Fashion and fame and the glamor of it all has always been appealing to me. For as long as I can remember, I have been watching award shows, beauty pageants and the red carpet. I was always admiring how beautiful and elegant the women looked in magazines and on television. It wasn't until I was much older that I realized it wasn't the designers or the affluent lifestyles that these people had, but that I was truly drawn to the voice that these celebrities had to make a difference with their message; the power they had to evoke change and how their voice, their actions, were amplified for the world to hear and see.
Being a mother in the fashion industry has been a rewarding, yet sometimes extremely difficult, journey. I analyze every decision I make in my career to assure that I am delivering the message that I want Lily to hear. Living a life of example, through my actions, words and thoughts about myself and empower women to own their true beauty is my goal -- acceptance at the highest level of being! You would think success with this genuine sincerity for women at the core would be easy. But it has not been the case. It has been a constant outreach of gaining trust and confidence in a non-judgmental relationship. Women, sadly enough, do not believe that they can be beautiful. Many of us have been raised comparing ourselves to models in magazines and actors on television. I know, because I had similar thoughts when trying on clothes and looking in the mirror as a teen. What I have come to learn through styling numerous models for editorials, portfolio work, etc. is that we all are imperfectly perfect! There are models with stretch marks, cellulite, extra skin and bad complexions, but yet their pictures are flawless. I mean no disregard to the industry of modeling. I think that any female who is willing to put herself out there for people to potentially judge shows strength. I also believe that those models are gorgeous, regardless of edits.
This is why I have set forth on a mission to bring beauty to every woman. I recently organized and styled a fashion show that highlighted some of my VIP clients and very best friends. Initially, when I invited a few of the women to walk the catwalk, they laughed and blew me off as if I had been joking. I was adamant about their participation and strong-armed them into accepting graciously, but with little confidence. It was invigorating for me to style and fit these women in clothes that they normally would never have tried on. Again, my strong-arm tactics came into play (I am fierce at 5'2). What was born at that fashion show was an army of confident women who saw and then believed in their beauty. They finally saw what I was seeing all along.
We all want to feel good, be healthy and like what we see in the mirror, but we have to stop comparing ourselves to illusions that we see as reality. I would be devasted if my daughter grew up questioning her beauty, falling victim to an eating disorder or adversely being so consumed with her appearance that her inner beauty suffers.
I believe we are in a remarkable time of awareness and self-discovery. We have models like Cindy Crawford publishing unedited pictures and actresses stepping up in editorial spreads, as Jamie Lee Curtis did a few years ago. Musicians sing proudly about their body size and "bass." Young adults and children with disabilities are featured in advertising campaigns and most recently, walked the runway at New York City's Fashion Week. Slowly but steadily, we are changing the game.
Holly Fulger, an actress best known for Anything But Love and Ellen, is helping to redefine beauty. She has decided to stand up to the whisper in her ear telling her, "she is not as beautiful as____." With a vision and a voice she has set out to bring The Hollywood Beauty Detectives, Directed by Michael Goi, to life. With Fundly fundraising, she has gained the support of Hollywoods finest and will begin filming in May and ready for viewing in September. We applaud Holly in her efforts to reform our ideas of beauty. For taking the less than popular stance and coming out from the behind the curtain. Bravo!
All of these acts help strengthen the stand of what true beauty is! People with strong voices are coming together to share stories about the importance of accepting oneself. Seeing true beauty can move mountains. When people are confident, comfortable and fearless of judgment, they can reach higher, dig deeper, stand taller and live brighter!
A tremendous thanks to all of the girls at Lowell Academy Hairstyling Institute for joining my efforts in bringing beauty front and center for women sizes xs-3xl.