wasn’t the “there every time the doors are open” type. When I came to this realization, I felt a twinge of worry. You see, I’ve been conditioned to believe that a “good Christian” doesn’t miss a Sunday. Good Christians go no matter what. If you don’t go to church … well, you must not be walking right with the Lord. By People Pleasing, I Felt So Alone This community that I’ve been deeply entrenched in for years has dictated to me a laundry list of things I must do or

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do you ever feel like you're behind in life

Do You Ever Feel Like You’re Behind in Life?

A couple of months ago, I was in a pit full of stress and anxiety. I was finishing up my last semester of college and on the search for a job related to my field. Usually, there is an overwhelming amount of emotions when your life is going through impactful changes. Rather than focusing on myself and what was bothering me, I turned to social media. I have a bad habit of spending hours on Instagram or Facebook without realizing it. My phone consumes me with funny cat videos, satisfying slime, and catching up on my friends whom I have not talked to in a while. Social media can be both helpful and harmful. Although seeing my friend’s new baby brings me

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the best moments of my life dont belong on instagram

The Best Moments of My Life Don’t Belong on Instagram

Sometimes I feel like this is Instagram’s world, and I’m just living in it. Don’t you? I mean, I can fight hard against it and lecture my kids on the dangers of social media all day long. Yet, still, I find myself on the lookout for the best moments. You know the ones… Where the lighting is just right and everyone is smiling just so. Where my skin is blissfully clear of pimples and wrinkles and my hair has just the right amount of bounce. These moments have me on high alert, poised and ready to capture them, filter them, hashtag them, and then post them so I can preserve these memories of my #bestlifeever for all to see. Because that’s what

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why i stopped letting social media trends control my money

Why I Stopped Letting Social Media Trends Control My Money

It all started the night my husband and I were arguing over nursing chairs. My husband didn’t understand why we needed to purchase a brand new plush gray glider. He couldn’t comprehend why I needed this chair to sink into while staring at my precious babies as they suckled themselves to sleep. He didn’t appreciate how, months ahead of schedule, each piece of furniture and décor had been selected with precision to match: the soft muslin blankets (white and gray); the plush bunnies and safari animal prints (white and gray); the lamp (white); the dresser (gray); the nursing chair. I sobbed uncontrollably while he reviewed our budget with squinting eyes. As I watched him, I thought about how unfair it was he

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I'm ditching perfection because my best is enough

I’m Ditching Perfection Because My Best Is Enough

Once again, I grabbed a shopping cart to complete what seems to be my four-times-a-week run to Walmart. As I was rolling down the aisle, I passed one of those cardboard boxes that sits strategically in your path. You know—those big old things that you have to navigate your shopping cart around. The reason it’s placed there is so you will go slowly, pause, and purchase something that wasn’t on your list and that you didn’t know you needed until that very moment. This particular brightly-painted bit of corrugation had wall art in it, the kind that’s there to inspire us. I’m pretty sure the piece that caught my attention was targeted at women. It stated this: “You don’t have to be

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daring to go filterless how social media is impacting women and what we can do about it

Daring to Go Filterless: How Social Media Is Impacting Women and What We Can Do About It

Scrolling social media, I see women who are painted like porcelain dolls with tiny waists and thick-alicious hips. I see images of perfection that are totally disproportionate and unattainable. And what is worse: this dangerous trend now compels me. I find myself searching frantically for the perfect filter before I post a pic, the one that looks “natural” or like I’m just the right age (younger than I am). If I can’t find it, then I spend way too much time adjusting the lighting and color saturation; maybe I’ll even add one of those funky (and slightly creepy) filters that make me look like an extraterrestrial, flower child, or naughty pirate. I do this, I play along, even though most days all

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