People 02 February 2017
Starting at the age of 25, Tai Beauchamp made history in the fashion industry as the youngest and first African American beauty director for Seventeen Magazine. Beauchamp has then become a spirited media personality, moving seamlessly with the changing landscape. She later went on to be an editor for Oprah Magazine, Good Housekeeping, and Teen Vogue. Whether it is being a style expert, public speaker, entrepreneur, or media persona, Beauchamp is always making a name for herself.
In 2015, Beauchamp launched her own website called The Tai Life, which aims to inspire women to be their full selves while holistically connecting style and empowerment. We talked to the multi-faceted media personality about femaile empowerment, entrepreneurship, and celebrating your inner and outer beauty.
According to Beauchamp, landing the job at Seventeen Magazine happened almost entirely because of her dedication and hard work. “I landed that role because I interned, which is pretty standard and expected for the media industry now,” she says, underscoring the importance of interning when seeking a dream job. As we all know succeeding in the media industry relies on much more than interning experience, and Beauchamp advises it comes in the form of work ethic. “Not only was I working really hard and showing up on time, but I also had this incredible and insatiable desire to learn, which I made known to the people I worked with and my bosses,” she says. As the beauty director, Beauchamp was working 16-hour days and running between two departments. Talk about a busy day!
Because Beauchamp graduated college with such a clear-cut vision for her future, she gives some advice for college students who might need guidance in finding their passion. “I think that interning is very important because it is not solely about discovering exactly what you want to do, but it gives you the opportunity to do process of elimination and find out what you don’t want to do as well,” she says
Courtesy of Essence
Another important aspect of succeeding, whether it is after college or while working, is surrounding yourself with mentors and like-minded peers.
“Building relationships is very pivotal because at the end of the day, those relationships will help guide where you want to be and can help you get there,” says Beauchamp.
To succeed in the media industry, one of the main goals is to connect with your audience. Beauchamp emphasizes this multiple times, because in today’s society, people are constantly relying on media.
“It is all about your ability to authentically connect to the audience,” Beauchamp states, “And as a media person, I recognize the responsibility I have to connect to consumers and audiences.”
While building her company and brand, Beauchamp realized that her goal is to help young women see themselves in the best light possible.
"I gave up trying to be like anyone else a long time ago," says Beauchamp. "I realized not being me was not only too hard but too great a risk and lost to the world. The same goes for you. This isn't vanity, it's truth! You are more than enough."
“My empowerment is rooted in the fact that I went to an all woman’s high school and college, was raised by my mother and grandmother, and through my philanthropic work,” she says.
Beauchamp on YouTube
To wit, Beauchamp’s website celebrates and nurtures all sides of women. Not only does she aim to provide inspiration, but also tools and resources empower women to live their life fully. “The goal of The Tai Life is to become a destination that takes women to another level- in that it meets you where you are, but also inspires you to another level,” Beauchamp says.
6 Min Read
I live the pain and stress of being black in America every day: I am a black woman, the mother of a black son, sister to black men, and aunt to my black nephews. I remember what it was like as a young girl to be afraid to go to Howard Beach for fear of being chased out. I know what it's like to walk on Liberty Avenue and be called "nigger" and being so young that I didn't understand what the word meant, I had to ask my mother. I know too well that feeling in the pit of your stomach when a police car pulls up behind you and even though you know you haven't done anything wrong you fear that your life may be in danger from what should be a simple encounter. Like all African Americans, I am tired of this burden.
African Americans have a long history of having to fight for our humanity in America. We have had to fight for freedom, we have had to fight for equality, and we have had to fight for our lives. The fight continues to go on. I have often quoted that line from the character Sophia in Alice Walker's The Color Purple, "All my life I had to fight." When I say this to my white counterparts it can sometimes be uncomfortable because it's clear that they just don't get it. They view it as melodramatic. But it's not. It's part of the black experience, and it is the part of the black experience that black people don't want.
I have often quoted that line from the character Sophia in Alice Walker's The Color Purple, "All my life I had to fight."
While I was out yesterday, passing out PPE and talking to people, a woman asked me, "What is it going to take for this to change?" I told her that I think peaceful protesting is a good start. But it's just the start. We can't elect the same people for the past 20-30 years, some in the same positions, and then talk about how nothing has changed in the past 30 years.
This injustice, inequality, and inequity will not spontaneously disappear. It will take bold, outspoken, and fearless leadership to eradicate the systemic racism in our country. We must address the violence at the hands of a police force paid to serve and protect us. We must address the recurring experience of black people being passed over for a promotion and then being asked to train the white person who was hired. We must address the inequities in contract opportunities available to black businesses who are repeatedly deemed to lack the capacity. We must address the disparity in the quality of education provided to black students. We must address the right to a living wage, health care, and sick pay.
While we like to regard the system as broken, I've come to believe the system is working exactly as it was meant to for the people who are benefiting from it. We need a new system. One that works for all of us. I am running to become the mayor of New York City because I can't assume there's another person who has the courage to do the work that needs to be done to create a fair and just city.
We can't elect the same people for the past 20-30 years, some in the same positions, and then talk about how nothing has changed in the past 30 years.
There are some things we may not be able to change in people, but at this moment I think that whether you are black, white, purple, or yellow we all should be looking internally to see what is one thing that you can do to change this dynamic. Here's where we can start:
If we want change, we need a total reform of police departments throughout this country. That is going to require taking a hard look at our requirements to become a police officer, our disciplinary procedures when civilian complaints are filed, and a review of what and how we police. No one deserves to lose their life based upon the accusation of carrying counterfeit cash. We also need to hold police officers accountable for their actions. While it is their duty to protect and serve they should not be above the law. Even at this very moment, police officers are overstepping their boundaries.
If we want change, we have to build a sense of camaraderie between the police and community. A sense of working together and creating positive experiences. We have to be honest about the fact that we haven't allowed that to happen because we have utilized our police department as a revenue-generating entity. We are more concerned with cops writing tickets than protecting and serving. Even during these moments of protest we are witness to the differences made when the police supported the protesters and stood hand in hand with them or took a knee. It resulted in less violence and more peaceful protest. People felt heard; people felt respected; people felt like they mattered.
While we like to regard the system as broken, I've come to believe the system is working exactly as it was meant to for the people who are benefiting from it. We need a new system.
If we want change, we have to be willing to clean house. And that means that some of you are going to have to step up to the plate and take roles of leadership. In my city alone, there are 35 city council seats that are term-limited in 2021. There are some that aren't termed but maybe their term should be up. Step up to the plate and run. If nothing else it will let our elected officials see that they need to stop being comfortable and do more. We don't need you out in the street taking selfies or reporting the problems to us. We need solutions. We need you in a room implementing policies that will ensure that these things don't continue to happen.
If we want change, we need to support grassroots candidates that are not in corporate pockets, who are not taking PAC money, and who really want to make a difference to their community. We need candidates that know first-hand and can relate to the experiences that many of us are going through.
We are at a pivotal moment. It is inspiring to see people from all races and backgrounds in the streets protesting, standing up for justice, and wanting to see change. We must seize this moment, but we must also be mindful that change requires more.
People often ask me why I decided to run for office? I am running for me. I am running for the little girl that was called nigger on Liberty Avenue. For the woman who has been pulled over for no reason. For my nephew who was consistently stopped during the era of stop and frisk. I am running for your son, your brother, and your nephew. I am running so that the next generation will never have to say, "All my life I had to fight." Because although we won't stop until we see justice and changes that address inequality and inequity effectively, this fight is exhausting.