Happy New Year Bold Readers! Want to start your year off with a great resource? Check out “See Beautiful.” See Beautiful™ was designed to empower women to see the beauty they inherently possess and empower all to see the beauty in the world by celebrating the inherent beauty of girls and women, sharing beautiful work of non-profit organizations committed to seeing beautiful, honoring stories of kind, selfless, and individuals, showcasing opportunities to see beautiful in the world and supporting a commitment to making the world a better place!
As stated on their website, “Pop culture would like us to think beauty exists in, or is defined by, reality t.v. shows, airbrushed models on magazine covers, or manikins in storefront windows.” As a Bold Reader, we hope you’ve already figured out what beauty REALLY is. If not, Lydia Criss Mays is here to tell you.
Mays is the founder of See Beautiful™. We had a chance to sit down with her to discuss the site, how it has been empowering women just like Bold, and even chat about its 2012 resolutions!
Bold Magazine: OK, so See Beautiful™ is a movement. What is the goal of the movement or awareness you’re looking to build?
Lydia Criss Mays: The goal of See Beautiful is to inspire girls and women to see the beauty they inherently possess and to empower all to see beautiful around the world.
BM: Who are some “See Beautiful’s” you’ve featured before?
LCM: One of our favorite parts of See Beautiful is researching and featuring our See Beautiful’s each month. We feature everything from children’s books to music to families to colors. Our first See Beautiful’s Children’s Book choice was Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman. Beautiful You by Rosie Molinary was a wonderful adult book to be featured as a See Beautiful’s.
BM: Who was your favorite?
LCM: It’s difficult to pick a favorite, as they all help us see beautiful in different ways, but a particularly special See Beautiful’s pick was our inaugural See Beautiful’s Pet, Sullivan, the therapy dog. Sullivan is an amazing therapy dog who works in schools and has, over his lifetime, brought smiles and raised confidence in thousands of children and adults. He was just diagnosed with cancer for the second time and given heartbreaking prognosis. Even being sick, he still prances the halls of schools, and brings joy to hundreds – and without fail, no matter how crummy he feels, his tail wags on. He’s beautiful.
BM: We love all of the products. How do you decide which to sel
LCM: Thanks so much! We are always looking for inspiring products to help others see more beautiful. All of our products are eco-friendly, and that’s a must for being featured. Ironically, our products are all supplied by small, women-owned companies. Our products have been recycled, hand-pressed, organic, and/or bought fair trade. It is a commitment to providing those who “see beautiful” with products that leave the world a little better than we found it. Even better, and perhaps most significant, we donate a portion of all sales to a revolving non-profit of the month. Connecting with non-profits and raising awareness for their wonderful causes has been absolutely thrilling.
BM: So, what has the reception so far been like?
LCM: Beautiful. Humbling. Inspiring. Moving. Every day we are inspired to see beautiful by those around us. Whether someone shares a “see beautiful” story with us or simply clicks that they “like” a quote we put on facebook, people have responded in ways that we could only dream. We have orders for See Beautiful products from Dublin, Ireland to Detroit, Michigan and we are completely inspired by how people find us and support our movement. The way people have internalized their own meaning of see beautiful has helped us come to understand the need for such a movement. If one person sees beautiful because of See Beautiful we’re grateful.
BM: What’s in store for us in 2012?
LCM: Lots more seeing beautiful. We’ll continue to unveil more eco-friendly products. We’ll continue to seek and share See Beautiful’s and sponsor See Beautiful Non-Profits of the month. We’ll continue seeking wonderful resources for girls and women, like Bold Magazine, to add to our website. More than anything, we hope 2012 finds the See Beautiful movement gaining even more momentum. We want to reflect a voice of humanity in which women are empowered and we all work together to make the world a more beautiful place for all to live.
BM: OK, Lydia- Time to show us your BOLD!
LCM: What makes us BOLD is our commitment to inspiring others to search for beauty in themselves. We’re BOLD because it is an US we function from vs. an I from which we internalize. We are beautiful because it’s woven through every fiber of every one of us. We are unique because we are empowered to be so by those around us and the world around us. We are BOLD because we see beautiful in every opportunity.