The Face Behind The Voice

Alicia Keys at the BET Awards - Getty Images

Alicia Keys at the BET Awards – Getty Images

Look, I love makeup too. It’s about how you feel. It’s about who you are. It’s about just being who you are and not letting anyone tell you who you should be. Even this conversation shows our obsession of the standard we hold women.” – Alicia Keys

I have been drawn to this season of The Voice – and to Alicia Keys in particular. There is something about Keys: her warmth, her genuine encouragement, her appreciation of the artistry, and hearing her own voice. But there has been something more – I couldn’t put my finger on it until I finally realized – she wasn’t wearing makeup! What I didn’t know was that Keys made the announcement she would be going without makeup last May. Keys has explained that the decision came after years of growing as an artist and reaching a point where she felt content in her own skin: “I don’t want to cover up anymore.” The result has been incredibly inspiring to others.

Inspiring, too, is Keys’ skin regimen. W interviewed Keys’ longtime makeup artist, Dotty about what keeps it looking so fresh and beautiful. On the list was the use of oils and how it’s important not to be afraid of using them. “People get freaked out about oils. They think if they’ve got oily skin they don’t want oil,” Dotti complains. “But yes you do!” I agree wholeheartedly, and love using oils in my daily regimen. In fact, I have noticed a huge difference in my own skin.

I love how Alicia Keys is inspiring women everywhere to embrace who we are, just as we are!

 

 

 

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Every Girl Will Want This Muffin Top!

Muffin Top: with Cathryn Michon and Marisa Jaret Winoker

Muffin Top: with Cathryn Michon and Marissa Jaret Winokur

Muffin Top: Cathryn and Tucker

Muffin Top: with Cathryn and Tucker

Muffin Top: with Cathryn and Tucker

Muffin Top: with Cathryn and Tucker

You know you are watching a movie with a meaningful message when the opening screen fills with these inspiring words of Eleanor Roosevelt: “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” What follows is a hilariously funny, charming, and slightly sexy film called Muffin Top: a movie that addresses important issues like body image and self esteem and is brought to life by a super-talented cast that includes Cathryn Michon, Tony Award winner Marissa Jaret Winokur, David Arquette, and Melissa Peterman. I was fortunate to catch the premiere and meet Cathryn Michon herself – the writer, director and star of the movie. Ms. Michon and I talked about the essence of Muffin Top, body image messages, why it is essential that women have larger roles in filmmaking, and of course, the costumes! Here is my conversation with Cathryn …

MKG:  What is the message behind Muffin Top? What are you hoping to say to women and men with this story?

CATHRYN: Muffin Top is a great Girl’s Night In movie. That makes you laugh and get inspired to be kinder to yourself, because you are beautiful. It goes very well with wine and chocolateWe really want the takeaway from Muffin Top to be,love yourself NOW, not 5 lbs from now.” We all came together to make a truly funny and romantic movie because we believe that comedy really helps open your heart to looking at yourself in a more loving way.

MKG: What do women need to know about their bodies and feeling good about themselves?

CATHRYN: We need to remember that these media images that make us feel so insecure about our bodies are photoshop cartoons, not real women. Even supermodels don’t look like their magazine covers in real life. Continue reading

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Says Colette: “I plan to start with a new pair of shoes!”

Colette

Colette

Colette de Jounge is at a crossroads in her life: she must reclaim her style, and with it, her sense of self. It all starts with finding the right shoes …

Here is Colette
 
For the last nine years I have been living in rural Virginia, in the country. The real country, with cows and horses, vineyards, and large, open spaces. It has been a completely different lifestyle for me. All my life, I have lived an International and sophisticated lifestyle: Mexico City, Mexico, Sao Paolo, Brazil, Caracus, Venezuela, and also worked in New York City as a bonafide commuter. Virginia represented a completely different lifestyle  …
 
At first, whenever I went out, I dressed as I always had. It was not something that I thought about, but was completely natural to me. People noticed that I looked different and would tell me that they could tell that I wasn’t from the area, from the way I dressed. Continue reading

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Cameron Diaz rocks The Body!

Cameron Diaz  - Photo credit: Vantagenews.co.uk

Cameron Diaz – Photo credit: Vantagenews.co.uk

Cameron Diaz didn’t always love her body. Say WHAAAT? I saw Cameron Diaz recently on The Rachael Ray Show, talking about her new book, The Body Book: The Law of Hunger, The Science of Strength, and Other Ways to Love Your Amazing Body, and how our body image plays tricks on us. Cameron said that she was always tall and skinny when what she really wanted to be was curvacious. You see, we spend so much time focusing on what we want to change about ourselves that we are not addressing the beautiful mechanism that is our body and why we should love and care for it. In fact, the point of the book is to love the body you have and be kind enough to yourself to take care of you for the long run and be your personal best. “I’m a science nerd. I like science. This book is about a conversation … ” says Cameron. In it, she explains the importance of understanding your body from a cellular level and how to make the right choices for nutrition, exercise and movement and disciplining your mind.

I am reading it now and I am learning so much about myself. Go get this book! Not so that you can be Cameron Diaz but so that you can be your own best you.

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Hey fashion brands! Are you listening? You’re forgetting tweens!

Lauren and Lindsay

Lauren and Lindsay

Being twelve years old isn’t easy. And I imagined, being a twin twelve year-old is challenging, too – a twin and a tween. But that was before I met Lindsay and Lauren. And their mother, Victoria. Because these twelve year-old sisters are growing up with a sense of confidence and grace. And their mother, Victoria, is supporting them in the very best way. I sat down with all three ‘girls’ to talk about life and fashion and why, as Victoria notes, shopping for a pre-teen is “very difficult” and “takes a lot of research.” Hey fashion brands – are you listening??

MKG: What is it like to be a twin? Do you dress like your sister or do you express yourself individually?

Lindsay/Lauren: Being a twin feels normal; it’s the only thing we’ve known. And we are friends with a lot of twins so that feels normal, too. We try to be individual but we do share clothes and end up dressing similarly much of the time. Our style is somewhat preppy because we like to dress simply. Continue reading

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Five days of Dressing for Success: It starts with the mission

Stefanie L. Conley, Executive Director of Dress for Success Morris County, holding a Nanette Lepore jacket

Stefanie L. Conley, Executive Director of Dress for Success Morris County, holding a Nanette Lepore jacket

Let’s start the New Year right by focusing on the connection between fashion and wellness and self esteem. That has always been my intention for Turning Fashion Inside Out. There is no better service that recognizes this connection than the international organization, Dress for Success. For the next five days, TFIO will focus on the beautiful work that Dress for Success Morris County (New Jersey) is doing to help empower women in need.

For 7.5 years, Stefanie L. Conley has been the Executive Director of Dress for Success Morris County.  She says that the Dress for Success program is to “be there for women on their entire professional journey. It’s about helping women to regain their confidence. When they walk into the boutique they don’t see what we see – that they have so much to offer.”

Tune in tomorrow to see the how the journey works and the three-step process begins… Continue reading

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Move over moto – the elusive “get” is the varsity jacket!

The elusive "get" for a teenager: the Varsity Jacket

The elusive “get” for a teenager: the varsity jacket

If you’re a teen, there is one item of clothing highly coveted: the varsity jacket. Perhaps it’s because I am reading Ilene Beckerman’s book, Love, Loss, and What I Wore, which I reference here, but I have been thinking a lot about what clothes mean to us at certain times in our lives. And so there was an interesting moment during my morning walk, when I saw three high-school-aged girls walking ahead of me. At first glance I thought one of the girls was wearing a varsity football jacket and assumed it had been given to her by her boyfriend. Continue reading

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“I’m not buying that!”

P1000049 3My boys are a little older, so it’s been a while since they watched a Disney or Nickelodeon program. The last show I remember us watching together was Drake and Josh. That’s why Nick Schager’s article in LA Weekly, “Disney TV is Poisoning your Daughters,” startled me and truly opened my eyes. Schager writes, “Sitcoms may be predicated on a constant stream of one-liners, but Disney and Teen Nick take the formula to the next level, offering nothing but witless witticisms delivered with maximum, grinning-jackass hamminess …” Furthermore, the role that fashion plays is both confusing to girls and concerning to parents, with the young actors wearing “designer threads … that unsuccessfully straddles the line between tasteful and trampy,” says Schager. Continue reading

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“I’m not buying that!”

Photo of me, taken by my mother, Claire

Photo of me, taken by my mother, Claire

Welcome to my first “I’m not buying that!” … a weekly series of thoughts from me, a fashion outsider. My blog and podcast is called Turning Fashion Inside Out. The fact is that I am not a fashion insider. At 53 years old, I am … a wife, mother, substitute teacher at an all-girls school, writer and lover of fashion. I love sharing my fashion stories and others’ stories about how fashion is central to our self expression and ultimately, our self-esteem. But there is more to turning fashion inside out: there is commentary. There is me …

I went shopping with my mother recently and was disheartened to see how few options there are for women over 70, at least in the suburbs. I’m sure it’s different in larger cities where there is more of everything giving people more options. But here, if you are over 70, stores see dressing as an after-thought. You are relegated to the top floors of the department stores and the pickings are slim. Gone are the stylish prints and fabrics, replaced by over-sized tunics and out-of-date patterns: it’s simple – my mom is not finding clothes she likes. My mom has always been so stylish and someone to whom I look for ideas and trends (and frankly, to borrow clothes!). She is the same woman now that she was then and she still wants to feel stylish in her clothes; no less than when she was in her 20s and 30s and 40s.

Should we be paying LESS attention to those over 70 while at the same time ignoring their style? And continuing to omit them from the fashion scene? I’m not buying that!

 

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Bland is boring when you’re talking about food but good when you’re talking about skin …

See? No more brown spot!

No more brown spot!

Last week Chaz Dean talked about the two most important things when it comes to our self-image, self-esteem and confidence: our hair and our skin. Hair may be our crowning glory but our skin is the mirror to what’s going on inside. Neither should be overlooked and both need to be protected. The winter months can be especially hard on our skin and the elements create dryness and chapping that needs extra tending.

Aging and growing older shines a new light on caring for our skin. A few years ago I had a rude awakening. I began to notice a large brown spot on my cheek that wouldn’t go away; in fact, it got darker and more noticeable with time. What was it? A large freckle? An age spot? Whatever it was I didn’t want it and it began to bother me, to the point where, when I looked at myself in the mirror, it was all I could see. Through a recommendation, I met a lovely woman, Dr. Lisa Breslauer, Board Certified Dermatologist. After performing a series of laser treatments Dr. Breslauer removed that stubborn brown spot and I was able to see myself again! Continue reading