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  • How many of us are living truly authentic lives?  How many of us feel an immense sense of heartache, loneliness, shame, depression, or fear… and simply try to hide it away?  How many of us suffer from intense body shame?  How many of us feel a lack of motivation?

    We live in a digital age in a plastic world.  We use social media to post only the very best photos of ourselves and portray perfect lives.  We autotune every song and photoshop every photo, and as our world demands more and more perfection, we feel as though we fall shorter every day.

    Beautiful Shame Final

    #beautifulshame is about bringing authenticity back to our world by posting beautiful expressions of our negative emotions through social 

    media.  It’s about using creativity to express the bad feelings we experience every day so that we no longer have to stifle or bury our shame and guilt and sadness.

    The amazing thing about #beautifulshame is that there is no wrong way to express yourself.  Take a beautiful photo of a childhood spot, sing a song, write a poem, write a story, or paint a picture!  It doesn’t have to be good.  It doesn’t have to be pretty.  It just has to feel like you are expressing yourself and giving your shame or anxiety a positive outlet.

  • Beautiful Shame™ was created by Sarah Hodges.  Here’s what she has to say about its origin:

    I was just starting to come out of one of the darkest periods of my life, when I sat down to write in my journal about my struggles with shame:

    “So here I am. I am not ashamed! …Well, I guess I still feel a little ashamed. I guess I feel that way because the world doesn’t look fondly on many things. I feel like I have to explain myself. I feel like I have to apologize for things that are out of my control…

    …But what if I didn’t have to be ashamed? What if I didn’t have to apologize for it? What I wore my entire life history as a series of tattoos on my body, in full view of the world? What if everyone could see my pain as beautiful art? What would it look like?

    You know, I think I’m going to draw it. I think I’m going to get a canvas and draw my shame. I’m going to make it into something absolutely gorgeous that can be displayed in my home for the rest of my life. I’m going to draw it, and I’m going to paint it. It’s going to be living art. It’s going to be something that I’ll keep adding to and painting over for the rest of my life. And on the back, I’m going to write down each shame that’s displayed on the canvas. And when I die, I want it to be displayed at my funeral.

    I want my whole person to be exposed in all of its beautiful glory.

    I’m going to get a canvas this week. This might be one of the best ideas I’ve ever had in my whole, entire life. I feel so full.”


    Within a week, I started painting.  Three sessions later over the course of several months, I had a canvas full of beautiful colors.

    It didn’t matter whether the painting was good or not.  All that mattered was that I was expressing my sorrows, my hurts, and my shame in a way that was positive and free of judgement – especially self judgement.

    By painting my shame, I chose to feel my emotions and give them life instead of trying to hide and stifle them.  The difference it has made in my life has compounded over the course of the year, and I feel an immense sense of reduced stress and increased confidence.

    Whether you want to join the Beautiful Shame Campaign publicly or not, I encourage everyone to consider finding an expressive outlet for your shame.  Why not try it?

    • Do you want some ideas on how to get started?  Check out other #BeautifulShame Stories for inspiration.
    • Join the Beautiful Shame™ Forum to manage your journey with others.
    • Are you already on a healing journey?  Share what you’re doing on social media with #BeautifulShame to inspire others and help spread the word!

You Have Value.

You have value exactly the way you are right now.  Whether you’re fat, skinny, or average, you have value.  Whether you’re old, young, or middle-aged, you have value.  Whether you’re white, black, or any other race, you have value.  Gay, straight, transgendered.  Christian, Muslim, Jewish, atheist.

We all have value.

We are each unique, authentic individuals with incredible contributions to offer this world, but how often do we hide this authenticity because of our shame?

This is a place to celebrate our value.  This is a place that encourages creativity to turn our shame and pain into beautiful self-love.  When we need to heal, Beautiful Shame™ is the first step toward living a healthier life because self-love is the first step toward taking better care of ourselves.


Spread the Word and Share the Love!

If you’re working on your healing journey and want to inspire others, use #BeautifulShame on social media and tag @ABeautifulShame so we can see it!

Share your artwork, poetry, music, writing, and adventures to inspire others to embrace their authenticity and break down barriers. 

Like the phoenix, we will rise from the ashes of our pain and trauma to create beauty in this world.