Photography by Claire Anderson Photography
Meet Lexi. She is Beauty Revived.
“To whom much is given much will be required.”
A 6th grade lunch period in the cafeteria is a wonder to behold.
A table of 11 year-olds sit socializing at a long table as a new student nervously approaches to sit with kids who she hopes will soon become her friends. She quickly learns otherwise as a bully stands and ushers all of the kids to a new table, leaving a little girl sitting alone, her heart pounding in despair.
Some kids bring great pain to others as they attempt to gain attention and popularity. Others, a special few, grasp early on that the power of love triumphs over evil and harmful deeds.
That day, one student stayed behind and stood up for someone in need. She had the courage to go against the grain, grabbed the girls hand and walked together to rejoin the group whether they liked it or not. That one student was a young lady named Lexi Graves, who at a young age chose compassion and love for another over remaining part of the crowd.
For those who know Lexi and those who do not, it is easy to recognize that she has grown into a beautiful young lady. More important than the obvious external beauty she possesses, however, is her internal beauty, driven by her strength of character. This is something only known by those closer to her. Despite her slight 5 foot 3 inch frame, she possesses extraordinary fortitude and strength. That faithful day in the 6th grade lunch room was an early sign of this strength.
Beauty comes in many different forms and Lexi’s internal beauty shines brightest through her strength of character. Discipline, hard work, emotional control, and above all else love for others have been the cornerstones of her life.
Her resulting achievements and displays of leadership are many. Her commitment to academic excellence is displayed in a 4.3 GPA and being named Academic Prefect (Prefects are the top leadership posts at her high school) in her class. She has played varsity soccer since the 8th grade and is a team captain. She is a student of The Conservatory of the Arts, and played lead and supporting theatre roles for the past 4 years. Such a schedule leads to numerous 13 and 14 hour “work” days that often times end in the early morning hours. Lexi has a unique ability to simply keep going. “Even when things feel bad and I become overwhelmed, I know that if I just keep moving forward and putting forth effort that everything will be OK and most often times will be even better than OK, more like great!” Lexi understands that it is her discipline, work ethic and perseverance that has lead to her achievements to date and will also be the key to her continued success in college and professionally. She loves, finds motivation in, and tries to live by the Calvin Coolidge quote on Perseverance, “Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; Nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; Unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is filled with educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”
Her beauty is enhanced by observing how in spite of a chaotic schedule, she always remains committed to find the time to help those less fortunate than herself. She has been the recipient of the Gold Community Service Award for the past 3 years. She views her achievements and contributions in the area of giving back among her proudest accomplishments. Focus in this area has included a church retreat in Puerto Rico, work in soup kitchens, packing lunches for those who cannot afford food, manual labor at a nature preserve, singing and performing to entertain seniors, and assisting with toy donations. She sets a goal for hours of charitable work and works hard to achieve it each year. “I read the saying a long time ago, “To whom much is given much will be required.” This has always made sense to me. I feel like I have been blessed in so many ways and that it is my responsibility to make sure that I dedicate time to helping others.”
For Lexi, beauty is defined as discipline, hard work, emotional control, and love for others. At a very young age Lexi had the courage to be beautiful in a different way from how beauty is traditionally defined. It was by putting someone else’s needs above her own at a crucial time for a new student who was being bullied. These traits have led to incredible accomplishments throughout her teenage years. Lexi is a leader and role model for young ladies everywhere.
About the Photographer
Claire Anderson is an internationally published and award-winning photographer, who has taken her talents from her hometown of Dallas, Texas to where she currently resides in West Palm Beach, Florida.
Claire’s work has been published in Vogue Magazine, Marie Claire Magazine, Teen Vogue and E! Online. Her work has also won awards including, the “HOT 100” by Senior Style Guide featuring the top 100 images and photographers in the US for three years in a row, the “Top 30 Senior Photographers” by Seniorologie’s Peoples Choice Award, and one of the “Top 25 Most Influential Teen Photographers” by Modern Teen Style Magazine.
Claire is widely known and recognized for her light-filled images, and is an educator on the art and business of teen portrait photography.