To American Apparel, I thank you for once giving me and countless other customers the courage to believe that we are beautiful even without makeup and just as the sizes we are. May that valuable lesson live on -- far beyond the future American Apparel brand.
These are women don't own jeans or sneakers. They have never seen the inside of a Chico's. And they only rarely follow the conventional rules of fashion. Each creates her own path and takes joy in every step.
In executive coaching, I have clients hurtling themselves toward a goal. They want to get "there" no matter what. Then there are the adrenaline junkies who enjoy the risk of chaos, taking pride in not needing methods and plans.
So many times we're told that being beautiful means being perfect. You have to have straight, white teeth, lustrous hair, no wrinkles or other imperfections on your face. But who is actually like that? No one!
I learned a lot from having a rose beside me all week. I made time to see the good in life. I remembered that I have thorns and to use them when needed. And I told myself again and again that it is my job to stand tall in the light.
We are telling them that their natural faces will distract people, that being pretty is necessary regardless of circumstance, that performing femininity in exactly the right way isn't just helpful, it's essential.
I applaud the publication on its endeavor to begin the conversation on natural beauty. "Pretty" goes beyond European style features and Brazilian imported tresses; it starts with a Black woman's kinks sprouting from her roots and raw individuality.
There are some deep cultural implications that we can glean from this here saggy boob or perceived saggy boob syndrome. The truth is, my boobs aren't really THAT saggy, but I think what's deceptive about their downward persuasion is that they're REAL!
My little hiatus from shaving has been awesome. I've learned some new things about myself, engaged in some substantial, thoughtful dialogue with many peers, and got to play around with some social norms.
I remember hating my face and hating my skin and looking at all the girls around me in middle school and on TV and in ads and feeling like I was a monstrosity in comparison. I think makeup can be empowering, but acknowledging that it isn't natural is important.
As a joy champion myself, I had to give Ido a huge hug when I asked him what's most important to him in terms of life and business success. He replied, "I love making people smile. That's the key: giving people joy."