As a stylist, I work with outer beauty and making people feel good about themselves based on how they look, but I truly believe that to be beautiful on the outside, you have to be beautiful on the inside. For that reason, I think confidence is often where beauty starts, and a big part of that is being happy with who you are.
Do you agree with the phrase 'Beauty is only skin deep"?
Absolutely - beauty definitely comes from within and I truly believe that a beautiful soul and a beautiful personality definitely shape and influence how beautiful a person is physically. I also think that the saying " beauty is in the eye of the beholder" is very true - beauty means very different things to different people.
For someone who may never have felt beautiful, what advice would you give them?
First things first: adjusting your mindset. Look in the mirror. No matter the taunts in the past or present, there is your competition. YOU are the only one holding YOU back from seeking happiness. It's important for young girls – and women – to know they've always been beautiful. You might be deciding to be healthier, fitter, more educated, or just waiting to grow out of the awkward/pimply years (you're not alone there girlfriend). No matter what, you've always been beautiful – remember that.
Secondly: Remove yourself from the negativity you may be experiencing. If you're constantly surrounded by people or memories that are of no benefit to your life, your insecurities will plague you and your self-worth will always be questioned. My mother is my inspiration for this one (she was in a car accident when I was 9 and has been confined to a wheelchair as a quadriplegic since): "Life is not a dress rehearsal." As soon as you accept the things you can't change or change the way you think about it, you'll move past just existing and really start living. I wasted my teens (and more of my twenties than I'd care to admit) just wanting to fit in and be like everyone else – hiding from my past. All this time I never really needed to do any of that (hindsight is a beautiful thing)! So just be YOU – everyone else is taken!
Thirdly: Treat yourself to something special. It could be something as elaborate as a holiday or as simple as getting a manicure or a blow dry at your favourite salon. Just do something different. There's something incredibly invigorating about drawing a line in the sand and not looking back!
How can we encourage one another to celebrate and confidently own our natural beauty?
That's the amazing thing about the Beautiful You Australia campaign; it's a game changer in more ways than one (I honestly wish there was such a campaign around when I was growing up)! As their Ambassador, aka Mrs Australia 'positive body image advocate', I would love to encourage all the amazing ladies out there to join the campaign. Stand up, reach out and share your own moments of beauty – because everyone's definition is different and there is beauty in celebrating that. Share your images online and be sure to tag #BeautyRedefined.
I came across a beautiful quote recently: a flower does not compare itself to others, it simply blooms. We can all take a leaf out of that one.
You can also get involved by being a part of the exhibition! Set to be the ultimate women's day out, the event will explore, challenge and embrace individuality and beauty in all forms.
The Beautiful You Australia campaign will launch 13 – 14 September 2014 at the Royal Exhibition building in Melbourne. Tickets are now on sale @ www.beautifulyouaustralia.com.au.