In defense of beauty

Megan Gloss, Telegraph Herald features reporter. PHOTO CREDIT: Dave Kettering

Most who know me well are on to a few of my not-so-well-kept secrets:

• I adore shoes and designer purses.

• I get the tiniest flutter of excitement when my favorite cosmetic line releases a new product.

• My Urban Decay Reloaded eye shadow palette is akin to coffee: Without it, my mornings are a lost cause.

For each of my beauty obsessions, there is a balance.

I like to bike, hike, read and write. While passionate about music and art, I live for baseball season. (Go Cubs!) I like to stay caught up on current events as much as I do what’s hitting the runway during Fashion Week. I’m fiercely independent and an ardent feminist. And, although no one is perfect, I genuinely try to be the best person I can be.

For most young girls, playing dress-up and going overboard with a tube of their mothers’ lipstick is almost like a right of passage. But somewhere along the way, delighting in beauty and fashion seemed to come with some scrutiny. Some took it to mean that you were shallow, self-obsessed or maybe not as smart or into advocating for female empowerment. You were deemed a “girly girl.”

It’s something that many women’s magazines, including this one, have faced criticism for from time to time. Were we all simply advocating that women were nothing more than objects in need of a little more rouge, slightly higher heels and that token little black dress?

Speaking for this publication, not so much.

The question I pose is: Why shouldn’t women be able to celebrate the best of both worlds?

Can the outdoorsy type or marathon runner also find a rush in beautiful piece of clothing or skin care product that makes her feel great? Can a woman devour a fashion magazine from cover to cover and be a well-rounded and intelligent news junkie? Can she care about the environment, advancing gender equality and embracing her inner beauty and confidence, as well as finding a pair of decent yoga pants that make her feel comfortable and put-together going from a workout to a quick errand run?

Absolutely, and to all of the above.

I always have viewed beauty and fashion as a kind of art — a walking form of self-expression, whether you’re the type who loves her trusty Urban Decay palette or the type who sees no point in mastering the smokey eye. As a woman, I find defining your look to be liberating and incredibly empowering — not to mention, fun. When you look good, you feel good. And who hasn’t felt completely rejuvenated after a new hair style?

In this edition of Her, we salute the beauty and fashion movers, shakers and makers.

On the cover, meet local up-and-comers from the cosmetology industry who share how they began pounding the beauty pavement and the reward they discover in helping clients tap into their inner confidence.

Inside, we offer features on what’s trending in spring and summer fashions from local boutiques, the benefits of going natural with beauty products, the various processes of brow beautification and what creative offerings are popping up at local salons and spas.

We highlight several newly opened boutiques in the area.

And to complement outer beauty, Linda Peterson, of Statera Integrated Health and Wellness, offers 10 tips to see the inner beauty in others, as well

as how to continue nurturing it within yourself.

No matter what you do that helps you feel beautiful, keep doing it. There is nothing bolder or more lovely than that.

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