Thursday, March 28, 2013

From the Mouths of Beautiful Babes

Photo by Jennifer Alder Photography

A Youthful Perspective on Real Beauty

By Erica Mann

"Beauty is something that lies within and radiates outward."

I am an aspiring American model and actress who is best known for her athletic background as a track and field runner. Since I was young I noticed how many people worked so hard to meet the standard of what society calls beauty. 

I always felt so fortunate because I was surrounded by women who were confident in themselves and stood strong in what they believed in. The women in my life stood out in their achievements such as becoming presidents and leaders of organizations, owning their own businesses and even a graduate from Harvard. Although I had great examples of women who saw themselves as beautiful and had beautiful hearts, the great example of men that would treat women like ladies and respect them as women also made a difference. These great examples loved the women in their lives as they were with flaws and all. Experiencing this, I knew I did not have to change for anyone. 

I knew that I was made for a reason and I used that to my advantage. I was taller than most so I started playing sports and did pretty well in it, with the support of my dad, older brother and great coaches. I also started modeling. The natural state of my hair was kinky and curly so I started a forum on facebook called “The Natural Hair Support Group” with a few of my peers. I learned to embrace myself the way that I was and know that I was made for a purpose. 

"The two main influences in my life were my father and mother. The things that they did to ensure I was taken care of made me feel worth more than what any amount of money could buy."

Many people approached me saying “Are those your parents? They are so nice.” Which made me feel so proud of them and reminded me how kindness can go a long way? The love and support that I received from my parents made me feel that I could do anything in the world with no limitation. For this I give honor to God because my parents worked to live according to the Word. No they were not perfect, but I knew that they tried the best they knew how to support and take care of their family.

The ability to give hope to someone and comfort someone is beautiful. To encourage them to live their dreams, to treat others with kindness and share the Love of Christ is beauty that cannot be applied with a brush. It comes from within, and when you see yourself as beautiful others will too. It has always been very important to me not to let life situations change how beautiful I can be on the inside. Being able to brighten someone’s day just by your presence is so rewarding. You never know what the people you come in contact with have been through. To smile at someone and spread joy is a beautiful thing.

That is where my beauty stems from, the great examples of family and friends that allowed Jesus to use them. They have shown their love and kindness in ways that have made differences in people’s lives. Everyone has something unique to offer, and to acknowledge that and use it instead of hiding it because of what the world may say is acceptable, is beautiful.

“Don’t let people stop you from being who you are and never let negative situations make you bitter and treat other people ugly. It’s not worth it.”

One of My favorite quotes:
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. You’re playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”- Marianne Williamson

So, shine the way God intended for YOU to shine and let beauty speak for itself.

For more information on Erica Mann follow her on Facebook/twitter or visit her blog at 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

An Introduction 2 Real Beauty...

By Editor,
Xina Sy

I am both strange & beautiful…

This I know for sure! 

Most of my life I have felt “different.” Unable to wrap words around the contrast between myself & others, it was just something I lived with. I learned to reside with & within the awkwardness of my own unusualness & never really thought much about it. Ok, that was a lie. I thought about it. I thought about it every minute of every day & every second of my life I felt like a misfit; unwanted, unloved, & mostly, unattractive.

My earliest memory of being beauty-challenged was of one summer at the KIK pool. I was in the 8th grade. This beautiful, popular boy swam over to the side of the pool where myself & this gorgeous, then very popular chick sat, kicking our feet in the water in our one-pieces. He arrived with a group of friends, because that’s how cool boys travel, & landed by my side & suavely said, “Hey pretty girl!” I blushed & offered a very gitty, “Hey yourself!” Him & his friends laughed uproariously as he almost shouted, “Not you, you ole’ ugly ass!”

I melted into the water & floated away on the raft of what was left of my low-self-esteem. My heart was broken. The memory became a chink in my own armor of self-worth & I was confused & confounded about what real beauty really was…forever.

The world says many things about beauty. In some cultures, beauty is defined by size two models, which walk runways in 6 inch heels & become fantasies of men’s desires & women’s aspirations. In yet another culture, beauty is defined by dictates that define women’s weight by the level of wealth their family has…the fatter the girl the fatter their father’s wallets. And, in yet another culture, beauty is defined by the purity of a girl, the cost of her dowry; her families lineage.  However defined, beauty comes in all shapes & sizes & hues & backgrounds & economical statuses…none of which has much to do with beauty at all, which is all the more reason that we have to define it for ourselves.

I am both strange & beautiful…this I know for sure! Why strange? I dunno…maybe it’s because I’m damn near 6 feet tall in heels & bald! Maybe it’s because my face is so expressive (friends & family are always telling me to “fix my face”)! Maybe it’s because I have never fit in, never followed the crowd & have always been determined to pave my own way…no matter what! But, just maybe it’s because I just don’t fit any type of stereotypical anything because there is no category for a BIG, BOLD, BEAUTIFUL, BLACK woman with the tenacity of a snapping turtle & a smile that would melt the sun. Whatever the reason…I am finally ok with not just being another pretty face.

How do YOU define REAL beauty? Chime in…

For special delivery of my upcoming new release e-book, “Don’t Hate Me Because I’m Beautiful: Redefining Beauty from Head to Toe” w/ special notes from the author (ME) please click: BUY NOW! It will be delivered to your email box on February 1st! Be Beautiful!