Let me start off by saying that I am here to write about beauty-this is my agreed upon agenda. And as a licensed esthetician, I know a thing or two about beauty. So here we go…
I’m Natalie. I am your typical girl, well, to be clear; I am your typical tomboy slash girl. Growing up I would fight with my mother to wash my hair, and all hell would break loose if she caught me digging out my dirty clothes from the hamper to do the trusty “re-wear”.
So it’s actually a little funny that I am here to talk beauty, but life has its beautiful twists and turns.
As a kid, I would watch my big sister do her (what I thought to be mystical and enigmatic) fashion and make-up rituals. It was as if I was watching spirits being called down in a Native American fire dance or something. It was just so mysterious to witness for someone such as myself that was more of the likes of perfecting the art of rounding third base. She was so sophisticated and graceful. As I got older I started to see other kinds of beautiful as well.
And it had nothing to do with product, the latest miracle whatever or overpriced red-bottomed shoes.
It all started when I was 13 traveling the world as a missionary. I was part of a team that helped build homes, provide and prepare food, and gave clothing to families in need. I was able to see through all the barriers and experience the beauty in these people for who they were, how they lived, and the texture of their struggle, which made them beautiful.
As I was doing my best to bring solace to these less fortunate, they also provided me with something-an exhilarating joy and peace that only comes from serving others and giving back.
Cut to a few months back, I had the privilege of performing a facial treatment on a new client. She was a tiny woman with the biggest, sweetest spirit. I walked back in the treatment room from allowing her to change before the service, and was shocked to see that she had removed her wig. Her hair was wiry, patchy, and grayed in some spots-but I didn’t react or comment. I draped her hair like I would at the start of any facial and simply began. She was gripping the wig in her hands to the point that her knuckles could arguably have been turning white. I then sensed that this wig must have become such a protective piece of armor. And it was in this moment my heart was touched by her. By the end of the facial she was no longer gripping her wig. She had trusted me and was completely relaxed and was able to fall asleep -so much so, that she was snoring sweetly.
I felt honored to be able to provide service for this woman (who was a cancer survivor as she explained to me later). The uncomfortable realization that I have never had to sit in a doctor’s office to receive a life threatening diagnosis stirred something inside me. It hit me like a runaway train. I have never had to walk in those shoes, and yet, my experience with her for this brief time was completely life affirming. She touched me. I’m not really even sure why. As my client she was kind and thankful for my service and extremely pleasant. She was so beautiful on the inside in spite of the remaining effects of her pain. So beautiful in what she had endured. In that moment she was beautiful to me. She brought back for me the feeling I had serving others in those far away lands. The feeling of connecting with another human being came back to me with such a fierce familiarity.
And once again I am experiencing the glorious confusion of who is actually being of service to whom. She made a difference in my life. I will never forget that exchange.
Living in the land of the “beautiful people” I know that beauty comes in many forms, but I strongly believe it all starts from within. The mandate for my life is not only bringing beauty to people by external means with new technologies, and cutting-edge technique, my goal is to also refresh the spirit. I pray every morning to bring beauty to the spirit of everyone I touch-so they leave feeling more beautiful and at peace after they leave me. I want to live my life like that as well.
I want to leave the world more beautiful than when I found it.
Shifting gears a bit; I feel that one of the most important issues in the beauty industry today is the lie we believe about ourselves. We are inundated with the lie that we are not enough, and we believe it over and over again. Little girls are growing up feeling inadequate-too fat, too short, eyes are too big, nose not perfect…and these lies are dangerous. These lies are killing us. The beauty industry is a 59.8 billion dollar industry in the US alone. So it is clear we all desperately desire to see beauty through our view. And I am by no means trying to bring profit loss to this industry. BUT I think we can redirect the way people see themselves. We can reaffirm the beauty within us. We can embrace the inherited diversity that lies within and that is brought to life by existing with others. The difference that gives one little girl signature freckles and another little girl slanted almond shaped eyes IS the definition of beauty.
We need to re-approach the beauty industry from a place of celebration and not from a place of fear.
I find it my personal mission to be on the forefront of that redirection and reconnection to the beauty that exists in all of us.I am here to take a stand for every person I encounter to help transform his or her negative view. And I have no problem doing it one by every single one.