Dearest Beauty Seekers,
Happy International Women's Day! Welcome to the first official Beauty Marks Blog Post. I’m so excited to start sharing everything we’ve been working on at Beauty Marks, from skin care methods, to more realistic self-care methods, to ‘not giving AF about beauty standards other than your own’ methods. But first, I want to take this opportunity to explain to all of you how I got here, and where I think this journey towards feeling beautiful is going for all of us.
As an artist with a background in theater, teaching, and ton of different creative dabbles, I’ve always been drawn to exploring the ideas of beauty. In 2007, Dove came out with arguably the first advertisement promoting body positivity, using “real people” instead of professional models for their ads. Many feel that this was the birth of the mainstream body positivity movement. I was so inspired by the first signs of the idea that women everywhere could love themselves exactly as they are. Since art is supposed to reflect changes in society, ask questions, and help us to explore ourselves deeper, I wanted to reflect the ideas of this new movement in what I was working on creatively at the time. I was co-directing The Vagina Monologues to raise money for violence against women. An experience that still affects my life to this day. So I asked our cast if they would consider doing the entire show in their underwear. That’s right, I literally asked these women of all different shapes and sizes to step into one of the most common of nightmares; standing in front of an audience without clothes on. Why would anyone actually choose to do that?
But I truly envisioned a world in which we all embraced ourselves and each other. I wanted so badly for that idea to become a movement, and I of course wanted to make a statement. Ah, to be 22, sigh.
We had an interesting conversation with the cast, and the ultimate decision was that we weren’t quite there yet. Many of us were trying to tactfully come clean to one another that we were horrified by the idea of it. Hell, deep down even I was horrified by the idea of it, and it was my idea.
But here we are ten years later, and I am still so passionate about this issue, but now we are finally in the middle of that movement ladies.
Here at Beauty Marks, we see feeling beautiful as a human right. There are so many external and internal factors that divide us, but the right to feeling beautiful?
Everyone deserves that right.
Regardless of your age, race, class, gender, or dare I say it in this climate, your political party.
We want to find more ways to encourage women everywhere to feel beautiful just as they are. Confident in both the modern and traditional choices we make, and continuing the conversation with ourselves and one another about how we can be warriors for our own futures and more importantly for our children’s.
You can contribute to this movement however you see fit; Loudly in the streets protesting for women’s rights, finally asking for that raise, wearing that crop top you thought you couldn’t pull off, confronting years of shame in therapy, finding new ways to connect with your body and mind, finding common ground with other women, wearing purple lipstick, not saying something self-deprecating when you receive a compliment, making a major lifestyle change that leads to you becoming the person you want to be, not feeling guilty about going back to work after having a baby OR quitting your job completely to stay at home. The list goes on and on, and you get to write it now. It’s about making the choices that make YOU feel the most beautiful in your own life on the inside and the outside. It’s also about being mindful to give everyone else that same grace, space, and support you expect in return.
So together we will be sharing some unique and universal stories about how women today are re-writing the fairytales and myths of what it truly means to "find the beauty". In making new choices, speaking your truth, being bold, and confronting what is holding you back from the most beautiful version of yourself.
At times finding the beauty will feel, well, a bit ugly.
I don’t want to give the illusion that feeling beautiful is this magical unicorn you can somehow catch and keep in your pocket at all times. (How fun would THAT be though? #LisaFrankgirl4life.) We are always on some type "we're not good enough" quest. Currently, it seems to be the idea of "balance". Balance is the new perfectionism. It's the new you need to be skinny to be happy. It's the new bullshit we are feeding ourselves that in the end just makes us feel not good enough. So I don't want to mislead you into thinking that "finding the beauty" is a never ending quest of pushing the goal post further away.
But I do want this blog to be a space you can come to receive resources that make these goals feel more attainable. Through inspiration and a safe place to continue discussing how we can all navigate the transitions modern women are confronted with today.
I want feeling beautiful to be a tangible, living breathing part of who you are. Something you eventually don't have to think about so much.And I want YOU to decide what works best for you, and what that means to you.
Because seeing beauty is like seeing art, it’s a different experience for everyone. We like different methods, and we gravitate to different mediums. We question our perspective.
This blog will connect with little girls, beautiful brides, LGBTQ friends, Moms, women of different abilities, teenagers, career women, cancer warriors and survivors, drag queens, and Grandma’s. All to hear how they personally say,
“I do what I want” to their own negative thoughts, and to the parts of the society that helped create those thoughts. We will speak with and share the insights of other artists, activists, psychologists, stylists, wellness gurus, and vendors who are leading this movement in helping those who identify as women in finding and speaking their truth in beauty.
It’s high time we take feeling beautiful, into our own hands by finding it, feeling it, and creating it. Together.
Our girls need to grow up with healthier messages than the ones we intentionally and unintentionally received. Exploring how to make these adjustments for ourselves and each other is a difficult and an emotional process. But just think, if we all committed to finding the beauty, how that could affect social change. We are in the midst of creating a world that truly makes space for us to collectively be the people we always dreamed of being. And like most things that are beautiful, it is messy. But it is something worth fighting for.
So please subscribe and join us in the fight to feel beautiful. And when you feel like you’ve arrived in your own way, tell us how you plan to go out into the world and make your mark by encouraging other women to explore, reexamine, and redefine their own ideas of what makes them truly feel beautiful.
Beauty. Let’s find it, feel it, and create it.
Ashley Ann Capone
Founder of Beauty Marks NYC