Beauty Chronicles guest Mary Beth, a singer-songwriter, in a band called Rose Hips, and a health enthusiast, who wants to “focus on working with women because [she] believes we need to take better care our ourselves (physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually).”
“It wasn’t until I got a little older that I was taught to dislike parts of myself: hello middle school. My first features that I probably disliked were my curly hair and my big round eyes. I wanted to look like everyone else. So I found myself straightening my curls and putting lots of eye makeup on that hid the roundness of my big, bright eyes,” states Mary Beth.
When was the first time you began to realize your differences? Was it in the Elementary school, Middle school, or High school? How about college? You know that one time that your friend said, “why isn’t your hair straight,” or “you’re never going to find a boy that is taller than you!” Whatever the case, we’ve all experienced something that caused us to change the perspective of ourselves. Are you still living in that, or are you allowing your life to be motivation enough to grow?
Be sure to check out Mary Beth’s entire interview as she defines beauty, talks having curly hair, and not caring was the only way she could enjoy being an artist on stage.
DEFINE WHAT BEAUTY MEANS TO YOU? How do we really define beauty? It’s something that seems tangible at times, but it leaves you speechless. It is recognizable, yet indescribable. Luckily, I was lucky enough to ponder this while driving through Colorado for the first time. This is what I believe:
Beauty is when you allow the nectar of your soul to overflow. It is fighting the boxes we are put inside and allowing your truth to show up. It is strength. It is diversity. It’s wabi-sabi. It comes from having a higher purpose… from a source higher than yourself. It is the bigger picture. Beauty is the love of all things wild and free, starting with yourself. The appreciation of nature is not complete if you do not see yourself a part of its majesty. Beauty is multidimensional, multicultural, and multilingual. It is self-actualization. It is authenticity without apology. It is knowing who you are and respecting everything you are not.
AS A CHILD DID YOU HATE A CERTAIN FEATURE, IF SO, DID YOU BEGIN EMBRACING IT LATER ON? As a child, I really can’t remember not liking anything about myself. I remember living so freely in my body. My childhood was filled with memories of running through sprinklers, feeling the grass in my hands as I did cartwheels, and having my skin kissed by the sun. It wasn’t until I got a little older that I was taught to dislike parts of myself: hello middle school. My first features that I probably disliked were my curly hair and my big round eyes. I wanted to look like everyone else. So I found myself straightening my curls and putting lots of eye makeup on that hid the roundness of my big, bright eyes. Over the years, I learned to love the parts of me that stand out. I now rock my curls every day, and I enjoy days that I can go with no makeup, with open eyes, that allow me to see the beauty of the world.
DO YOU FEEL THAT THE INNER BEAUTY IS JUST AS IMPORTANT AS THE OUTER BEAUTY? I feel that inner beauty is INFINITELY more important than outer beauty. However, I find that inner beauty has the ability to come outward in its own way. There is nothing more beautiful than a woman who has a kind heart and who celebrates every inch of her being. We are made with the same atoms that make up the cosmos: what could you possibly have to fix externally?! I believe the most beautiful women are the ones who have done their work: whatever that may be. The women that strive to be better people. To learn, to help, to dream, to heal. These are the activities that give light to your eyes and warmth to your spirit that no external perceived flaw can hide.
AS WOMEN WE ARE CONSTANTLY WORKING ON OUR INNER BEAUTY: DO YOU FEEL THAT ONCE YOU BEGAN TO NOT CARE ABOUT WHAT OTHERS THOUGHT ABOUT YOU EVERYTHING BEGAN TO FALL INTO PLACE? DID YOU FIND YOUR CALLING IN THAT? I can definitely say that a lot of my talent was held back by caring about what other people thought of me. I did this for way too long. As a woman in the health and nutrition world, I got way too caught up in being a perfectionist and holding myself to ridiculous standards. I would judge myself if I ate anything other than salad… how unhealthy!!! In the last year, or so, I really let a lot of my inner criticisms go. Ironically, I now feel healthier than ever. I think our bodies and our minds really appreciate balance and relaxation.
I’m also a musician. Being an artist, you are constantly trying to be completely authentic and praying that people like it. I grew up in the world of classically trained musicians. The puffy dresses, the recitals, the awkward teenage years where you have braces and play a song you don’t like for all of your peers AND get graded for it. It can be stifling to the creative spirit. Thankfully, over the years, I learned my style. I stopped taking lessons and started hunting down what I was most passionate about. I’m not sure if I gained confidence from learning what my style was, or learned what my style was, from gaining the confidence to find it. Either way, I now play shows on a regular basis and have a blast doing it. I find that the less I care what the audience thinks, the more I can enjoy myself and perform my very best.
WHAT DO YOU THINK THE WORLD IS MISSING IN THE SCOPE OF WOMEN ROLE MODELS? HOW CAN WE CHANGE THAT? The world needs more diversity in its role models. We not only need more women (and men) of many different cultures, shapes, and sizes, but also people with depth!!! I want girls to grow up reading magazines with women in them who want to create a better world. The truth is, these women are everywhere. I am lucky to know many beautiful women, from different backgrounds, who have an equally diverse range in talents. Where’s their magazine cover?! I think there are a few ways we can solve this problem. The best answer is tapping into your own community of females. Whether you are setting up a book club for your favorite lady-friends, or smiling and taking time to speak to the younger girl behind you, in line, at the gas station: you ARE making a difference.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE YOUNGER GIRLS COMING INTO THEIR OWN? Embrace what makes you different! The way that you look at yourself will reflect the way that you see the world. Nobody walks through a garden and disregards one flower over the beauty of another. Taking care of yourself will help you bloom. Follow your passions. Never let anybody talk you out of following your dreams. If you work hard and love harder, you are destined for wonderful things.
ARE THERE ANY UPCOMING PROJECTS OR PROJECTS YOU ARE WORKING ON NOW THAT YOU CAN SPEAK ABOUT? I am currently working on a few different projects that I am so excited about! My biggest one is the amalgamation of a decade of experimentation and research that I have done on nutrition and healthy living. I am starting a blog by the end of the year and a health coaching practice next year. I am really focused on working with women because I believe we need to take better care of ourselves (physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually) so that we can heal the world. I’m also in a new band called Rose Hips. My best girl friend and I got together and decided we needed to make music. For now we are doing a lot of covers, but I’m really excited about some of the originals we are currently writing. Our style blends nuances of folk, earthy lyrics, jazzy vocals, bossa nova rhythm, and some divine female sensuality. On top of these projects, I’ve also started a club called the “Wild Woman’s Society” where my friends get together to discuss everything from inter-sectional feminism to spirituality all while painting our nails and drinking wine.
For more information about Mary Beth check out her Instagram. For more inspiration and interviews don’t forget to subscribe.