"Like every one, I struggle with common day anxieties and
stresses but, unlike every one, I was chosen to tell my story and to overcome
those problems. I was chosen because I was brave and I felt moved to apply to
be a part of this beauty campaign; to be a part of something that showcases the
light for which all of us have inside."
"My name is Alexsis Gladstone and I have pretty long tresses
and big green eyes. These are attributes for which I’ve been given; things that
make me pretty in our society. Certainly, I am grateful for what I have been
blessed with but I also know that it can leave at any time. I didn’t have to
work to be pretty on the outside but I have to work to be pretty on the inside.
I don’t take pride in being told silly nothings about my looks but I do when
they are about what others see in me; about when people comment on my kindness,
gracefulness and caring heart. These make me happy because these are what I
work hard to for. I work hard to be a genuine woman in a time of wishy-washy
people. I work hard to be proud for standing strong for my God, myself and my
"Standing strong and being positive isn’t always easy. I’ve
have been through—and overcome—many obstacles in my 21 years that have taught
me the value of searching for light in a dark place. Someone that I love, care
for and hold dear has been diagnosed with mental illness which has made me feel
heartbroken and insufficient; has made me realize the truly important things in
life. Within the last couple of years, I have struggled with pain in my abdomen
and doctors who don’t wish to help; misdiagnosing me which, in turn, has left
me to deal with it on my own. I’ve since lost my medical coverage so it’s been
an uphill battle of good days and bad days. In the midst of this, my father was
hurt on the job which then made him loose it; we then lost our home and
technically “homeless” as we lived in a camper for over a year and a half at a
local camp ground. During this time, I went to school (during both my Sophomore
and Junior year at USCB) with a smile on my face and no one the wiser. I was a
member (and a director) of a sorority on campus (and have since left because of
the way it made me feel), inducted into a chapter of an English Honor Society
at my school and maintained a job at Kate Spade for almost three years."
"This past summer has been a very uplifting time as my family
and I finally moved to a home (in Savannah), was accepted as a writing-intern-turned-freelance-writing-position
at a communications company and began my senior year. I also started a women’s
bible study with a group of ladies at my school for which has given me an
outlet to connect with other women who might be struggling, too!
Naturally, as a smiley person, I have come to realize the
importance of a smile. I have come to understand that, though someone might
seem to be happy on the outside, you never truly know what’s happening on the
other side of that smile."
"This inner-beauty campaign has allowed me to take a look at
who I am, to write it into words and to spread it out. I’m not pretending that
telling my story will heal my wounds nor that my heart isn’t completely rubbed
raw and open for all to see. But I am putting one foot forward in the hopes of
allowing others to view what I’ve been through and then put their own stories
into words so that they can see they are beautiful from their struggles, too;
that they have overcome and will continue to without fail because they are
strong of heart, mind and will."