‘Beautiful Women Of’ is a brand and it’s a passion. The idea started with Forum publisher Bill Marcil Jr., who wanted to find a way to expand the definition of beauty in hopes of setting a good example for his own daughters.

Tracy Briggs, Chris Linnares, Mary Jo Hotzler, Kerstin Kealy, Amy Fredrickson

Together with his wife, Chris Linnares, a best-selling author and psychotherapist who is known in her own right for her work on women’s empowerment issues, they created ‘Beautiful Women Of’ To define beauty, they turned to the Greeks who consider beauty to being ‘in one’s finest hour.’

In 2009, Bill and Chris created a book titled ‘Beautiful Women of North Dakota’ and launched the ‘Beautiful Women of North Dakota’ art exhibit. Then, wanting to build on that momentum, they imagined a way to bring the message to the younger generation. And so ‘Beautiful Women’s Marketplace for Kids’ was born. This effort empowered youth and gave them the tools to tell the stories of beautiful women in their lives. The experience was life-changing, and we now want to take these efforts to the next level through this multimedia, social-change project.

Knowing the effect the media has on body image among young girls and women in our society, our organization has an opportunity to create awareness and have a positive influence on our community. Using the multimedia platforms of Forum Communications, including here on Areavoices, we will celebrate the stories of the beautiful, inspiring women in our area. Through this site, you will be able to nominate the deserving women in your life. We will then select a few women each month to feature here, and readers will vote for woman they most want to see featured on an upcoming WDAY news broadcast, in The Forum, and on WDAY radio and these companies websites. The woman you select also will be treated to a generous prize package.

We will begin accepting nominations on Aug. 22, so stay tuned for more on this exciting project.