I recently had the opportunity to watch this amazing video and speak to its creator, 19-year-old filmmaker/singer/songwriter Juliana Lyons. Juliana filmed, directed, and edited this video about body image and pressure young girls feel to look a certain way. And it’s all set to a song she wrote a recorded! How amazing is that? Make sure to check out the video and learn more about Juliana:

What is your background and training for singing and videography?

I have had basically no training in videography. My dad is a television producer, so I’ve tried to pick up the basics by watching him in action. He’s taught me all I know about it, which isn’t very much, but I’ve got some of the essentials down. While knowing all the technicalities of the camera is certainly important, I think the most essential component of film-making is having the creative eye to capture the ordinary in a beautiful way

On the other hand, I have been singing my whole life. My parents are both musicians, and growing up in a musical home has influenced me a great deal. I attended a private pre-Juilliard music conservatory in NYC, which provided me with classical piano training during my elementary school years. Recently, I got my first song-placement in the American Girl Doll movie, which is scheduled to air next year.

What was your inspiration for the piece? Any event in particular?

I wrote this song with my dad during my senior year of high school. The day we started writing it, I was struggling a lot with how I looked. My inspiration for this song came from my own personal discontent with my appearance, which was, is, and continues to be a very real issue in my life. I am my own worst critic. I tear myself apart when I look in the mirror! It’s a terrible problem, and I know I’m not the only one who faces it. My goal is not to blame anyone or anything for this epidemic of appearance-obsession. Even if the media wasn’t saturated with unattainably perfect and digitally altered images, we would still find things we didn’t like about ourselves.

What written message would you share with girls and moms regarding body and self-image?

My hope is that my video provides comfort to others in knowing they are not alone with their struggles. I want girls to know it’s okay for them to feel this way, because I feel it too. But more importantly, I want them to know that flaws are what makes us beautiful in our own unique way. It sounds cliché, but beauty is so much more than symmetrical facial features and a thigh gap (which I will never, ever have- and I’m okay with that!). Intelligence is beautiful. Confidence is beautiful. Creativity is beautiful. Humility is beautiful. Talent is beautiful. Friendship is beautiful. Loyalty is beautiful. There are so many ways we are beautiful, and it’s silly to focus on appearance as if it’s the only thing that defines us.

 Are you working on anything else?

I am currently working on more music, and hopefully a music video will be in the works sometime soon!