Photography by Chris Thorn
Occupation: Entrepreneur & Executive Director of The Next Big Thing Foundation
Describe yourself in under 100 words :
Lover, Sister, Daughter, Entrepreneur, Connector, Mentor, Caregiver, CEO, Creative, Cheerleader, Wannabe #1 Mom.
You are an incredibly busy woman with an exciting project of your own that just launched (The Next Big Thing Foundation). Why did you decide to participate in the RAW photo shoot?
You only have to meet Erin once to know she’s the kind of person who gets involved in interesting projects, things she believes in. Part of me was intrigued at the prospect of an unfiltered photo session. But mostly I was happy to support Erin and take the opportunity to support a cause she’s championing. I trust her instincts re: awesomeness.
Strength, courage, empathy & kindness. Depth. Being comfortable in ones’ own skin.
Have you ever felt like you weren’t beautiful?
I don’t think of beauty as an outside appearance thing, it’ not quantifiable like that for me. Beauty it all about how I feel. I feel my least beautiful when I’m experiencing guilt or shame. Loss of love and heart break – that kind of emptiness strips me of the experience of beauty.
What things (if any) are you most insecure about?
The fact I don’t have family of my own yet. That’s just the honest truth.
Also, my feet are ridiculously disproportionately long, thin & bony. And I make really bad jokes, have a tendency to break them out among company and then laugh loudly, tears rolling down my cheeks, at my own puns. Which is super dorky and embarrassing, but I just can’t help myself.
Other than that, I’m pretty comfortable being me.
As you should be! When do you feel most beautiful?
I feel my most beautiful when I’m expressing love & caring. When I’m being wildly creative & productive, when I’m smiling or laughing. I feel beautiful when I’m surrounded by my family and also when I’m with animals. When I’m walking in nature, be it the West Coast beaches or through Fall trees in Cape Cod. That’s where I find the most peace. That, and losing myself in a great book.
What part of aging is the most exciting?
Knowledge. Growth. Deepened understanding and compassion for the world around me. Making new friends, creating a family. Earning more laugh lines.
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.?
Have you ever had cosmetic surgery or treatments?
Not yet. I’m neither for, nor against, it and many of my friends started with fillers, botox, implants & tucks even in their 20s. Most of them look great & I would support them in whatever they feel will make them happy. As for me, I’ll never say never. Right now I’m into embracing the natural thing.
Who is the most beautiful woman in the world to you and why?
My mom gets #1, hands-down. Because the people I love the most will always be the most beautiful to me. Also, she’s a stone-cold 70 yr old babe!
For my ultimate trifecta of beautiful women? Amy Poehler, Kristen Wiig, Tina Fey
For well-known modern figures: Cate Blanchett, Julia Roberts, Gwyneth Paltrow, Lauryn Hill, DianeVonFurstenberg, Carla Bruni
For past beauties: Katherine Hepburn, Sophia Loren, Grace Kelly.
If you woke up every morning feeling confident, content and proud of your natural appearance (before putting on make-up, doing your hair, getting dressed etc.) how would your world be different?
It wouldn’t be that different from today. I’m blessed to think more about how I feel when I wake up, than about how I look. Brushing my hair feels good to me. Choosing a soft fabric to wear against my skin in a color I like feels good to me. Putting on some lip gloss feels good to me.
When I’m well rested, well nourished & well loved, my day unfolds with happiness.
If you could give a 16-year old girl a piece of advice in regards to beauty, confidence or self love what would you say?
Be kind and generous to yourself first. Everything else will follow.
Also watch Amanda de Cadenet’s “The Conversation”. It’s a revelation.
(We agree!! We’re slightly obsessed with the show.)
Twitter Handle/ @meredithjpowell