Mission & Platform
From my perspective, an issue we women face today is the challenge to be accepted as both beautiful and intelligent. Far too often we are expected to choose a side. If you are considered a very attractive woman, you tend to not be taken seriously in the workforce. People Say crude things like, "Shouldn't you be shopping or curling your hair?" as if you don't belong anywhere where high intellect is required. If you are extremely intelligent, people tend to insinuate that you should be in someone's science lab rather than at a photoshoot and that you should be ashamed to be affiliated with the beauty industry. I have personally been told to my face that I am insulting other women by wearing a bikini because "real women don't look like that"; that I should focus more on being in the workforce and stop wearing makeup if I really want to empower women.
My question is Why can’t I a create a master business plan for locations needing revitalization and work to eradicate Human Trafficking and Hunger while wearing dashing heels? Why can’t I wear my favorite red lipstick while I am speaking to young ladies about Ovarian Cancer? Why can’t I walk in Fashion week while I am studying for my Harvard courses?
The answer is, I CAN and I WILL.
I have started a campaign where beautifully-spirited women from around the world tell their stories. Actresses like Lupita Nyong’o, who graduated from Yale University , M.F.A. 2012 (Google.com, n.d.) and Natalie Portman who graduated from Harvard University 2003 (Google.com, n.d.) , as well as Super Models like Brooke Shields who graduated from Princeton University,1987 (Google.com, n.d.) , all show that we CAN be both Beautiful and Intelligent. I started this platform in the summer/fall of 2014 while trying to figure out whom I wanted to be. People were telling me that I needed to choose my modeling or my business life, it was then that I realized that I can be both and I was both. From there, I sought out to encourage many others via social media and within my outreach and through The Catch A Falling Star Foundation.
The impact my program has been having has been incredible. I have been helping women improve their self-esteem and feel comfortable being both beautiful and intelligent. It is imperative that ladies know that there is nothing wrong with caring about your appearance and how you present yourself to the world, but also encouraging them to be more than just "another pretty face". Helping them understand that appearance can get them to the stage, but combine that with their intellect and they will remain on the stage. I have seen that the ladies that have already done this program with me appear stronger, happier and less likely to be persuaded into going down the wrong path later in life. The ladies feel that they can truly make a difference in the world and the feel better about themselves at the same time. When you feel better about yourself, you are more inclined to do tasks that will better the lives of others. By teaching ladies alike that you can be both Beautiful AND Intelligent, I am arming them with the tools needed to succeed in a world that is determined to fit us into singular boxes. While breaking the status quo, women are now more capable of self-identifying their standards to which they will feel empowered, resulting in a better world of women. When empowered women stand together, incredible things happen.
My goal is to expand this program as far as it will go. With a larger audience, I will be able to reach out to different women around the world on a higher level and collaborate with them on this campaign. Through that collaboration, I will then have an even larger reach to inspire and encourage ladies around the world, globally. Getting this campaign on a trending level will assist me with changing the standard outlook on Models, Pageant ladies, Female scientist and so many other types of amazing women.
I will continue to challenge the status quo that says “you must fit into this box”. I will continue to challenge the status quo until ladies in both the fashion and business industry are equally respected. THIS is my Platform. Why?
REMEMBER, you are worthy, fierce and capable!!
(Image credit: Bill Pender and Intimate Conception Photography)