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#InnerBeauties Take the Challenge
By: Jennifer Graber
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Young women today are subjected to a host of unrealistic expectations. And, well, so are many young men. Some of these expectations come from well-meaning (or not) loved ones, persnickety peers, and other individuals with strong opinions. And even more of these expectations are self-imposed by comparison to peers, and the onslaught of digital and social media. This is not to say that social media isn’t a wonderful thing, because it is, but there’s no denying the trouble it can bring. And unfortunately for social media and the Internet, that trouble can be the generation of undeniable negativity and low self-image.  
To combat that negativity, and to promote inner beauty, Love is Louder and Benefit Cosmetics have joined forces. Love is Louder is an organization that works to promote empowerment and connection online through the idea that love can be louder than any negative force from ourselves or others. And Benefit is a quirky cosmetics company that promotes the philosophy that laughter is the best make-up you can wear. Though the two seem like an unlikely pair the joint venture is a movement many should get behind.
Love is Louder and Benefit Cosmetics created the Inner Beauty Challenge as a way to shift the focus of young women to a positive place. The Inner Beauty Challenge urges users to “live out loud” and make 2014 “full of laughter” and living with a purpose. To participate in the challenge, users are asked to take selfies “for a good cause.” Each day, for seven days, participants are asked to upload a themed photo to Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #innerbeauties. Themes include: Post Positivity, Laugh Out Louder, Just Dance, Show The Love, Get Real, Be Random, and Lend A Hand. Besides encouraging positivity, participants have the chance each day to be randomly selected for Benefit Cosmetic prizes.
Again, Love is Louder and Benefit Cosmetics almost seem like the antithesis of one another. After all, one is an organization dedicated to promoting online positivity and combating unrealistic standards that detract from our true selves. The other is a company dedicated to selling a plethora of beauty products. But the pairing is actually great and quite ingenious. It is promising to know that the unlikeliest of pairs can come together to work towards a common goal — one that we are in desperate need of achieving. The world of social media, despite its amazing benefits, can lead to the creation of critics with no shame in unleashing negativity against an unsuspecting young teenager. Oftentimes, those critics are the teen’s peers. The Internet provides a medium in which is it easy to say things; many times things that you would never say to someone face-to-face. The Inner Beauty Challenge is trying hard to combat that. Young women, and men, need to know it is okay to be themselves online — and in real life.

Hopefully we will all live in a world one day where the Internet becomes a medium of exchange in which all individuals are free to post and discuss and share, whatever, in an encouraging and positive environment.

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About the Author
Jennifer Graber is a Business Development Manager and marketing enthusiast. Her specific interests include branding, consumer behavior, development, integrated marketing communications, and new & social media.
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