More About the Project and How to Connect with It

What started as something selfish, turned into the opposite. Originally this site was set up to promote my writing and performances, many from my upcoming memoir You’re Not Pretty Enough (YNPE).

Since launching the website in 2010, I noticed I got a startling amount of traffic from people who Googled some variation of the phrase “what to do when you’re not pretty,” or “how to be pretty when you’re not.” My site was among the first to come up, but there was no place to meaningfully interact with that feeling. I ruminated on this for a while, not knowing how to respond. Not knowing if I should respond.

But then I saw this story about the trend of middle-school girls asking YouTubers if they’re ugly. I started to watch the videos (sad face) and read the some of the comments (angry face).  Since I had a unique opportunity to put something out there, I decided to do it. But where to start?

My background is in consulting and marketing, so I applied my expertise on myself.  I came up with a vision.  I talked about it with people and got their feedback. I reshaped. I built a project plan that included collaborating with local Washington, DC-area universities and set up on campuses to administer surveys and collect personal video responses modeled after the It Gets Better Project. I shot many of the videos and edited them myself (sometimes you’ll hear me, or background noise like traffic and construction – let’s just call it ambiance). I collected emails for mailing lists.  I got an overwhelming response that can be summarized as “Thank you for not sitting on this. We need something like this.”

Several friends helped bring this to light, too: namely Birgitta, who shot some amazing footage and Wendy, who created this beautiful design.  And all those who contributed personal stories and feelings so as to encourage others to do the same: Devon, Danielle, Taylor, Megan, Yasmin, Mary, Edwin, Sheree, Claudia, Feride, Tya, Erika, Diane, Niyati, Philippa, Lindsey, Taylor, Kelly, Clare, Monica, Robin, Rebecca, Dawn, Emily and Jasmine. Thank you for trusting me.

Which brings me to a point. You can rest assured that I (or someone on my team) will monitor all comments to ensure the discussion starts and remains one that is authentic, empowered and productive. If you’re coming here to troll, your remarks will not be published. See our Comments Policy for more details.

Now…DISCUSS! Connect further with You’re Not Pretty Enough (YNPE) in the following ways:

1. We love to interact with you! Send us constructive ideas to continuously enhance the site. Send us comments and links to research you’d like us to share with the community. yourenotprettyenough [at] gmail dot com. You can also do so here at:

2. Become a mentor! Do you want to spread the word in a community-based way? Whether it be at your school or within your social groups, we’re happy to equip you with the tools you need to become a mentor in reshaping the conversation about beauty norms and their impact. To get on the list for our first class, contact yourenotprettyenough [at] gmail dot com. Coming in Spring 2013.

3. Customize your content. No matter how you arrived at that “you’re not pretty enough” feeling, YNPE has content that speaks directly to your personalized experiences (and feelings about them). Coming soon, users will be able to customize their interaction with the site and pull content (e.g., videos) that relates directly to their inquiries.