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 and encourage each other to embrace all that we are, unapologetically. 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 who 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, within my outreach and through The Catch A Falling Star Foundation.
The impact of #ICanBeBoth has been incredible. When I launched my campaign, I felt it was imperative that ladies knew that there is nothing wrong with caring about your appearance and how you present yourself to the world, but I wanted us to also encourage each other to be more than just "another pretty face". My campaign's program helps us understand that appearances can get us to the stage, but combining our beauty with our intellect and we will be a force to be reckoned with.
I have seen that the ladies that have already done this program with me appear stronger, happier, and less likely to accept toxic behavior from anyone. We realize that we can truly make a difference in this world while appreciating ourselves. When you feel better about yourself, you are more inclined to do tasks that will better the lives of others. By showing ladies alike that we 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 than ever, 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, globally, that we are more than what society labels us. Getting this campaign on a trending level will assist me with changing the standard outlook on Models, Pageant ladies, Female scientists and so many other types of amazing women.
I will continue to challenge the status quo that say’s “you must fit into this box.” I will continue to challenge the status quo until ladies in both the fashion and business industries alike are equally respected. Women have choices and we must embrace our choices without the societal guilt of what is expected. We are more than "just". We have to embrace all that we are, unapologetically.
THIS is my Platform. Why?
(Image credit: Bill Pender and Intimate Conception Photography)