As we come to the end of International Women's Month, I sit here reflecting over the past year of 2021 and I can't believe it's over. It has been a great year in many ways and a challenging year in other ways. Heaven gained an angel just before Thanksgiving, my Great Aunt Margaret was an amazing woman, she was 98 years young! There were about 100 people at her funeral, which if you think about it, is astonishing, that at 98 years old there were that many people still engaged with her. But it is not surprising because she was so strong, funny, intelligent, and more interested in "you" than anything else. I hope that I can continue that legacy as well, especially as I look at my three beautiful daughters.
In 1952, my great aunt Margaret was the first woman to start a furniture manufacturing company in the state of North Carolina. It is crazy to think that not only did she start a business as a woman in the early 50s, but she was also a wife and mother of two boys. Aunt Margaret was beautiful not just in her appearance but more importantly for the way she made everyone around her feel.
I've recently heard it's offensive to say that Happy Girls are the prettiest. Really, is that offensive? This is a quote that I have always loved. When you look deeper into the quote, you can see better the context - what is before and what was behind it. Audrey Hepburn was the one that stated this and what she said was, "I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that Happy Girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles." What's not to love about it! I have three daughters and I work a lot with young women. I love to mentor young people - in my life I didn't have that many people close to me that could guide me.
I love that when we laugh there's just joy, you can't be stressed when you're laughing. And I really do believe that we are our prettiest when we're laughing and happy. I am so drawn to pictures. We just did a photoshoot in July and honestly my absolute favorite pictures are the ones where they're laughing. It's just the best... it's a moment and I love to create as many moments like that as I can in my life and in my girls' lives. I want them to be strong, intelligent, funny, witty, and yes pretty, young ladies....and pretty has nothing to do with what they've been given from an appearance standpoint. Really it is just the essence of who they are and how they show up. I think it is best captured when they are smiling and laughing - HAPPY.
There are so many pressures that we have in life that are hard. I think it's harder in this day of social media, cell phones, all the filters and everything else. Definitely so much more difficult for all of us. I know I always felt like an ugly duckling growing up and I've got the pictures to prove it, unfortunately. That was the basis of why I started this business. I have a couple of school yearbooks, and as I went through them, what caught my eye were notes from two different boys - one said, "hey poodle you're a real dog, brillo pad, fuzzy, ..... whatever." And what was funny is that these comments didn't bother me that much, I just kind of blew it off as these boys are just being rude. What was harder to handle were the girls, the mean girls. I think often in our attempts to feel prettier, or bigger or stronger, more important, girls in particular, will be mean.
I think we can all agree that happiness is a form of self-care. It's good to laugh - it is hard to be stressed when you are laughing. You're actually at your prettiest when you are happy and that's something that I want to encourage my girls to understand. I guess a good question to ask right now is, and this is going to be an ongoing conversation, when do you feel your prettiest? When my children are happy it shows in their faces. And I think they look the prettiest they've ever looked regardless of whether they have done their hair, or they are messy from working out or just when they were younger, playing, getting dirty, painting, or whatever - seeing the joy radiating through their eyes, is what makes them look far prettier than anything else at all.
I think that the message of the prettiest girls are the happiest girls is a good message. I think it's about promoting happiness and self-acceptance, not beauty. Let's let our daughters grow up without the pressure to conform to society's view of what's pretty. In fact, let's give ourselves a break too. We don't have to conform to what society's views as pretty. There's nothing wrong with enhancing how you're created and using products to keep your hair from being frizzy or whatever. That is the mission of my business - to help people embrace the way they're created, helping their natural beauty shine through. That is what this is all about. So, I ask you, what is your view of pretty?