#SWAAYthenarrative

Elizabeth Molina On Going Beyond The Superficial Beauty

8 Min Read
Culture

Working with thought leaders on shaping their speaking platform is an incredible privilege. And one of my speakers, Elizabeth Molina, is a model on a mission. Known as "your beauty mentor" in the influencer space, she is redefining the modern superhero in all of us, by asking the "why" around beauty. She speaks about how beauty needs to go beyond the superficial, in the world, in ourselves, and ultimately for our children.

Tricia: What got you into beauty?

Elizabeth: Beauty has always been a part of me. I'd like to say what got me into beauty is the phrase that I have always heard. "Beauty is pain." My Grandmother said that to me when I was 5 years old and I have lived with that concept for a long time. I was always told to eat certain types of foods that were unbearable as a child. Like, raw aloe vera. "Just eat it with a spoon", she'd say, "It will make your skin beautiful." All kinds of different bitter adaptogens and holistic remedies that were just mixed in with warm water for me to drink. "Drink this and it will make you more beautiful," she'd say. I wish I could actually have a conversation with my grandmother and find out what her "why" was. Thinking now, I believe why she hid behind her beauty choices was from the lack of primary food, love. My grandmother was orphaned at the age of 4 and was taken in by her uncle. She never had love. She was so invested in her beauty. She would get fully "dressed" every single day. No one knew her pain. I believe her "why" was totally hidden behind the mask of perfection and beauty because she never had connection and love.

"Beauty is pain." My Grandmother said that to me when I was 5 years old and I have lived with that concept for a long time.

And I know that she wanted to be loved, by how together she made herself every day of the week. She taught me about beauty. My fascination with beauty treatments and DIY beauty treatments were passed down from all the generations of women and greatly affected my life. Honey on your face, oatmeal mask, carrot juice body glow, etc.

Tricia: We forget about all of the beauty treatments you can eat. I love those and how they get passed down, like recipes in Italian families. How did you come to the "why" of beauty?

Elizabeth: I teach that beauty is a gateway to self-love. I ask women to tell me why they want a certain product or look or design. Because I'm curious, I can identify when anyone is hiding behind their beauty choices. Exploring your beauty decisions is the key to unlocking the door to your happiness.

When I help uncover the reason for beauty choices, whether it's makeup, hair color, clothes, the gym, or the beautiful home, even branding and help you return to your natural state, then self-love becomes possible. Esthetics seem superficial, but when I ask my clients to remove the cape from their super-hero and share the "why" behind their makeup or hair color or workout and help them identify their truth, this is when we uncover the reasons we are mostly looking for external validation or external love.

When we uncover our "why" behind the beauty, we can begin to fully step into self-acceptance. And we are being forced to do this now more than before because we are not able to go to the salon: no hair color, no waxing, no mani-pedi. Our "why" is reflected back at us every time we look into the mirror. We have a big opportunity right now to uncover our "why" so we can get back to ourselves. And I want to help people do this.

Exploring your beauty decisions is the key to unlocking the door to your happiness.

Tricia: What makes you so passionate about helping people in this way?

Elizabeth: Because we get one chance at life. And every day I am alive is a gift. I'm a survivor of kidnapping, sexual assault, and abuse. I'm going to use the gift of my life and the gift of my time to help others.

I have seen a lot of pain, a lot of low self-esteem in both men and women, and tremendous confusion in people on what to do to make themselves better or "more beautiful." There are two types of pain: physical and emotional. Physical pain, I think we can all relate to that infamous expression someone's mom or grandmother told them. "Beauty is pain" and they weren't joking. The procedures that social media expose us to today are more intrusive than ever and it is just getting more and more in our faces. The plastic surgeries, the eyeliner, and lip tattoos, women sewing things on their tongues so they can't eat and will stay slim. The list is endless and painful.

In terms of emotional pain, there is depression, drug addiction, and even suicides are on the rise. More and more people today are in a state of anxiety from not being Instagram beautiful in real life. The pressure to look like a filter is becoming more of a real-life demand than one of a simple app where you share pictures and play with cool filters. It's become a booming business for influencers. And it creates unrealistic expectations for followers in real life.

Tricia: Why is uncovering people's beauty important to you?

Elizabeth: The reason uncovering people's beauty "why" is so important to me is because I myself was living in the eye of the tornado, which I call the beauty industry. I, too, suffered physically and emotionally from the expectations that society burdens us with. I did the painful facials and the extremely painful hair removal treatments, just to name a few. I suffered from tremendous anxiety with always wanting to be photoshoot ready in person. The pressure I put on myself because of the standards that are put on us was unbearable. After searching high and low for a solution I got real with myself. I asked myself the scariest question. I asked, "Why?" "Why do you do this? Why do you need it? And does it serve you?"

I'm a survivor of kidnapping, sexual assault, and abuse. I'm going to use the gift of my life and the gift of my time to help others.

After having these talks I soon realized I no longer wanted to buy into this lie. Slowly, I started to feel better and be less anxious about these expectations. Because beauty isn't just superficial, it comes from within. Now, that's what I do. I help people get to that place. I help them break free from those limiting beliefs. That's why it's so important to me because when you finally have self-love, you can literally have anything you ever wanted or dreamt of. This three-letter word, why, will give all of us the power to prescribe to ourselves what we actually need to change our lives.

Tricia: How do you teach your daughter about beauty and self-esteem?

Elizabeth: Less is more is what I always tell my daughter — who also thinks applying more makeup will make her look more beautiful. She will give me attitude and tell me "Mom, what do you know?" It's definitely challenging to have a teenage girl on your hands. It requires patience and a lot of understanding on why it is that the child feels the need to put so much makeup on. And her "why." What is really going on in her life that she would feel the need to cover herself up more and more? I try to communicate and reach into the root of the issue, whatever that might be. I teach her to look within. I also teach her through modeling beauty and what it means to me. I show her the beauty of life and nature. I show her how to be kind, empathetic, and most importantly how to lead with her heart.

As for teaching her about self-esteem, I try my best to model that for her as well. But really, I support her in all her passions and encourage her instead of discouraging her. I believe we are all born with high self-esteem and because of life experience it slowly starts to diminish. I think the goal of parents is to always make sure we fill that cup up. Then the rest is easy.

Tricia: What do you want people to become aware of after reading this?

Elizabeth: I would like people to become aware of their beauty and that you don't need 50 products, every new beauty fad treatment that's on-trend, or all the handbags that just hit the runway. I want people to see beyond the BS. Because, let's face it, if we identify why we are doing it and become aware of our actions towards ourselves and our beauty, our self-confidence will be restored and our self-love will grow. This leads to fully owning your superhero power.

Elizabeth Molina is a certified Holistic Health and Life coach, speaker, and model. She created Molina Glow to be a place for women to have access to the latest innovative beauty treatments and also provides them with a no B.S. look at beauty routines. Elizabeth's personal story of survival has led her to become a model on a mission and redefine the "why" surrounding beauty practices. She is also the Mother of an amazing superhero, her daughter, Ellie-Marie. You can download her new app The Beauty Circle here and be sure to subscribe to her YouTube Channel.

3 Min Read
Career

Black LGBTQ Woman Powerhouse Launches Vegan Cosmetics Line

I am a proud Black business owner carrying a line of lip colors for the woman who wants to shine. At Vatarie Cosmetics you can find cruelty-free and vegan lip care products, including clear lip gloss and liquid matte lipsticks. The line is still under development, so there are more products in the making that you'll hear more about soon!

My products are high-quality and it is my dream to take my brand into high-end storefronts across the nation and even across the globe.

About Leticia

I have worked my way into my entrepreneurial career as I did not come from money. The goal of my cosmetic line is to bring excitement to everyone who tries the line. My products are high-quality and it is my dream to take my brand into high-end storefronts across the nation and even across the globe. I believe that with added makeup and a good set of threads, anybody can confidently face the world. I am a proud and firm supporter of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement and a proud member and supporter of the LGBTQIA community.

There have been plenty of hardships that I have had to face throughout my entire life, the most recent being the recent death of my father who passed far too soon. I have never allowed these hardships to deter me, and won't start now. I will continue to progress and work hard to build my business, knowing that this is what my father would have wanted.

About the Vatarie Line: What It's All About

Upon launching the line, I had the mission of inspiring every human to find their inner beauty and to have fun along the way. With this in mind, my products are designed for people of all genders, races, religions, and creeds. The Vatarie line will have more to offer customers very soon as I am continually working on developing products and expanding the line. In addition to the lip colors currently offered, the line will soon include highlighters, eyeshadows, and new lip gloss additions.

I believe that no one needs makeup to validate themselves, and we are all beautiful on our own. I do believe, though, that makeup can make life a lot more fun. Now more than ever we are living in a world where there is so much sadness and darkness. Sometimes all we need to change our moods and get away from that darkness is something to help us feel better and more vibrant — this is where a pop of makeup and a well put together outfit can really make an impact.

Now more than ever we are living in a world where there is so much sadness and darkness.

I encourage everybody to embrace their inner beauty and inner style, and express themselves no matter what. My line of products is inspired by high fashion and designed to make a bold statement. The running theme across my products is empowerment at every stage and level. I create products that make my customers feel happy, and I ensure I am happy myself with my products before I release every single one. There is no place for cutting corners as I believe in producing the highest quality product.

I bring my sense of humor and quirky personality into my products and you can see this in the names of each item. Take the lip color "Blood Money," which signifies all the money, tears, sweat, and yes, blood that was put into the brand. Let me tell you, it was hard work, and it still is hard work, but at the end of the day, it fulfills me to know the type of quality I am providing. It gives me great pride to create a line of legendary products that will positively affect someone and bring them to a place of self-love and acceptance.

About the Past that Gives My Business Meaning

I have struggled over the years with mental abuse that has left me feeling as if "I wasn't enough." Added to that, being a Black woman in an industry that is predominantly dominated by other races, I had to work harder to get to where I am today.

Coming from a broken home, my family struggled with addiction, making my entire childhood a miserable nightmare. My mother abandoned us as she was being physically abused, and it was up to us the kids to do everything necessary to take care of the home and each other. We eventually ended up living with my grandmother in Miami, Florida. At a very young age, I had to endure physical and mental abuse and was locked up. At the age of 22, I lost my younger sister to gun violence and found myself raising her one-year-old son as my own.

Being a Black woman in an industry that is predominantly dominated by other races, I had to work harder to get to where I am today.

While my past was a rough one, it is what has made me the strong, independent, and vibrant woman I am today. That woman strives to be her best every day and works tirelessly to provide a line of only the best cosmetics products. I couldn't see this while I was living through those bad situations and struggling to grow up, but I can look back and see how I was made more resilient because of my hardships.

As I grieve over my father's recent passing, I become stronger. It is this added personal strength that will push me forward in everything I do and will be reflected in my work ethic and in the development of new products for my Vatarie line of cosmetics.