In December, I was honored to be invited to apply to be one of 30 Canadian women cast for Dove Beauty. I didn’t get chosen, (“it was an honor just to get nominated”) … but it was a moment I could reflect on beauty. Here it what I had to say.
Please describe yourself in one sentence?
100% single mom of a 6 year old boy with great eyebrows, self-made business owner who helps people feel beautiful for a living and lover of fashion/photography/travel/ and education.
What does real beauty mean to you?
Real beauty is authenticity & integrity. It’s about living a life of meaning and deeply and truly understanding your own priorities and passions, speaking truthfully and loving too many things to properly KonMari.
How has this changed over time?
Enormously. I grew up on a farm, where women’s “beauty” has no value, but work ethic and capability does. It was a shock to me to move to a city and realize there were cultural norms and competitive standards based on “beauty”.
Ensue lengthy period of difficulty accepting my size and shape, according to standards I had to first hear, then learn to understand, then try to achieve.
Fast forward a decade later, when I worked for IMG in New York, in the magazine division of Mercedes Benz Fashion Week. I was 5″ shorter and 25 lbs heavier than the runway models revered for their beauty. And yet, when I went to cocktail parties with my model friends, our ages/height/weight were not actually relevant. All of these standards had been lies.
Skip 6 more years and I am raising the child I had on my own and now professionally spend my life helping people love their bodies. My studio, My Body Couture, provides on-on-one services to help people feel comfortable in their bodies and my occupational specialty is to help people leave behind the things that physically or mentally pain them so they can literally be more beautiful from the inside out.
How do you feel about your own beauty?
I don’t think about it. Beauty is when I look inside and figure out the top three priorities in my life (education, travel and fashion) that make me feel abundant every single day. Beauty is spending time with my son, working on his project of eating food from every country in the world and snapping a photo of us laughing with falafel balls hanging out of our mouths. Beauty is showing up for my clients in Muladhara Yoga pants and a Brunello Cucinelli top, with an arm full of silver bangles buuuuut I left the kitchen a mega mess…again. Beauty is volunteering for a social program dedicated to helping young moms in my role as mentor: the physical embodiment of the possiblities for a single mom who has been physically and financially alone.
So I don’t think about it because beauty isn’t a separate entity from my life or lifestyle: beauty is me and I am beauty. It’s one thing.