This is part 2 of our series – #BOSSwomen – celebrating the women in this world whose lives and example inspire us to want to rise up and change the world like they have!
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A great part of it was there ‘beauty’. #Bosswomen are beautiful women.
I thought about how they stood with dignity and confidence, how they wore colourful tailored saris and dresses whilst they hiked up mountains, and how they used natural resources to make eyeliner and lipstick in the villages.
It’s with trepidation that I bring you this article (because I know ‘external beauty’ has so much baggage and controversial connotations associated to it) but I believe beauty is a quality all #bosswomen have.
So what does #bosswomen beauty look like and why is it important? You’re about to find out!
3 encounters with #bosswomen beauty
First, my experience in Amsterdam – a city renowned for being free and open – where I volunteered with an organisation that went to women who had recently come out of jail. Our goal was to treat them to a “day of pampering” (pfft… you might be thinking. As if these women would want ‘pampering’!) When we first interacted with them, they were hesitant and reserved. They felt restricted and closed. But get out the nail polish and start the facials, and by the end of the day, the room is filled with laughter and stories.
Second, the life of a friend named Kerrie has worked as a makeup artist in the television, film, photography and fashion industry, and use to teach young girls and women about how to apply their makeup and present themselves at ‘June Dally Watkins Business and Finishing School’(JDW). Through it all, she has volunteered with ‘Streetlevel’ for 11 years. Streetlevel is service for the homeless and marginalised in Surry Hills, Sydney.
As someone who lives with facial paralysis, Kerrie has an incredible insight on the impact of exterior appearances. She shares of personal and collective experiences involving the value of outer beauty. One example involving Streetlevel’s was:
“I conducted a pamper session where I gave manicures. It was so popular! I was run off my feet. The surprising thing were the number of men who sat down to be pampered and polished (rock star black, footy team colours… all sorts).
I really saw in that moment, watching both men and women flashing their newly polished nails at each other with beaming smiles, how much every person longs to feel cared for and beautiful!
When we take pride in our appearance, our self-confidence and feelings of well-being act as a catalyst for the inner beauty to shine out.”
A Nepali beauty parlour
Third, visiting a beauty parlour started through a women’s credit union saving group in Nepal supported by World Vision.
Attariya shared that her motivation for creating this beauty parlour was to create a safe space for women to discover their beauty, have fun, and be creative with their fashion and style. She also wanted to provide jobs and train women who had not received the opportunity to pursue other schooling. Attariya has since won a beauty business award!
After meeting these women across the world, the connection between being a #bosswomen and feeling beautiful was clear.
3 Reasons why #BOSSwomen embrace beauty
1. You can bond over it
Ever left your hairdressers feeling like you just shared your life story? Or discussed existential crises and conspiracy theories with their beautician? It may seem that you are bonding over the superficial to “get deep” but actually, working with someone’s external features- their physical personal features-is an intimate and vulnerable experience.
Kerrie shares of her experience overseeing a photoshoot for women from the Streetlevel community by makeup students:
Initially, the students were a little nervous… and so were the women! But by working together, the students were able to connect with these amazing individuals and hear their stories of courage from their lives of hardship.
Once the makeover was complete the five ladies felt drop-dead-gorgeous and were more confident in front of the camera than I would ever have expected. You could see a real sparkle in their eyes. They were actually stunning! There were tears and hugs all round when the students and women said their goodbyes.
2. How you display yourself from the outside influences how you feel on the inside
Beauticians and make-up artists around the world will tell you that their role is not to change how you look, but to accentuate and give you the confidence to embrace your natural, God-given features.
You will radiate internal and external beauty when you “Take ownership”, embrace, and are at peace with how you present and perceive yourself.
In Kerrie’s words:
“I spent my life aware that I fell well short of the perfect beauty ideals, but I am certainly not alone! One of my favourite aspects of my job is gently coaching individuals to own and value their unique appearance.
…Never use makeup to hide behind! It is a tool to emphasise and enhance the real you. Thank goodness we are not a collection of same-same Stepford Wives walking around. Difference gives the world colour, flavour and fun.”
3. Embracing your beauty empowers others and yourself
When you embrace ‘your beauty’, the nagging desire to be critical and compare yourself with others dissipates. Judging people always says more about you than them, so when you look and feel good- you will give off positive vibes that empower others to share in that confidence.
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Inner beauty is always more important and enduring that outer beauty, but as I’ve seen, often they go hand-in-hand in inspiring each other. You are beautiful and you too can be a #bosswomen who changes the world around you with confidence, grace and style.
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- You can still order scarves and jewellery from Trade for Freedom, an online marketplace for beautiful merchandise that gives and promotes freedom to the vulnerable, especially women in Nepal.
- Share this article with your friends, have a spa/ pamper day and enjoy each others beauty!