Affectionately known as "America's #1 Success Coach," Jack Canfield is the originator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series and a leading authority in the areas of self-esteem, achievement motivation, and peak performance. [www.jackcanfield.com]
Arianna Huffington is the co-founder and Editor in Chief of the Huffington Post and the author of twelve books. [www.huffingtonpost.com]
Seth Godin is a prominent author, blogger and speaker. [www.squidoo.com/linchpin]
Krishna Kaur is the founder of YOGA for Youth, a program that takes yoga, meditation, and stimulating discussions on the philosophy of yoga to urban youth. [www.yogaforyouth.org]
Norman Lear has enjoyed a long career in television and film. He is also a political and social activist and philanthropist. [www.normanlear.com]
Leilani Münter is a professional race car driver and an environmental activist who uses her voice in the number one spectator sport in America as a catalyst for change. [www.leilanimunter.com]
By going undercover to meet slaves and slaveholders, Kevin Bales exposed modern slavery’s penetration into the global economy. He co-founded Free the Slaves, which has helped to liberate thousands of slaves. [www.freetheslaves.net]
Sophie Chiche, founder of lifebyme.com, is the single mom of an amazing 16-year-old, Leah, and wicked step-mom of 22-year-old, Sarah. They all live in LA. You can find them boxing, cooking, collaging, hosting brunches, laughing their head off or bickering over who’s washing and who’s drying the dishes.
Entrepreneur and writer Mastin Kipp founded TheDailyLove.com, which merges pop culture with inspiration, and co-founded The Love Yourself Company, an apparel company that has started a global self-esteem movement. [www.TheDailyLove.com]
Liz Phair is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist. [www.lizphair.com]
Archbishop Desmond Tutu is Chairman of The Elders, a group of world leaders who address some of the world's most pressing problems. He works energetically for human-rights and in his ministry. [www.tutu.org]
Zainab Salbi is the founder and CEO of Women for Women International, a group dedicated to helping women survivors of war rebuild their lives. [www.womenforwomen.org]
Despite his physical challenges, Sean Stephenson has taken a stand for a quality of life that has inspired millions of people around the world. He’s a professional speaker, psychotherapist, and author. [www.timetostand.com]
Kia Miller teaches Yoga at Yoga Works in Los Angeles, leads teacher trainings, and runs retreats and workshops on meditation, chakras, pranayam, and mantras, and other practices. [www.kiamiller.com]
Simon Mainwaring is an ex-Nike/Wieden creative, former Worldwide Creative Director at Motorola/Ogilvy, branding/advertising writer, author/speaker/blogger, Australian, idea geek. [www.simonmainwaring.com]
Shannon Bindler is a style editor, life coach, and the co-founder of Get Up Girl, an empowerment company that inspires women to shine. [www.getupgirl.com]
Grammy-nominated art director/designer/photographer Mathieu Bitton has designed over 450 CDs and movie posters. He’s a renowned collector of and authority on black films and their soundtracks. [www.candytangerine.com]
Opus Reps founder and agent-producer Jorge Perez travels the world producing photo shoots with great photographers and celebrities. He's also very involved with Meals on Wheels in Los Angeles. www.opusreps.com
What’s most meaningful to me is sparking conversation about what real beauty means. In graduate school, I was torn between wanting to work as a women’s rights activist and wanting to work in fashion and beauty. I’d suffered with an eating disorder in college and felt there was a big need in the marketplace to address the way those two spheres of my life overlapped. I ended up writing my graduate school thesis on women’s magazines and their influence on body image and eating disorders.
Restrictive eating disorders and obesity are two sides of the same coin. We’re not all born to have the same body shape. We need to recognize that and not strive for a body type we aren’t genetically determined to have. If there were one diet that worked, there would be one best-selling diet book and we’d all be healthy. On top of that, so much of the diet industry is based on the idea that once you lose weight you’ll be happy. It’s the opposite: when we’re happy, our bodies find a weight that’s right.
Part of my process of getting happy has been making sure I’m on my own to do list, not pushed aside by the business I run or anything else. But there’s only so much one person can do. What helps me is paying attention to what I’m good at and focusing on that, then finding someone else to do the things I’m not good at, like styling my hair. This makes my life calmer, gives me more time for myself, and makes me more efficient at helping to shift our ideals about beauty so they’re available to all women.
Growing up, many of us had unrealistic beauty ideals to try to live up to. Especially with the advent of air-brushing and digital manipulation, those ideals became literally unrealistic. In the same way young girls are taught what’s beautiful and what to strive to look like, young men are given those same messages about unrealistic beauty ideals. That needs to shift, too. I think all men have the ability to love all different body shapes and sizes.
We got the idea that our bodies are for others’ pleasure as objects of beauty. But it’s not how others experience our bodies that’s powerful – the power is in how we ourselves experience our bodies.
All women are beautiful. We aren’t saying that often enough.
- Alexis Wolfer
Explore More Meaning
heart doctor. resilient dad. lesson seeker.
Dr. Terry Gordon, a Cleveland Clinic–trained cardiologist who’s nationally recognized in matters of the heart, practiced within mainstream medicine for over two decades. In 2002, he was named the American Heart Association’s National Physician of the Year. [www.drterrygordon.com]
How do you feel about your current job?