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beauty FEBRUARY 2012

the premiere issue


Letter

Editor

from the

“Welcome to the first issue of Stark Beauty Magazine!” We were inspired by the letters and responses to The Inner Beauty Project and realized the fashion and lifestyle magazine industries were missing content for women of depth. Women are utterly and completely (starkly) beautiful. We have to be made of tough stuff to survive the lives we lead. We need a magazine that helps nourish our souls with stories of women overcoming their own obstacles and glowing along the way. Our cover story Breaking Up With an Eating Disorder is a beautiful testimony to female strength. We’re going into unknown territory, talking about subjects that magazines don’t usually talk about. We’ll show you photos of women proudly loving their stretch marks and in future issues, scars. We also like to feel pretty and have reviewed three of our favorite beauty products that work with a wide range of ethnicities and skin tones. We hope this magazine will serve as a starting point for talking about things that affect us all. Beauty truly comes from within – so nourish yourself, love yourself, and glow!

PHOTO BY IMAN WOODS

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CONTENTS February 2012 / Premiere Issue STRANGLED BY THE DEFINITION OF BEAUTY

Examining how perception affects beauty PG.6

SECOND ANNUAL INNER BEAUTY PROJECT

The ground breaking project’s second year PG.12

STYLISH HOME

Re-purposed suitcase side tables PG.14

PINUP EMPOWERMENT

Two years later PG.16

NEVER A VICTIM

Kidnap survivor helps to insure more women are “Never a Victim! PG.18

HOW TO BREAK UP WITH AN EATING DISSORDER Brittany bravely shares how she overcame an eating disorder PG.8 ON THE COVER Photo by Iman Woods

The First Issue!

PHOTO BY IMAN WOODS HAIR AND MAKEUP BY JESSIE LICATA

STRETCH MARKS Q & A

Why women should be proud PG.22

INSPIRED

Teaching daughters healthy outlook on body image PG.24

BEAUTY JUNKIES UNITE!

Our favorite things PG.26

beauty PINTEREST

The virtual pin board PG.30

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M A G A Z I N E www.facebook.com/starkbeautymag


beauty

stark staff

(in alphabetical order of first names)

iman woods aimee markwardt jason cliffy haag

editor-in-chief associate editor editor and writer

joe ulrich

designer and layout

pisto rish

designer and advertising

strong pr and multimedia gretchen yetzbacher-yoder

public relations marketing

annie brokaw

writer

brittany anas

writer

desiree galvez

writer

lindsay kuhns

writer

renu gupta

writer

ranee marie david linh e sellers kristi siedow-thompson gretchen white angela dailey

maternity trends community outreach illustration essayist wellness


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Strangled by the Defintion of Beauty

Balancing the ideal of beauty by Iman Woods

I recently sparked a lively debate on the Iman Woods Facebook fan page (facebook.com/girlsofglamour) about perfection in professional modeling. I posted before and after photos of models to help women see that even models looked different without all of the makeup. Another professional photographer cried foul (rightfully so, as the before shots were created to amplify “flaws”) and said these women are perfect in real life. I couldn’t argue with his opinion they’re beautiful and perfect. I did argue with his choice of words, but we were able to talk it out and now I’m a big admirer of his work. My intention was not to put the models down in any way (no woman, however jealous-inspiring she is, deserves to be put down), and once that was cleared up, it was easy to see each other’s point of view. Some of my fans weren’t happy with his choice of words. He said regular women are lacking. Perfection in beauty is hard to find and even harder to keep and I ultimately agreed with him. He truly thinks they’re perfect. Having never met or photographed them, I can’t weigh in on that. Over the past few days, I’ve been troubled that I had opened a can of worms I wasn’t ready for. Who am I to judge models? I don’t work with them. I work with real, every-day women. As I went over this in my head, I started to realize this issue goes much deeper and is so complicated that it can’t be quantified from person to person. Here’s the rub: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. There’s no solid way to carve a beauty ideal into stone and be assured that in one year, or 100, or 1,000 that it will still be the height of beauty. And that’s a beautiful thing! Look at the famous Renaissance paintings depicting creamy skin and luscious curves. That’s a far cry from the tanned, toned bodies we see today. Yet, at one time, plussize creaminess was the height of beauty. I chuckle to picture that on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Our perception of beauty is based on many different factors. For the pro who shoots unforgiving fashion, his ideal beauty is found in a woman who

PHOTOS BY IMAN WOODS HAIR AND MAKEUP BY JESS LICATA

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fits the fashion industry’s ideal of beauty. If I worked in that world or had been drawn to it, that might be my ideal too. And it’s hard to argue with it when it’s the majority of the images we see. My job is to make “the girl next door” think about beauty and question advertisements on a deeper level. The clothing industry invests a lot of money in selling their styles. They want to use girls who best represent the flow and lines of their hard work. They want their clothes to be shown in all their glory. I understand that – I just want the masses to understand it too. Just because we see it “everywhere,” doesn’t mean it’s the

ideal everywhere. We had several men chime in during the discussion to say that all women are beautiful. (God bless you guys, by the way!) I hear the same from my husband and friends’ hubbies. For me, the definition of beauty is different. Having been thin and then overweight, I spent too many years thinking beauty could only be found in a perfect size and weight. Personally and professionaly, losing weight and working with beautiful women of all sizes has changed my definition of beauty dramatically.

ly impacted by the inner workings of a person. How she treats me, her children or her spouse. How she treats herself and her friends alters her level of beauty dramatically. The woman who laughs with her whole heart is ethereal beauty at it’s finest. I’ll find drop-your-jaw gorgeous women checking out at the cash register in Target. There’s a glow I see that can only come from something inside. You feel prettier by just being around her. John Mason Brown said, “Charm is a glow within a woman that casts a most becoming light on others.”

“I believe true beauty is strongly impacted by the inworkings of a “We ner had several men chime inperson” during

I believe true beauty is strong-

the discussion to say that ALL women are beautiful...”

I think I’ve been too harsh on the beauty industry. They’re not the enemy. My definition is just vastly different from theirs -- it doesn’t mean I get to put theirs down. Instead, I hope to start a dialogue that will bring women (who would never be professional models) to similar realizations. We need to talk about this and know that our voices matter.

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I challenge each of you to learn your own beauty ideal. Doing so can help end eating disorders, bullying, early plastic surgery and most of the self-loathing that is increasingly prevalent in our society. Those are the things that I’m truly angry at -- and the things that should be silenced.


n aating der E sor

how to break up with

i D PHOTOS BY IMAN WOODS HAIR AND MAKEUP BY ANGEL GARCIA

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by Brittany Anas


Tattooed on the underside of Brittany Wipple’s wrist are Chinese symbols that translate to “health and wellness.”

disorders, Brittany decided to talk about her own liberation from the destructive bingeand-purge cycle.

The inked art covers up an area on her porcelain skin she once sliced with razors when she was depressed, opening up wounds to release her emotional pain. The black ink is always at her side, serving as a gentle reminder to nourish her body, which she once starved.

She hopes it can inspire the courage to change in others.

Two years ago, Brittany, 23, broke up with “Ed” for good. Ed was the name she assigned to her eating disorder, who she likened to an abusive boyfriend clawing for control and driving her to chase perfection.

“There were two voices in my head: The eating disorder and the other one that said ‘This

Having a support system is essential to breaking away from eating disorders, she said. One day, after her freshman year in college, she declared to her mother she needed help.

Brittany, a college student now living in Boulder Colo., recently did a playful photo shoot with photographer and Stark Beauty Magazine founder Iman Woods. Styled in a red dress with a matching flower pinned in her loose golden brown curls, her toned arm flirtatiously lifted a red velvet cupcake to her lips. In the studio, Brittany felt empowered and freed. Knowing there are other women who are taunted by body image issues and suffering from eating

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isn’t scientifically safe,’” Brittany said. Brittany lost five pounds from her 5-foot-8-inch, already taut frame after a bout with the stomach flu during her freshman year at Portland State University. The illness spawned a dangerous idea: By throwing up food, she’d lose weight. Her college roommate was a varsity volleyball player, tall and skinny – which was an additional trigger. In high school, Brittany thought little about her weight. She


played whatever sport was in season – basketball, soccer, tennis, softball and gymnastics. She danced. She ran track. She ate healthily. But, in the college dorms, she gradually changed her diet, limiting herself to salad with dressing and cereal with milk. Then, she progressed to eating the food dry to cut back on calories. Her friends noticed the girl with the sweet tooth was turning down brownies and they became suspicious. “I was eating less and less and my body was so hungry,” Brittany said. She began going two or three days without eating, binging on food and then purging it. She made

“There were two voices in my head: The eating disorder and the other one that said ‘This isn’t scientifically safe,”

sure to save her binges for the weekends when she was visiting her parents so they wouldn’t notice her disorder. Her mind became like a ticker, constantly counting calories: She memorized the nutritional content of fruit, she couldn’t concentrate during movies because she wanted to burn the calories of the one piece of buttered popcorn she ate, she ran six to seven miles a day and allowed herself to eat 100 calories for every mile she finished. In the cafeteria, her college began posting the nutritional information above every food – the numbers staring at Brittany scared her away from eating. “I couldn’t stop thinking about food,” Brittany said. Isabelle Tierney, a Boulder therapist and costark

founder of the Boulder County Eating Disorders Coalition, explains those suffering from eating disorders have two mindsets. Their eating disorder thoughts – which compulsively counts calories and pounds – can hijack their rational mindset. Some of Brittany’s signs were textbook. Tierney explained some common behaviors that hint at eating disorders include going to the bathroom after meals, talking about food and dieting frequently, exercising a lot and refusing to eat socially. Other signs that hint somebody may be suffering from an eating disorder can including the denial of certain foods – like no dressing on their salads – or saying they’ve already eaten to avoid meals. Without the fuel from food, Brittany’s skin was drying up and she was getting acne. Her body was constantly cold. She was irritable and she had a hard time concentrating. She lost friends because she didn’t want to go out to eat or be subjected to their questions about her diet. “You learn how to hide it well,” Brittany said. Her body was withering away. *** The same trait to please others that drove Brittany to her eating disorder also ultimately led to her recovery. Brittany didn’t want to hurt those who loved her, including her mother who had found out that she was purging. She enrolled in a 30-day treatment program and dietitians taught her the building blocks of nutrition – making sure her meals were well-rounded and included fruits and vegetables, grains, proteins, dairy and fat. She still keeps the worksheets in a binder to help keep her nutrition in check. She initially had stomach aches after re-introducing food to her body. By starving herself, she had

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stalled her metabolism. When she began eating again, she initially lost a few more pounds from restarting her metabolism. No longer was she hiding her disorder and, in her recovery program, she shared her feelings with a sisterhood of women who were smart and beautiful and perfectionists. They understood one another. Looking for a new start, Brittany traveled to Sydney, Australia, to attend school and study nursing. There, she got attention for being the American girl with a cute accent. Her eating disorder was dormant. She was exercising in moderation.

soon after met her boyfriend on an online dating site. She was was attracted to his warm smile and 6-foot-3-inch build. Together, they’ve started a new chapter in Boulder, where he took a job with Google and she returned to school. Brittany said her boyfriend helped motivate her to get on a degree path towards medical school. As a little girl, Brittany read her family’s encyclopedia of medicine and was determined she could come up with cures for complex medical problems. She earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology and didn’t want to cut her education short.

But, then, news from home upset her: Her older brother had been diagnosed with osteosarcoma cancer and her parents were getting divorced. On top of that, she was working a part-time job at a gym where diet and exercise were the dominant conversation topics.

“I love that I’m finally following my dreams,” she said.

Feeling the urge to have control, she relapsed and, once again, began binging and purging. This time her family support system was overseas.

On a recent morning, she thought about beauty -- what makes her beautiful. She doesn’t mention her blue eyes that are framed by almond-shaped contours or her full, pouty lips.

Recognizing the danger she was in, she called home for help and her father traveled to Australia to bring her home where she met with a dietitian and a counselor. *** The last time Brittany forced herself to throw up was Feb. 14, 2010. She began a path of self-love and stark

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She’s studying genetics, physics and chemistry at Front Range Community College after taking physics at the University of Colorado’s Boulder campus.

Her ideals surrounding beauty take into account the importance of health and wellness, the virtues that are permanently at her side and are helping guide her to a future career. “I think that beauty is more of a feeling than an appearance,” she said. “Every cell in our body is working to be with us.”


r e n y t n I Beau

by Brittany Anas

the 2012 iteration of the life changing project

Jane Komperda has never cared much for writing, or even reading. You see, she was made fun of as a kid by her classmates for being dyslexic and having to take special education classes. Written words were her bullies too, making her feel self-conscious. But, a sense of empowerment came over Komperda, 25, last spring. She stumbled upon the love letters that women were penning to themselves as part of famed photographer Iman Woods’ “Inner Beauty Project.” For the project, women wrote to themselves like they were their own best friends and their letters made Jane cry. And laugh. Sometimes a single sentence evoked both emotional responses. Komperda realized that women – much like herself – had been veiling insecurities and fears, which were set free on paper in the form of love letters. The letter writers are resilient survivors – of breast cancer, abuse, addictions, depression and, sometimes, feelings that they just aren’t enough. The Inner Beauty Project helped inspire Woods to create Stark Beauty Magazine, as she recognized the need for a new and bold publication that realizes beauty emanates from within and acknowledges the complexity of women. “Every letter made me cry,” Woods said. “Every woman has deeper layers and stories they’ve been hiding.”

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Laurel Patterson rocks her photo shoot after winning the 2011 Inner Beauty Project PHOTO BY IMAN WOODS / HAIR AND MAKEUP BY ANGEL GARCIA

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In time for Valentine’s Day and to coincide with the launch of Woods’ new magazine, the Inner Beauty Project is back for a second year. This time around a panel of empowered women will judge the entries. The winner will be treated to a photo shoot with Woods as well as other prizes. Entries can be submitted until the end of March. The blog that compiled last year’s 30 letters – http://theinnerbeautyproject.com/ – was read worldwide in 200 different countries. “Reading those letters was incredible,” Komperda said. “I saw that everybody has their own insecurities and that we have all doubted our abilities.” **** Komperda will be among those writing letters this year. She will tell herself that there is no universal and linear path that leads to

“If you can’t love you, you can’t love anyone else.”

Elena Clark, runner up, shows her strength / Photo by Iman Woods / Hair and makeup by Angel garcia

success. Her trajectory – instead of earning a bachelor’s degree immediately after high school – led her to open a dog grooming business in Longmont, Colo. She will remind herself that she is a thriving, small business owner who owns her own home and two vehicles. She will affirm with herself that she is successful. She has an innate talent, with family photos showing she was grooming dogs for shows with a pacifier in her mouth at age 2. The letters encouraged women to compliment themselves and celebrate their strength. After all, they know themselves best. Desiree Galvez, 25, of Boulder County, felt relieved after writing her letter, she said. She called it her “pep talk” and in her letter she told herself she was on the cusp of something great. She found strength in herself as she offered the reassurance that age and sizes are just numbers that don’t have binding definitions. “You always need to check in with yourself and reassure yourself,” Galvez said. “If you can’t love you, you can’t love anyone else.” **** The Inner Beauty Project began with Woods, who wrote a love letter to herself as a way to heal her postpartum depression. She gently told herself the bad thoughts belonged to postpartum. There were better days awaiting her. Her little boy’s smile and laughter would heal her soul. Her family would face challenges that would strengthen them and she was capable of more strength than she gave herself credit for.

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Des Gonzales, a runner up, enjoys her close up / Photo by Iman Woods / Hair and makeup by Angel garcia

Today, it’s her husband and son that make her feel most beautiful – like the way she glows when her little boy gives her his signature kisses, gripping her cheeks with his tiny hands and smooching her face. Woods, recognizing how therapeutic her own letter was, put out a call for other self-written love letters. She suspected there would be other women who could benefit from validating themselves in the letters. But, she was wowed. The large response to her project, she said, showed the need. The winner was rewarded with a shoot in her studio, a place that celebrates beauty. Her governing studio rule: Clients cannot say anything negative about themselves. They’re pampered, treated to hair and makeup and dressed in sexy outfits. They joke, laugh and have fun. “Beauty isn’t something that’s completely external,” Woods said. “For me, it’s something that comes from the inside.”


the Stylish

Home

Photo by Iman Woods

by, Iman Woods

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There’s no place like home. And I’ve come to a new understanding of making a house a home since my son came into the world. We bought our house two months prior to his arrival and I’ve been nesting ever since. I finally (as in almost two years later) got around to finishing the master bedroom. My latest design project was to make custom nightstands for our room so the shabby-chic stands could go to the shabby-chic guest room. They never quite matched our bedroom set anyways. The old brown suitcases are replicas of some in my collection. They evoke the glossy tones of the wood from the bedroom set without being too similar. Credit to Rachel Dunham for choosing these over the blond set I planned on. And big kudos to Rachel for doing the measurements – since I would fallen into a seizure from number-induced trauma.

Photo by Iman Woods

The final results. I’m in love.

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. . . t n e m r e w o p Em

Pin-up by Lindsay Kuhns

Pretty as a picture doesn’t even begin to cover how truly beautiful Danielle Jimenez felt after her pin-up photo shoot two years ago with photographer Iman Woods.

Most women dream of looking as pretty as a pinup, but with the help of Woods, Jimenez learned that pin-up dreams can come true and the session touched her life far deeper than she imagined.

Like many women, Jimenez who lives in Denver,

Colo., has had her battles with body trouble spots, especially after the birth of her daughter in 2008. “Going into the photo shoot I mostly had trouble with the stomach area after having a C-section,” Jimenez said. “I just didn’t really feel normal, so I went into the shoot a little shy about being exposed.”

The nerves soon disappeared as Jimenez got to the studio, located in Erie, Colo., and was greet-

“We developed a friendship and she has given me an arsenal of strong, independent women that I can go to and are supportive...” Photo by Iman Woods / Hair and makeup by Angel Garcia

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“I got so much more than I hoped for,” Jimenez said. “I just wanted pretty pictures and I wanted to do them before it was too late, and then it ended up being more about me and it turned out to be a huge thing.”

Photo by Iman Woods / Hair and makeup by Angel Garcia

ed by the warmth of Woods’ personality. Jimenez was soon amazed when what started out as a gift for her husband, turned into so much more.

Along with being amazed by her own beauty in the photos, she

“She was a lot happier all the time, especially when the photos came out. It was like a weight had been lifted.”

says she gained a new outlook on beauty and became comfortable in her own skin. Furthermore, she truly values the friendship she acquired through the experience with both Woods and her team of empowering and supportive women. “It’s amazing how comfortable it is to become a part of what Iman does and how she makes you feel,” Jimenez said. “We developed a friendship and she has given me an arsenal of strong, independent women that I can go to and are supportive. We raise each other up.” To Jimenez, the photos and the experience are invaluable and her husband agrees the self-confidence and change in her spirits following the shoot brought more joy to the entire house-

rs a e Y o w ...T ater L

hold.

“The photos were awesome. I couldn’t believe how good they were!” husband Michael Jimenez said. “She was a lot happier all the time, especially when the photos came out. It was like a weight had been lifted.”

“I saw Danielle’s photos and they were beautiful, so I also wanted to have my own experience,” Romero said. “Danielle helped me get ready for the shoot and she helped me laugh in a couple of the photos.”

Long-time friend and fellow Iman Woods pin-up girl Anita Romero, Lakewood, Colo., attests to how stunning a woman can feel after Jimenez inspired her to do her own photo shoot.

Jimenez says that even two years later the photos give her the same empowering feeling every time she looks at them and she got much more than just photos, she also gained self-confidence, a mission to empower women and genuine friendships.

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Kidnap survivor helps to insure more women are “Never a Victim!” by Desiree Galvez

NEVER Illustration by Kristi Siedow-Thompson

A VICTIM

WHAT EVERY WOMAN NEEDS TO KNOW

Stop for a minute, close your eyes and put yourself in this situation: Leaving work alone and in the dark, you check your cell phone with one hand, while searching for your keys in your purse with your other. As you place your purse on the hood to get a better look inside, someone, seemstark

ingly coming out of nowhere, grabs you from behind and pushes a gun into your temple. He demands you come with him. Now open your eyes and ask yourself, “Would I know what to do next to survive?” As a Colorado Springs law enforcement professional and instructor, Doris Rivera-Black never imagined the above scenario could happen to her, but in June 2006, the unimaginable happened. Rivera-Black was kidnapped at gunpoint by her ex-husband in her own driveway. After surviving the nightmarish ordeal, she decided to do something to ensure other women are “Never a Victim.” In the years immediately following her attack, Rivera-Black volunteered as an advocate for various domestic violence and sexual assault support

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groups, but felt like she could do more. She then decided to apply her eight years of law enforcement and instructor experience and developed the Never a Victim program. “I just knew there was more I could do to help prevent other women from being attacked,” she said. Rivera-Black and her business partner, Melissa Warden, a Manitou Springs Police Department corporal, now conduct four-hour classes specializing in preventing and surviving attacks. They teach women simple, but effective techniques for increasing their awareness while showing them how to be a less likely target. After spending the first half of the class discussing attack prevention, the women are then

encouraged to get physical. They’re taught to defend themselves in an attack and given the opportunity to test their skills on the “Red Man,” which is a male volunteer covered in a protective foam armor suit. According to the 2000 National Crime Victims Survey, females ages 12 to 35 are at the highest risk to be sexual assault victim. Women between 16 and 19 are four times more likely to be victims of rape, attempted rape or sexual assault. These alarming statistics prompted Colorado Springs residents Lindsay Chavez, an analysis specialist, and Susan Smith, a nurse, to enroll in a Never a Victim class with their teenage daughters. The women and their daughters

say they now feel more aware of their surroundings and are confident they can defend themselves if needed. “Always have your keys out and ready before you start walking to your car,” Chavez said when asked what tip from the class she uses everyday. “Walk with confidence. Strong, aware body language will detour attackers because they pick targets whom they perceive as weak,” Smith added. The cost of the class is $30, which includes a Kubotan selfdefense key chain, and a light snack. Never a Victim donates 20 percent of proceeds to a different nonprofit women’s organization each month. For more information about Never a Victim, visit their website at: www.Never-a-Victim.org

303-834-0645

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Reader Q&A

Ashley asks: “Why do moms think that stretch marks are so ugly and try to hide them? Aren’t they suppose to be signs of a great accomplishment?”

“I have always referred to mine as battle scars. It’s a reminder of how strong and amazing mothers actually are.” -Reba Sparrow

“They're not stretch marks, they're tigress stripes, and you only get them by being a FEIRCE MAMA!!!” -Ranee Marie David

“I have stretch marks and an 18 inch scar hip to hip, I want to get it tattooed so I can show it off.” -Amber Petrie

“My stretch marks resemble the journey to motherhood. They resemble the joy of holding my miracle for the first time. They are heaven’s reminder of how hard I prayed for my sweet daughter. Though the journey was long...ups and downs through fertility treatments, it was in Gods hands and I wouldn’t change them or the change in my body for any-Megan Stinson thing.”

“I almost died giving birth to my boys, both on the day of their birth, and a week later. I battled and wish I had scars on the outside to show how hard it was. Because they were my angels, they saved me in every way.” -Nikki Lackovic

“I love my love marks! Each one represents a time that I will never trade. I am grateful I have them since if I didn’t I wouldnt have my babies.” -Elena C. Clark

“I think that EVERY mark on your body is beautiful!!! It’s the body that you built and it’s history in the making!!!” -Christine Pinkney

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“If we don't have any scars on the outside then odds are we haven't really lived at all! Not just birthing scars but all scars. We are women and we kick butt!” -Dawn Capra-Grace

“I am very proud of my marks! They are additional proof that I help create, and carry two wonderful gifts that I brought into this world.” -Tammy Hoover


Photo by Iman Woods / Hair and makeup by Kendra Landrey

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Model Kendra Landrey, a surrogate to twins and only six weeks postpartum, is proud of the marks that show what a gift she carried to help another woman become a mother. More next month!


Jenna Theiler kisses daughter Josephine / Photo by Iman Woods

ESTEEM selfteaching girls about

by Gretchen White

I learned about beauty by watching her sweep blue shadow on her eyelids. I watched her twist lipstick cases, blot, pucker, kiss. She punctuated with a wrist flick of an untwist, snapping shut – a job well-done. Her cheeks were stroked with rouge, her hair subdued.

As I watched my mother perform these rituals of beauty, I learned something more than mascara application techniques or how to leave a sweet lip stark

imprint on a grocery-store receipt.

I learned about the body by watching my mom pull chopped liver from a grocery bag. She joined a very popular weight management regime and liver was part of her diet. Her desire to shed baby weight after my sister was born often meant eating disgusting, slimy foods.

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I also watched my mom pull on leotards and go to


aerobics classes, looking like Olivia Newton John. When I was 10, the nation was obsessed with getting physical. Mom dieted and exercised, then she’d stop. She bought skinny clothes, larger clothes, then skinny clothes again. The years spiral away, forever stamped with impressions of what it means to be a woman. So many girls, including me, labor under demands of a mysterious standard set into motion eons ago. It still ripples today: You aren’t good enough as you are, straight out of the box or bag. There’s a powerful tug to embrace lush lashes and Olivia Newton’s leotards – at least for me. There’s nothing wrong with beauty and working for a healthy, fit body. These aren’t

the pursuits of shallow, uneducated women.

for cheerleaders, but I’ll be in the library.

My mother never aligned with those stereotypes and still doesn’t. She’s a lovely woman and I’m more in awe of her now than ever. With that, there’s something she may not realize that I’ve never told her.

The ritual of beauty brought us together, sealing something profound with red wax and our pressed thumbprints. It can never be fully undone and I would die a little if it could.

It didn’t matter to me if she was skinny, overweight, wore eyeshadow to the grocery store or had a rainbow of nail polish colors in her bathroom vanity. Deep down I knew it didn’t matter to my mother if I embraced her definition of beauty. I actually rebelled against it for years because I held the belief lipstick was for old ladies -- and rouge was even worse. Aerobics was fine

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While I can’t remember if my mom and I talked while I watched as she worked, so much was said. My mother told me she valued who she saw in the mirror – eyes shining, and a radiant smile. The final touch? Wrists and neck offered to a floral, musky mist. Today, the mist lingers and I catch it when my daughters closely watch me. I consider myself in the mirror and decide on the grey shadow.


Beauty Junkies

UNITE our favorite products

by Iman Woods

I’m addicted to beauty products. Or perhaps, I’m addicted to the hunt and “high” of finding something that does what’s advertised. And it’s my duty as a woman of the “sisterhood of beauty” to share my discoveries.

2. Benefit Posietint

1. Glass Nail Files

Emery boards are SO last decade. They were a wonderfully portable invention, but they leave the edge of your nail a raged mess. Whenever I use an emery my nails chip something fierce. Glass files, if made well, leave a much smoother edge. Well-made ones have the filing texture built into the glass, not just etched on top. If your file loses its filing ability quickly, the surface was etched into the top layer only. A great model you can pick up for about $8 is the Sephora Collection glass nail file. One to avoid is the Revlon file available at most drug stores. stark

While I’ve found my skin lacks luster the further we get into winter, I’ve discovered my summer “go to” has proven itself to be a hard worker year round! A bit of Posietint on my lips and cheeks is all I wear some days – it gives me a lovely and subtle pop of color for gray winter days.

3. Heated Eyelash Curler

If there’s an anonymous group for people obsessed with their lashes, I would be a founding member. From Talika to Latisse, I want it all. The quickest and easiest way to give my stick-straight Arab lashes some curve (without sacrificing length) is to use a heated lash wand. I’ve found some lovely models through Sephora and Sally Beauty. If you find the curl doesn’t hold, you can use the wand after mascara. Bat those lashes, ladies!

beauty / february issue


GRAPHIC & LAYOUT

DESIGN Let U4Studios help you realize your creative ideas. We strive to build lasting relationships with our customers, to ensure their full satisfaction. First impressions are lasting ones. Let U4Studios help put your best forward!

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stickers * business cards * magazine layout * christmas cards * wedding invites * graphic design * notepads * wall murals * logo design * wedding announcements * digital photo correction * door hangars * business cards * postcards * menu designs * print layout design * banners * greeting cards * calendars * posters * brochures * stickers * business cards * magazine layout * christmas cards * wedding invites * graphic design * notepads * wall murals * logo design * wedding announcements * digital photo correction * door hangars * business cards * postcards * menu designs * print layout design * banners * greeting cards * stark

beauty / february issue


stark

beauty / february issue


stark

beauty / february issue


visual idea sharing stark

beauty / february issue


stark

beauty / february issue


stark

beauty / february issue


stark

beauty / february issue


one of a kind hats & accessories for those who demand the spotlight

photo and layout by: stark

beauty / february issue


stark

beauty / february issue


stark

beauty / february issue


stark

beauty / february issue


the unretouched

and fashion

starkM A G A Z I N E stark

beauty / february issue

Stark Beauty  

An empowerment magazine, starkly beautiful. Fashion, self-esteem, parenting. We cover it all.

Stark Beauty  

An empowerment magazine, starkly beautiful. Fashion, self-esteem, parenting. We cover it all.

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