I have a difficult time reading or watching anything that isn’t nonfiction. It’s not that I don’t enjoy fairytales, other worlds or unlikely romances and storylines; I simply find more pleasure in learning about history, the universe, my body, etc.
My car radio is forever set to NPR, my stack of in-the-middle-of-reading-these books consists of biographies and philosophical aphorisms, and my Netflix queue consists of lengthy documentaries, TV shows based on actual events, and—you guessed it—TED Talks.
You don’t have to be a Netflix subscriber to watch TED Talks, of course. Many are available for you on YouTube. Back in May, Kat shared three of her beauty-related favorites, and today, I’m sharing five of my favorites. I hope they inspire!
In My Chair: A Makeup Artist’s Perspective on Beauty
Makeup artist Eva DeVirgilis starts this TED Talk by impersonating the women who sit in her chair every single day: women who apologize for their flaws.
“For my past seven years of doing makeup, I have discovered within the first three seconds of sitting in my chair, almost every single woman apologizes to me for the way she looks.”
There's a subgroup of women who don't do this, however. She discusses both groups.
An Epidemic of Beauty Sickness
Renee Engeln, a psychologist and body-image researcher at Northwestern University, says the overwhelming quest women have for beauty interferes with, or at least detracts from, their ability to do other things.
She calls this phenomenon “beauty sickness” and discusses the toll it takes on women’s “cognitive, financial and emotional” success. She then ponders what it’d be like to live in a world free of this chronic obsession.
Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are
This TED Talk is given by Amy Cuddy, a social psychologist. She discusses what she calls “power posing” and argues that your posture (and certain stances) affects not just the way others see you, but how you see yourself. Even further, she says that when you power pose, you’re affected at a physiological level and can literally become more confident and self-assured in a matter of minutes.
Brittany Gibbons is a writer and storyteller who wants to challenge the world to think differently about women’s bodies.
In this TED Talk, she undresses down to her bathing suit. She does so while talking about how being insulted by people on the Internet for her size (by women, no less) fueled her desire to redefine the way women’s bodies are viewed and treated.
How Do YOU Define Yourself?
You may already be familiar with Lizzie Velasquez, a motivational speaker with Neonatal Progeroid Syndrome, a rare disease that doesn’t allow her to gain weight and causes premature aging. Her movie, A Brave Heart, came out earlier this year.
In the movie, and in her TED Talk, she talks about the day she discovered herself on YouTube and the fiery sea of harsh commenters that dubbed her a monster and "The World’s Ugliest Woman."
- What’s your favorite TED Talk?
- Any beauty or health books you swear by?