MyMentor: Courtney Shelton of #DefinePerfect

They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder. With the #defineperfect campaign, beauty takes on many shapes and forms when the definition of perfect is up to everyone.

17-year-old Courtney Shelton spent more than decade in the Girl Scouts—from joining as a Daisy to her current ranking as an Ambassador. When she was eligible to earn a Gold Award, one of the highest awards you can achieve in Girl Scouts, Courtney created a social media campaign that helped people realize there is no single answer when it comes to defining what is perfect.

“The problem that I want to tackle in the world? People who feel the need to fit molds created for them by society, the people they associate with, or themselves,” Courtney said on the Define Perfect Facebook Page. “I want to redefine the word ‘perfect’ so that instead of being some unattainable label, it is something that people can use to describe things that may not be flawless but are exactly the way they should be.”

Courtney chose to take her message to social media as a way to create a sustainable project that she could stay involved with beyond high school, college and Girl Scouts.


“With social media, I can keep up with it on a daily basis,” she said.

Earning the prestigious Gold Award is no easy feat. The seven-step community project has to have longevity to make a difference for years to come. Shelton’s confidence boosting project is not only relevant, but fits within the Girl Scout guidelines.

You can #defineperfect, by sharing your photos and thoughts about what perfect means to you on the Define Perfect blog, Facebook page, Twitter or Instagram. The plethora of outlets gives everyone the chance to get involved and be part of the discussion.

Maybe perfection means getting good grades or being a loyal friend. Maybe it’s about being an avid volunteer or environmentally conscious. The more diverse the answers are, the better.

“In the process, maybe we will define confident, bold, and optimistic as words that anyone can be with a change in mindset, not just the ‘lucky few’ that were born with those traits,” Shelton said. ” Every single person has some positive quality worth mentioning.”

It wasn’t an easy start to get people involved. Shelton sent numerous emails before she started to see interaction online. Seeing #defineperfect being put to good use was a gratifying experience for her.

“I was searching #defineperfect and one day there was magically about 100 pictures,” she said, “I posted a picture on Facebook and when I came back it had a ton of likes. It was so excited the first time someone shared a photo.”

Growing up as Girl Scout has given Courtney confidence over the years she said. With all of the negativity girls face in the current media, Shelton hopes she can take what she has learned and teach others to be more accepting.

“The Girl Scouts has given me the confidence in whatever I want to set my mind to,” she said. “Everyone has perfection within them,” Shelton said. “But a lot cannot identify it.”  

—Jennie McKeon