Realbeautyis…

bold, courageous, perfectly imperfect

Interviews January 18, 2011

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WELCOME TO OUR FEATURED BEAUTY INTERVIEWS

At Real Beauty Is we are proud to feature women who are bold and courageous. Women who, by knowing their worth and stepping into their most powerful SELF, have not only changed their own life, but have changed the world.

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It is with great excitement and honor that I share with you the extraordinary Real Beauty Is Interview with Jennifer Buffett.

Jennifer talks about self-love, the decision to be worthy, figuring out her place in this world and MUCH MORE.

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RBI: How do you define real beauty?

Jennifer: Self-love is real beauty. The natural world is our connection to ancient, deep and real beauty. No one can make something more beautiful than mother-nature can.

We often mistake “fashion” as beauty but fashion is something else. Beauty is something you FEEL in your heart and is also an attitude.

People I know who are really beautiful possess a deep sense of love and ok-“ness” inside. Everything is as it should be. Even the struggles and the things that are difficult. When we can go into the heart and in our souls and know that these struggles are our opportunities for learning, evolving and growing – THIS is beauty… This beautifying of (and becoming) of our souls makes us wiser, stronger and more beautiful.

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RBI: What are some things you do to feel good about yourself?

Jennifer: Doing and being a part of good work and good work with colleagues, preparing and sharing meals with my husband and friends … Hiking near my house and taking care of myself. I feel really good when I am able to give quality time to my relationships – listening and BEING very present with people in my life. I feel good when I have time to be still, quiet and contemplative. I feel good when I rise to challenges – like giving a great speech that is meaningful that connects to people’s hearts, and when I really step up with my heart in my work and leadership at the Foundation.
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RBI: What advice would you give to a woman struggling with her self-worth?

Jennifer: What not to do? Do not isolate yourself. I used to wall myself off from others until I felt better. My experience is that this makes the struggle harder.

Surround yourself with people who mirror back your goodness and who help you feel seen, heard and valued – not depleted. If no adult does this for you try animals or children! They know how to give unconditional love and will remind you how to do this again!

What to do? Anything creative! Move! Get out of your head! Creative acts are healing. Self-discovery is an antidote to low self-worth. This could be learning a skill, planting a garden or helping someone in need. If we give something worthwhile of ourselves to another, our actions tell our subconscious mind that we must have it to give! Participate (in anything positive). Show up. Learn. Inertia and isolation are demons to look out for. Lastly, I’d say that we either spend our lives experiencing the world affirming our worthlessness, because of our own negative beliefs about ourselves, OR we believe in our worth and the world affirms it! The decision to BE worthy lies with us. The world is just a mirror and will fall in with our choice.
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RBI: How did you figure out your place in this world? How did you know when you were doing exactly what you were meant to do?

Jennifer: I am still trying to figure out my place in the world and see this as an ongoing evolution. I ask myself all of the time, “what’s my best and highest role? Is it time to listen and learn or is it time to act? How can I make small, personal, loving differences every day as well as big and bold lasting ones too?”

I think I figured out my place in this world by making a commitment to figure out my place in the world. I realized this wasn’t just for me but that me finding my way could result in positive impact for others and I wanted that. You first must find and connect to your passion and what you believe in and stand for. Then you have to believe and act as though you are entitled to a place and a voice and a role in the world that is meaningful around your passion. Then you have to start to wear and fill those shoes and walk around in them. And remember, no one acts alone. As I assemble a team and partners at the foundation to accomplish our vision and our work, I realize I am in exactly the right place and we are all aligning, harmonizing, bringing our gifts and doing what we are supposed to be doing separately and together – like a chorus or an orchestra.

I saw myself in so many girls and women I met around the world, and them in me, women and girls who were struggling to surmount great obstacles, I felt such compassion and connectedness to them… This is when I started to see my place in the world. I realized that I could help amplify their voices and tell their stories, support them and value who they were and what they were about.

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RBI: How important do you think it is for women to support each other?

Jennifer: Immensely important. This is so key and such a key. We’ve experienced hundreds of years being socialized to be separate, to fear one another, compete for a limited supply of jobs, resources, status, men; you name it, and not support one another. This was, and is, a great weapon of patriarchy – keeping the women separated by artificial ideas like class or race and therefore dis-empowered.

But we have a huge opportunity to realize that it’s US who can switch things over to an ABUNDANCE model by not acting like this or participating any longer. But ONLY if we break down the illusion of barriers and work together and commit to supporting one another…

I am not less if YOU find your voice or power for example – WE ALL GAIN. It may not feel this way sometimes because some old wound where we got left out or hurt is being touched again. So we need to somehow move out of our wounds and wounded-ness and out of a scarcity mentality and believe in our unique contributions and the unique contributions of other women who will enrich us beyond belief and create and join in a massive chorus!

When there are few resources and we are competing for them, and if we are deeply in fear as a result, THIS is what we will keep finding and creating more of – few resources, competition and fear.

However, if we support one another – we create more, more places at the table, more room, more positions of leadership and decision making, more creativity, more sharing, more possibility, more support, more of whatever and all that we decide, we will find and create more of everything! But WE have to BE the change. We can start by practicing supporting one another daily, by respecting ALL women and girls we encounter and those we will never meet, and by giving ourselves the respect and love and whole-ness (not more woundedness and separation) we also deserve. We will reap what we sow.

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RBI: When you are confronted with fear or self-doubt what helps you move through these feelings?

Jennifer: Realizing that they are just feelings, they are not ME and are not real. Your feelings are not you. Ego is usually the culprit, granted, a powerful one. Feelings are like clouds passing through and you are the sky. I look back at times where I had terrible fear and self-doubt about something, and I remember that when the time came, I actually experienced the event positively. Things went just fine! I also tell myself, “I am enough”.

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RBI: What’s one of the MOST important things a woman can do to empower herself to feel good.

Jennifer: Stop seeking your value by bargaining for it as though it’s an exchange you must have outside of yourself. We say to ourselves, “if I do this for you or I reach some lofty goal, then you’ll have to value me”… We need to stop thinking in terms of an exchange as though we are not implicitly good, capable and worthy. Practice self-love and self-care and realize it is not selfish but self-love. Learn as much as you can about all of what “self care” really means. It doesn’t mean self-medicate.

I remember recently feeling an actual wonderful bodily feeling I would describe as “full of myself” and I realized that I had always shied away from that “full feeling” and that for me it had a bad unconscious connotation. But in this moment I felt full of me, like all of my light and energy could shine through me – I realized the terrible mistake I had been making.
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RBI: What do you think needs to happen in order for a woman to truly break open and blossom into who she was meant to be?

Jennifer: She needs to somehow get conscious and clear about all of the beliefs and programs her family and society lopped on top of her that taught and shaped who she thought she needed to be in order to be “good”, “beautiful”, “desirable”, etc. That she accepted as truth. I recognize that this is no easy task, however. I think the “breaking open” happens when she is able and courageous enough to face her fears around the consequences of questioning and not going along with the imposed ideas any longer if they do not suit her – ideas that have held her from her natural and true self. The self only she really knows. Then she needs to forgive all who gave her these false ideas AND most of all, forgive herself.

Imagine a set of steel braces around a tree. The tree grows and wants to send off shoots, branches, leaves and flowers the way it wants to grow and be, but the braces clamp down and decide how the tree will or will not grow. The tree acquiesces and grows within these limits. We perhaps experience something like this. We may actually like some of the ways we were socialized, some of it might feel OK and comfortable and some of it never made us feel good or served us –EVER!

So I think somehow getting out of oneself and out of one’s comfort zone to deeply see the patterns, beliefs, programs and limits clearer is the only way to be able to practice conscious choice to move forward and be re-born, be able to take the braces off and chose differently. I love the image of a bud breaking open and then blossoming. It’s such a perfect metaphor for the experience girls and women have. My own experience is that women break open and blossom from, often times, very painful experiences of loss and crisis. Everything cracks apart. But then she has an incredible opportunity, after being broken open, to ally with herself, to meet her beloved inside herself, that is, her true self, and to blossom.
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RBI: Is there a moment in your life you are most proud of?

Jennifer: I was really proud when my husband and I were honored for taking leadership through our Foundation empowering girls and women worldwide at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York. I stood on stage on behalf of the shy young girl I used to be and all of the girls and women I had ever met in front of a global audience. I am so proud of and inspired by the girls and women I meet who are taking their power and choosing to love themselves and go forward after being wounded and almost destroyed. Girls and women are working to change the world through their hearts, and I feel so honored to be playing some small role in supporting them and the boys and men who love and walk with them.
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About Jennifer

Jennifer Buffett is president and co-chair of the NoVo Foundation, a philanthropic organization focused primarily on the empowerment of women and girls. She shares leadership of the foundation with her husband Peter Buffett, a composer and son of investor Warren Buffett.

In 2008, NoVo joined forces with the Nike Foundation, committing $90 million to The Girl Effect, a global campaign that promotes the powerful social and economic change brought about when girls have the opportunity to participate.
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Learn More About the NoVo Foundation HERE

Watch Jennifer’s Keynote at Omega HERE

Learn More About The Girl Effect HERE
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Featured Beauty Interview Archives

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Meet REAL BEAUTY: Nicole Clark

A former Elite International fashion model turned champion for young girls and their self-esteem. Through her documentary, Cover Girl Culture Nicole explores how the worlds of fashion, modeling, advertising and celebrity impact our teens and young women. In our exclusive Real Beauty Is Interview below Nicole opens up about Real Beauty, self-worth and working through fear.

Listen to my RADIO INTERVIEW with Nicole HERE

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RBI: How do you define real beauty?

NICOLE: REAL beauty is not measured by a number or price tag/ownership of material items. REAL BEAUTY is infinite because it comes from our soul. BEAUTY is in a kind act, a thoughtful deed, bravely standing up for justice, shining your light no-matter-what, listening to your heart, (knowing how to listen to your heart – for those who’ve forgotten), finding humor to cheer someone up, listening to a friend/stranger, a genuine smile, tears of joy, tears of sadness, enthusiasm, curiosity, finding adventure in each week writing a poem, feeling the sunshine on your face, being awestruck by nature… REAL BEAUTY is intangible and yet advertisers try to sell it!! This makes me laugh.

When the master painters created their art and painted their interpretation of beauty– it was never to sell a product. The women they painted were not for an advertisement! Fashion magazines create their ‘editorial’ pages of “ART” but really it’s an AD to sell you the clothes, a look, and/or make-up. It’s about selling. Michelangelo would be very disappointed with what editors try to pass as ART. He’d see right through it and call it what it is – an AD. One day, I bet a magazine will take a Michelangelo and add a designer’s purse to it….and call it ART. Perhaps they already have.

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RBI: What are some things you do to feel good about yourself?

NICOLE: HIKE, sit in nature, read a novel that tickles my imagination or challenges my perspective. Help a neighbour, help a friend or girl see their inner beauty. Be a ‘listening’ for someone. Help young women reclaim their power, their beauty by revealing the illusion the media has sold them.

Dance to silly music, bake, do yoga.

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RBI: What advice would you give to a woman struggling with her self-worth?

NICOLE: Toss out magazines, any scales, shut off the TV/music videos and go outside. A Media Detox is my prescription. Experience nature. Listen to something in nature until you hear it’s message. Take back your power from the women/men who’ve tricked you into thinking your value is tied to a number on a scale, your body’s shape or your wardrobe. You were born with your genetics – embrace them, care for them and stop exercising! Exercise sounds too much like work! Find something you loved to do as a child – play. Go do it – often. PLAY. Give thanks for your body and it’s components. Your legs – they allow you to stand in your being, to carry you through nature, to kick a ball, ride a bike.

Volunteer some of your time to help others – you will feel IMMEDIATELY amazing and realize your value in their eyes is all about YOU BEING YOU. You are so much more than a FLESH SUIT.

Keep the TV and magazines out of your life for as long as required to improve your self-worth. Then when you think you’re ready to return to the media – be mindful of what message you are allowing to enter your mind. IT ALL GOES IN – believe it or not. So be the guardian of what you permit. Consciously consume media. Otherwise they win.

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RBI: How did you figure out your place in this world? How did you know when you were doing exactly what you were meant to do?

NICOLE: I resisted making Cover Girl Culture for a long time. I was afraid, terrified to stand up to the media – namely fashion, advertising and the world of celebrity that we have today. When I was in high school I was frustrated by the impact the media had on girls from the city. Being a country kid I was exposed to very little media. 5 channels at most. I hadn’t seen a music video until 9th grade! I was put off when girls wouldn’t allow themselves to be happy because of their weight, wardrobe or hair. It was a hard concept to understand. It wasn’t until I was dragged kicking and screaming into the modeling world that I saw how this problem was created and perpetuated. Even after telling close friends the ‘real deal’ about fashion and advertising – few believed me. This was part of my hesitation in making CGC – if some of my friends wouldn’t believe me, why bother telling the rest of the world? Maybe they deserve to believe they should be unhappy. But with enough encouragement and guidance I took the leap of faith. As soon as I said YES to Cover Girl Culture the doors opened and things fell into place – this is when I knew I was doing exactly what my heart/soul was meant to do in this lifetime. There is more……(that’s another story!)

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RBI: How important do you think it is for women to support each other?

NICOLE: EXTREMELY important. I like what Madeline Albright says about this “I believe women who don’t help other women have a special place reserved for them in hell.”

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RBI: When you are confronted with fear or self-doubt what helps you move through these feelings?

NICOLE: Sometimes I had lost hope while making CGC. I believed it was too big a task to take on and useless for me to pursue. I had to step away for a time and remember why I was making this film. Sometimes I’d overhear a girl upset about her body or a mother struggling to find ways to help her daughter with body image and media bombardment. This is when I knew I couldn’t stand by and watch – I knew I could do something to help – even if only a handful of people ‘got it.’

And there are women out there ( I know some) who don’t care that they are unhappy and thinks it’s totally fine to live by the media’s measuring tape. They fell helpless and believe they have a better shot with men because men are programmed with the same beliefs about women. This is sad but I had to accept that concept was a choice for some people. It’s easier for them to follow the flock – even if it leads to suffering.

Back on topic – what helps me move through these feelings? First off – allowing myself to feel fear/doubt. Then reminding myself that fear is faith returning. I remember being terrified to do speeches in class. When my turn was over I felt a wave of relief and a wave of confidence….a little wave. Each of those waves builds on itself – like a muscle being exercised. So when I feel fear creeping up or doubt….I challenge the fear and allow myself to feel it. What am I really afraid of? Failing, being unloved, not being accepted for my work, — all fears are universal and have a counterpart that melts it away into it’s true expression – courage, faith, confidence and belief in one’s self. Another thing I find helpful is the reminder that I was born with everything I require to get through any challenge that comes my way. It’s daunting at first but when I look back through my life I see how true it has been, thus far.

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RBI: What’s one of the MOST important things a woman can do to empower herself to feel good.

NICOLE: MANTRA – stare into your eyes in a mirror and repeat “I LOVE AND APPROVE OF MYSELF” as often as you can. DO not look at your FACE – just deeply gaze into your eyes. I’ve heard this is really helpful to get the self-love/acceptance ball rolling.

The media has us so wrapped up in our exterior wrapping that we’ve overlooked what’s inside – US!

ONLY YOU CONTROL YOUR HAPPINESS – if you allow the media’s measuring tape to dictate your happiness – make a new choice –take back your power or not – the choice is yours and ONLY YOURS. Stop allowing strangers to tell you when you are worthwhile and loveable!

Love yourself for being here on planet earth. You are on an adventure and if you haven’t yet found your adventure – you will as soon as you unplug from the media matrix that has cast a spell over you.

Write a letter to someone – forgive someone, cheer someone up, plant a flower, take a class…

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RBI: What do you think needs to happen in order for a woman to truly break open and blossom into who she was meant to be?

NICOLE: LOTS! – unplug from the media for as long as necessary. You will discover your creativity sky-rocket. You will be able to tune into your heart and it’s treasure trove of blessings for you and the world.

Become a champion for a cause you really believe in. If you have enough time to be scrutinizing your body and your looks than you have LOTS Of time to pour into a worthy cause. Make yourself so busy with creative projects and hobbies that you don’t have time to look in the mirror and fuss. Life is calling you to live and love. Also – listen to YOUR HEART, to your inner guide. What dreams did you have as a child that you gave up? Revisit them…

I recently heard Michael Beckwith say “How can an infinite being, be bored? The only way to be bored is to have suppressed your creativity. Period. Discover something new about yourself each day – maybe you loved a little more, forgave someone you thought you couldn’t, learned something new…”

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RBI: Is there a moment in your life you are most proud of?

NICOLE: Currently: when I finally said yes to make Cover Girl Culture. I was a big chicken before hand! It took a lot of courage to step forward – a lot.

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Want more of Nicole? Listen to my RADIO INTERVIEW with Nicole HERE

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Learn more about Nicole and Cover Girl Culture here.

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4 Responses to “Interviews”

  1. […] READ ENTIRE INTERVIEW HERE […]


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