What defines your beauty? Is it wardrobe, hair, make up, health & fitness, your state of mind or the state of your soul? I’ve learnt that beauty is relative, subjective, ever changing like the seasons and it is rooted in your self-esteem. From the nutrition you feed your body, to the information that fuels your opinions, to the colours that compliment your skin tone, beauty is so multi-layered. I was recently asked this question about my definition of beauty by my friend and colleague, Madame Athena Chang, who wanted my opinion as someone she considers an influencer. My first thought was ‘well that’s a simple question…’ but as I began to speak I soon realised that the answer was not that simple. On the contrary, the complexity of the answer to that question has lead to the profits of multi-billion dollar industries that have been defining and redefining what beauty is for centuries because who really wants to deal with such complexities? We want to be told the answer and then it makes everything a lot easier to figure out. We’ll know exactly what to do to feel and be beautiful. Perfect. One less thing to think about. But is that really the case? I’m sure the hundreds of millions of women in the world today who spend half of their life’s earnings or more to feel beautiful would disagree that their beauty is one less thing to think about. Women think about it all the time.
The truth is whether the answer is based on the physical or the metaphysical; it can all seem accurate depending on who’s answering. As my friend and I discussed our ideas, exchanged thoughts and compared opinions the dialogue moved deeper from one layer to the next; after over an hour of reasoning we both came to a common ground of understanding. We realised that the answer exists in how we internalize our own definition. That place of internalization is where our purest, most undeniable beauty exists, the kind we describe as beauty for life. A simple question has now lead to a tapestry of answers that are interlaced with more questions. Women are continually told the definition of beautiful, our questions always being answered by everyone around us except us. In some countries and cultures we’ve wholeheartedly embraced this direction of beauty, even when we have doubt, even when it is physiologically impossible to fit into the subjective view of what beauty is based on our very DNA. It’s mind blowing to think about, its even more fascinating to discuss. And so my journey begins with a search for the honest answers about how we define, own and reflect beauty regardless of age, race, status, gender or culture.
Further to our highly charged discussion, we wanted to know how other women felt about these issues we so openly addressed, who else could we generate real insights with? I teamed up with Athena and another close friend Judith Mouial, who both work with a game changing company called Beautycounter that’s devoted to women’s progress. We coordinated our first meeting of beautiful minds, a social called Beauty For Life. As a health and wellness coach and the Director of Community at Beautycounter, Athena brings a wealth of empowering knowledge about ways we can all live healthier and how to choose products you can trust are safe. As a single mother of 3, an entrepreneur and a Consultant at Beautycounter, Judith Mouial is a contemporary woman warrior; balancing her household and growing her business in the competitive global city of Miami. Together, we invited a small gathering of smart, savvy, diverse, beautiful women who wanted to learn more about moving towards better beauty. The conversation flowed from sunset to midnight, with product sampling by Beautycounter, delicious desserts compliments of CristalSarahCakes and an impromptu cosmetic demo by make up artist Candace Veersammy. We discussed our opinions about beauty, how its impacted our relationships and how to make major changes in our daily routines with simple, small steps from our bathroom to our kitchen. I’ve since eliminated certain toxic products from my routine altogether and welcomed a new wave of smarter, safer beauty care into my life. Being conscious of what products we put on our bodies every single day is the first step.
Beauty For Life is a new movement towards nurturing and sustaining our beautiful selves everyday. Its an opportunity to connect with friends, colleagues and industry experts who can share invaluable information about true beauty. From our individuality to our sexuality, we’ll challenge every ideology there is about how we see ourselves and present ourselves to our world, we’ll exchange progressive perspectives beyond homogenous harmful beauty. The opinions and ideas will be broad, conflicting and honest. One thing is certain; the discussion will always be inspiring and provocative. I look forward to sharing the insights with you.