Photographer: Chris Thorn
Occupation: Entrepreneur | Yogi | Explorer | Beauty Therapist | Educator
Describe yourself in under 100 words:
Playful, authentic, strong, adaptable, kind. I don’t hide behind what I’ve been told “should be”. I want to leave the world a better place then when I found it. I’m quirky, energetic, passionate, driven, and I don’t believe in rules! I lead with my heart first. I approach life with charisma and intention, I have strong values and stay true to that. Meditation, yoga and family keep me grounded – the rest, keeps me curious, excited and energized!
If you had to describe your RAW shoot in one word what would it be?
What surprised you most about the experience?
I reminded myself that there was so much purpose and value in this experience, in the statement of the photo shoot. Any insecurity around being in front of the camera, make-up or no make-up, didn’t stand up to the bigger picture.
Beauty can be defined in so many ways. What is your definition of ‘beautiful’?
My value system and views on beauty, align best with the Ayurvedic 3 pillars of beauty…
Inner Beauty – Gunam – authentic beauty, that shines from within. Happiness, positivity, kindness.
Outer Beauty – Roopam – the way that you take care of your mind, body and soul always radiates on the outside.
Lasting beauty or vayastyag – delaying the process of aging, by taking care of yourself, long term. Putting your health first, sleep, nutrition, exercise, loving relationships etc
Beauty is a side effect of a balanced and fulfilled life.
Everyone is SO unique and beautiful. When we acknowledge that, and we make a choice to be our own best friend, we are radiant and it shows!
I work in the beauty industry, so naturally, I am expected to view external beauty first, but I believe in the bigger picture. I’ve made it my mission to motivate women to love themselves, be confident, healthy and love themselves inside and out! I am blessed with an opportunity to do this through my work.
“Infuse your inner beauty, Illuminate your outer beauty” – Beauty Calls mission statement
When do you feel most beautiful?
I feel the most beautiful when someone compliments my smile and my energy! Secondary to that is after a good bikrams class, I always feel so strong and glowy!
What part of aging scares you the most?
The idea of losing my independence scares me…
What part of aging is the most exciting?
Honestly! I can’t wait to lounge around, sleep in, wear comfy outfits that are all the same color, silky slippers and reminisce about the amazing life I’ve been blessed to live with the man of my dreams by my side! I’d like to be the old lady that has a good relationship with my grandchildren, I want them to come over all often for tea and cookies and storytelling ☺
Have you ever felt pressure from men to look a certain way?
Hmm… to be honest, I’ve always had partners who really loved me for who I was and that included every party of me. However, I struggled with my weight in my late teens and early 20’s, I think the pressure and lack of confidence came from myself more than anyone else…
What kind of relationship did/does your mother have with herself in regards to beauty, confidence and self-love? Has this had any effect on you?
That is actually a complicated part of my life story… I grew up with a mother, who was challenged by mental illness, I was adopted into another family at a very early age. I still have a relationship with mom # 1, and “my moms” are both very different.
I was mesmerized by watching my mom putting make-up on when I was very young, I could sit and watch for hours! I might credit her for the inspiration into the beauty industry. She always told me I was beautiful, and “pretty”, more old school England influences like “the proper etiquette of a lady.”
As for my adoptive mom, she has very strong values around inner beauty and not relying on external beauty to feel confident. Much in part, I think, because she worked in male dominated law offices in the late 70’s80’s when views around women were much different than they are today.
I’ve adopted stronger views around external beauty being secondary. I’m not very proper!
On average how much do you spend each month on cosmetic items such as make-up, hair cuts/colouring, waxing, clothing, nails, tanning, creams etc.
Working in the beauty industry definitely allows bonuses as far as discounts are concerned. That being said, I spend most of my beauty budget on skin care products, I don’t replenish make-up very often because I honestly don’t wear much. I don’t color my hair and I have it trimmed a few times a year and I do most of my waxing, nail stuff myself.
$250 yearly on skin care and about $30 a month replenishing things like mascara and my tinted moisturizer!
Have you ever struggled with confidence, body image or insecurities in your life? If yes, please share your story. If you have any advice for people going through the same thing please feel free to share your thoughts here.
Of course! Growing up, as mentioned above, I struggled to feel good about my weight. I was always a little taller and a little chubbier than my friendsclassmates… High school was not my playground for self love. I was bullied, as most of us were, and too much of a pushover.
Internally, I had a lot of struggles feelingbeing accepted, because I was adopted. I wanted desperately to fit in, to have a “normal” family, the family I thought everyone else in the world had, except for me. When kids saw that my situation was different, even parents, I was always treated a little differently, I didn’t have a lot of friends growing up, I was an only child, being different was hard to embrace back then. It led me to the wrong relationships, with the wrong people…
I had a shift in my last year of high school, I just decided that I wanted to be happy and so I changed my game. I started running, I worked harder, I cut off influences in my life that weren’t feeding growth or positivity and I just DID what I wanted to do – regardless of what the rest of the world thought. Through these changes, I made new friends, I gained some confidence and I gained a little more control over my life and my happiness. I started to learn the value of looking inwards, even though I didn’t know that that quite meant at the time…
Have you ever had cosmetic surgery or treatments? Please share your thoughts on this.
I haven’t had any cosmetic treatments, no. I don’t judge or advocate it, whatever creates the space to feel beauty and live it – it is such a personal thing. I have a few friendsclients who get some botox here and there – it makes them feel good, and that is what matters.
I actually did make-up for the creator of botox, she was one of the sweetest people I’ve ever met or worked with, a truly fascinating story and outlook! In any case, I had to ask her… “Do you think I could use a treatment anywhere?” (I was 24 at the time) with her recommendation, it actually persuaded me to think the opposite. I thought, what, I think I am happy exactly as I am ☺ The thought of covering up the natural evolution of my body, weirded me out.
Let’s talk Photoshop. What are your thoughts on this cultural phenomenon? Yay or nay? Or is there a place for it sometimes?
I have worked in the beauty industry for 7+ years… I have worked with hundreds of models, women, and people. I have seen many photos that resulted from a shoot where the client was accurately portrayed and as many where the opposite is true… EG: many models I’ve worked with deal with skin issues like acne – for young models this can be detrimental to their dreamsself confidence in the context of career aspirations. I realize that in cases like this, it allows them pursue the career of their choice.
However, I don’t agree with the standard that currently exists for women to achieve, regarding outer beauty. I don’t think it is fair, or realistic. In some cases, especially in popular media, photo shop fuels this belief that skinny perfection is what we should strive for or how we should look.
I’d like to imagine a world where everyone was just who they were, imagine if magazines were filled with men and women who were portrayed accurately, as themselves, no photo shop. That would be amazing! It would be like real life!
How do we ensure that the next generation of girls grows up with confidence and a strong sense of self when they receive so many messages telling them that they are not enough? How do we ensure that takes place?
I believe that girls need to receive the influence early in their years, a strong compass regarding values and developing confidence around inner beauty first. Through parenting, mentor-ship and through the other supportive influences.
Girls AND men, deserve to have self confidence regardless of how they look. The key, in my opinion, is finding a way to engage with young people in an interesting and meaningful way.
Well, RAW is a great place to start! With everyone living online (in a sense) there are powerful opportunities to reach millions of young women.
I’d like to think that all of the women with wisdom of what we wish we had known back then, will pass it on to future generations in whatever medium we can…
Stay Connected with Alysia:
Twitter Handle: @alysiahamilton