Feminine beauty has always been a huge interest of mine. I remember learning about the wishing star from watching Pinocchio and standing at my window looking out at the biggest star I could find in the sky and making a wish that I would be beautiful from head to toe. I was EIGHT.
The source of beauty had already escaped me at a young age. Fast forward to age 14 when Snackwells came out with “fat free” cookies, and it became in fashion to be weight obsessed. High school was a flurry of woman after woman (including myself) experimenting with disordered eating, and gossip was rampant – so and so has an eating disorder….oooh look how thin she has gotten, wow, she has gained weight….it was the undercurrent of being a woman in high school in our affluent neighborhood in LA. Breakfast became one slice of melba toast with a thin layer of jam, a handful of Special K cereal with a sprinkling of golden raisins and a splash of milk.
The experimentation of body size manipulation continued into college, at UC Santa Barbara where it was equally in fashion to be an over-exerciser and under-eater. Finally during my 2nd year I had become so depressed from the angst and relentlessness of needing to control my body in the hopes of being beautiful. Enough! I called my mom and she found me a therapist. This was the beginning of my journey back to my SELF. I was 19.
I remember the moment I began to have a sliver of a notion of what real beauty was. I had been referred to a dietitian, Francie, to help get back to a healthier way of eating, and that first session with her changed my life radically. I remember sitting down, expecting something clinical, like being weighed and being given a prescription of food to eat. What I got was my first taste of a new paradigm. In her little office in downtown Santa Barbara, Francie sat in front of me. I remember thinking, “she has a funny look in her eyes… a little skewed in some direction I am not familiar with”. There was a huge, gorgeous painting behind her on the wall, a print of a painting by Matisse, of a circle of women holding hands dancing in a circle. I saw another statue of a goddess-like creature sparkling with jewels on a side table. Hmmmm.
She said, “When people lived a long time ago, they didn’t have mirrors. They lived primarily outside. They couldn’t look at themselves as often as we can now. Their attention was not on their physical image. It was on doing their work and being with each other and singing, dancing and laughing. There was a happiness and a simplicity that eludes many women today. Disordered eating/exercise did not exist like they do today. Your issues with eating and your body are a product of the culture you live in now. But you don’t have to keep living this way. You can learn to enjoy your body exactly how it is. You can experience being beautiful independent of the size of your body. You can return to yourself.”
I was in disbelief (what kind of world did this woman live in?), and I was a little scared like, no, she can’t take my control away from me can she?, but could also feel the hope, maybe she was right!
Turned out that I was the one with skewed thinking! She was seeing something clearly that I had been confused about for over a decade. I wasn’t thoroughly convinced yet and it did take a while…but this was the beginning. This was my first clue. Enjoying my body, a new concept
My work with Francie lasted all through college and led me to meet other people that influenced my life significantly (including
& Masen!), and led me to the work I do today. That first clue to the source of real beauty was the seed
A huge component of my work in the world centers around feminine beauty and supporting ALL women in living at the source of their true beauty and attractiveness. My discoveries continued over the next decade in some interesting ways, which I will be writing about again soon I hope you’ll travel along with me