Bridgett Burrick Brown knows what makes her feel beautiful but she hasn’t always felt that way. Growing up in an industry focused on outer beauty, her career as a model taught her that beauty doesn’t mean having perfect skin or a model-type body. With over two decades of experience as a professional model, she drew inspiration from her modeling career, but also from her other roles — mother, wife, personal trainer, and holistic life coach — when envisioning the Beyond Beauty Project.
Raised in the Midwest right outside of Detroit, Michigan, Bridgett spent the majority of her early years dancing competitively. Her childhood looked different from most of her friends because her mother grew sick with multiple sclerosis and was in a wheelchair by the time Bridgett and her twin brother were seven years old. As a result, their dad worked double shifts at Chrysler to support their family.
Bridgett channeled her father’s work ethic after high school when she began working full time as a secretary to put herself through Community College. Making her own money made her realize she had the power to pave her own way in the world. People had been telling her for years that she should model but she was never interested until she realized it could give her a world of opportunities. She researched the best photographer in town and shot with him. When she returned to work one Monday morning her boss walked up to her with a smirk, handed her a stack of about 30 faxes from modeling agencies around the world, and said “ I guess you won’t be working here much longer”. That day the 19-year-old’s life changed forever.
Michelle Pommier Models in Miami and Chic Models in Paris signed her that summer, and her career took off. Before she knew it she was living in Miami, then Paris, and then all around the world. The quick trajectory of her career as a model and the obvious industry focus on — and judgment of — her looks felt unnatural and uncomfortable. She realized quickly that beauty isn’t defined by perfect skin or a waif-like body.
During the beginning of her modeling career, Bridgett struggled with her body image, yo-yo dieting along with other girls going through the same pressures. They were held to a particular industry standard and also often told to lose weight, cut their hair, get surgery, etc. These struggles fostered questions about what beauty truly meant, and she grew determined to learn how to fully love and respect herself.
Bridgett dove into educating herself. She got certified in personal training and holistic nutrition, studied Ayurveda medicine, and psychology through books, training courses, and therapy. After years of questioning how she felt about herself, she felt strong — physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Then, during a life-altering two years, Bridgett lost her mom, her dad, her brother, and a best friend. In the midst of that period of personal loss, she married the love of her life and gave birth to her daughter. As she began to rebuild her life with her young family, several miscarriages left her unsure about how to heal her body and spirit. Her pain sparked a desire to further shape her own beauty, free from judgment and others’ expectations. She then paused from the modeling world and decided to make the Beyond Beauty Project her mission to help others love themselves from the inside out.
Each day raising a daughter further ignites her passion for tackling tough conversations surrounding beauty. Realizing that her mother’s own self-image had a lot to do with how she felt about herself continues to inspire Bridgett to pass along healthy messages to her daughter.
Bridgett knows a good hair day can help anyone feel beautiful for a moment, but ardently believes our beauty needs to come from within— our health, minds, emotions, and souls. There is no beauty fix for not loving yourself, and she hopes the Beyond Beauty Project helps shine some light on the things we can all do to feel our best from the inside out.