Skip navigation links

April 16, 2020

Josie Miller: Empowering Detroit’s women in need

April 16, 2020

Josie Miller is a junior in the Broad College of Business majoring in marketing and minoring in sales. She is the founder of Behind the Scenes Beauty, a nonprofit organization which empowers women in need in Detroit.

I believe that beauty starts from within. Every woman is beautiful, but for many, it can feel like beauty is behind the scenes. When you do not feel confident on the outside, it can be difficult to feel beautiful on the inside. This all begins with having the proper resources for women to truly see their own beauty.

Growing up in Detroit, I realized that there were people living so close to me that had so much less than I did. Throughout high school, I noticed that my own self-confidence relied so heavily on how I felt externally; I started to actively notice just how much it could cost to be a woman in this society and I thought to myself, “There’s no way women in need have all of the items they not only need but also use to make them feel beautiful.” 

This was the inspiration that drove me to start my nonprofit organization, Behind the Scenes Beauty, in 2016.  

Through this organization, I am driven to provide a platform for women to realize their most basic privileges. And to offer those privileges to women who are unjustly without them.

I create boxes for Detroit’s women in need, with each box containing basic hygiene items, alongside items to empower confidence and encourage self-growth. These include makeup, nail polish, hair accessories or anything that empowers inner and outer beauty. 

During my first few years at MSU, I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to make a difference for women in Detroit while studying and living in East Lansing. But what I’ve found is that sharing the message of helping those in need allows for a greater impact to be made.  

The most impactful aspect I have experienced in sharing Behind the Scenes Beauty’s mission with other students is helping to broaden their perspectives. As a college student, I know how easy it is to let your own life, and the problems in your life, take over your thoughts and time. 

Spending an hour giving to those in need and realizing the level of privilege we all have just by going to college allows students to consider what other’s may be going through. 

By sharing Behind the Scenes Beauty, I can help my fellow Spartans take time out of their day to focus on someone other than themselves. 

As a student in the Broad College, I’ve been able to attend events like the Big Ten Women’s Business Connect Leadership Conference in Detroit and have made connections with business student groups to get others involved. 

And as a sales minor, I’ve also been able to better understand how to “sell” my idea of Behind the Scenes Beauty and connect with the women I serve.

Looking ahead, I hope to grow this organization in my life by always making an active effort to give to those in need, wherever my path takes me. 

I believe Behind the Scenes Beauty’s true power is demonstrating how simple it is to make a difference and that this kind of work is needed wherever we may go in our lives.