Elizabeth Piper, 25-year-old founder of The Prettygirl Revolution, launched a movement to empower young women to “take the power back.”
“In high school, I felt like I was surrounded by beautiful, smart, intelligent women,” Piper said. “Yet the conversation would always morph into the women saying ‘I’m not pretty enough,’ or ‘why won’t he date me’?”
Although the less than positive words from those surrounding her in high school weighed heavily, it was after some pondering and life experience—such as teaching English abroad in Thailand—Piper realized she wanted to devote her life to empowering all women.
So, she decided to take a few steps back and evaluate the situation.
“It was at that moment I realized what women’s options were: if she was an outspoken feminist, she didn’t care what she looked like, or at the opposite end of the spectrum, if she was beautiful, she was self-consumed and conceited,” Piper said.
Why can’t women be both? Why can’t a woman be an advocate for women’s rights, yet also feel beautiful about herself, too?
“I don’t think beauty is the problem,” Piper said. “I think it’s the limited definition of beauty that’s the problem.”
And that’s when inspiration struck – women needed to “take the power back.”
Nearly two and a half years later, Piper now travels around the country to speak to young women about what beauty really means. As a graduate of Loyola University, she knew public speaking to be one of her captivating talents, so she decided to embrace it.
Through The PrettyGirl Revolution, Piper not only offers private and group life coaching sessions, but also participates as speaker at a variety of academic and conference events, and leads workshops designed to give women the opportunity to apply the ideas discussed during events.
Her work focuses on encouraging high school and collegiate-aged women who are experiencing a myriad of societal pressures, which can lead to self-doubt, low self-esteem, and depression. During life coaching sessions and speaking engagements, Piper works with women one-on-one to emphasize the future and break down the restrictive barricades often brought on by societal stresses, rather than concentrate on the past.
“I want to teach women that deep down, in your core, there is something so much more powerful than what some believe,” Piper said. “Sometimes, we try to fill that void by seeking the perfect guy, or perfect body or job. But I want to teach women that they are their real soulmate – they’re what they’ve been searching for.”
Piper’s emphasis on embracing the imperfections and self-worth is in part due to the adversity she has faced in her own life. At the age of 22 Piper lost her mother, which not only impacted her in an earth-shattering way, but also bolstered her resolve.
“Thinking back, I realized that my mom was such a captivating story teller,” Piper said. “She used to tell stories about her travel in the military and her colorful, adventurous life. I remember I would listen and think, ‘My God, she was just a beautiful thing.’”
It was that beauty that fueled her future aspirations.
Since launching the revolution, Piper’s passion has led to her innovative and bold definition of what it means to be an empowered woman today. Some of the describing attributes of a “prettygirl” as defined by Piper, is one “who walks with poise and confidence, celebrating her authenticity” and “is competent in her work, ambitious in her goals, and resilient in her spirit,” according to The PrettyGirl Revolution website.
Although the endeavor began as The PrettyGirl Revolution, Piper is now working on expanding her brand to cater to collegiate women and to create an additional life coaching initiative for women known as “Elizabeth Piper Coaching.”
While everyday life leaves many women – especially those in transitional periods – broken down, Piper has worked to build up their strength step-by-step, eventually leading them towards a healthy, loving relationship with themselves.
“My mom used to be so independent,” Piper said. “She was feminist who did her own thing. But between the everyday struggles of life, that including mental illness and addiction, she lost part of herself along the way. After this, I realized that your soul needs to be nourished, otherwise it will die – and I don’t want that for anyone.”
Join the Prettygirl Revolution here.
Alyssa spends her free time focusing on her passion for writing. She received an MSJ from Northwestern University in 2012, and has since begun exploring her journalism endeavors. As a science enthusiast, avid rock climber and an undercover nerd, she's open to just about anything that will quench her thirst for adventure. Follow Alyssa on Twitter: @Sams6064