A Renewal of Elegance

SEX APPEAL VS. BEAUTY

There seems to be a gaping hole in the divide between sex appeal and beauty. These days it isn’t uncommon to see nudity and lust-filled images all over most media outlets. As a result, is our understanding of beauty suffering?

Amy Parrish and I have had a few different conversations now on the subject. Coming from a personal angle, my self portraits give me a healthy confidence about who I am and often times allow me to power through feelings of insecurity (which we all have from time to time). Some of you who know me intimately know that I have developed a (minor) skin condition called melasma over the past few years. My case is extremely mild compared to most cases, and for that I’m grateful. However, in the beginning (and even now sometimes) it was emotionally draining. (I’ve found a few natural things to help keep it from worsening. I’m happy to share that information if you have questions or are struggling with hyperpigmentation yourself. I understand.) As frustrating as this can be sometimes, I couldn’t be more grateful that I’ve had to deal with it because overcoming the insecurities that arose has helped me to focus inward. We simply cannot rely on our image, perceived status, or even our reputation. We can only rely on what is on the inside! The more secure you are in who you’re becoming and evolving into, the more everything around you makes sense. You can learn to honor yourself and to be deeply grateful for what nourishes your body, mind, and spirit. There is nothing on the outside (whether it is yours or someone else’s) that can provide happiness. You’re the only person you can rely on at all times, so paying attention to what is happening on the inside is key….  that energy will start to radiate and your entire world will change if you start to honor your body, mind, and spirit and work to keep it healthier. There are a lot of things that can provide instant gratification, but those things are very temporary. We often seek friendships or romantic relationships to satisfy a connection… but I feel that’s kinda backwards. Lasting friendships and relationships are gifts that show up when we aren’t searching for them. People are drawn together. I’m at a place now where I don’t believe in enemies. Even the people that “rub us the wrong way” — that isn’t them, it’s something inside yourself that needs to be overcome, so you can see their beauty.

I was told by my close friend Tina Dolin that before she met me, she thought I was full of myself based on my self portraits and consistent posts about life and experience. We laugh about that when the subject comes up because I was secretly intimidated by her talent, beauty, and accomplishments before we ever met in person. Now we’re grateful to have looked past one another’s online presence and to realize we’re real people, doing our best,  just like everyone else. It goes to show that……

“image is powerful, but image is superficial” – Cameron Russell (supermodel).

{ I recommend watching her AMAZING TedTalk on this subject HERE }

 

A RENEWAL OF ELEGANCE

Amy and I met for coffee one day and the subject came up again. The next thing you know, we had outlined an entire event inspired by these feelings on what beauty is and how there is so much to say about inner beauty that can’t really be explained well enough in words. But… it can be brought to the outside. It can be shown. And it can be felt. Amy and I had each separately tossed around the idea of a “non-boudoir-boudoir event” (as we kept calling it)…. but couldn’t figure out how to stir a genuine interest in it. Still, the discussion made us certain that we were onto something and that maybe other women would connect. So, that’s what we set out to do with this collaborative, experimental portrait event for women: to illustrate inner beauty and strength in a sophisticated, feminine way. Since our promotion on Amy’s Blog last November we’ve each received numerous responses including emails of thanks and appreciation.

So far, we’ve been warmed by the company of four incredible women who attended A Renewal of Elegance at Orchard House B&B in Granville, Ohio (and a fifth who worked with us privately). We brought Taisha Holland of Cloud 9 Hair Design to be the stylist for the day. Each woman came in having defined her own strengths, and from there we decided on the styling and wardrobe as a team. There was a noticeable energy flowing as I worked alongside Amy. Taisha couldn’t have handled the styling any more perfectly, either. The women each came to life in her own way. And I have to say that watching it happen made me feel alive. Special thanks to all of you for the experience! Stay beautiful:)

xoxo,
Michelle

 

 

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*Amy and I are accepting bookings for future Renewal of Elegance events. Four women per day. Styling by Taisha Holland. Please give us at least two weeks advanced notice. Looking forward to working with you!* 

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Sarah HamppJanuary 29, 2013 - 6:53 pm

I have been married to my husband for 3 years together for four.
I am interested in a special gift for him on Valentines day. Please let me know
If you have any openings:) thanks

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