We’re getting ready to attend the 2008 Women’s Conference put on by WE Empower, an organization founded by California first lady Maria Shriver to bring women from all backgrounds together as forces for positive change in education, healthcare, leadership, sustainability, family and culture. It’s very exciting, as the Conference has grown from a small government initiative for working professionals to become, as the website reads, “a far-reaching organization, a life-changing experience, and an international network of women from all walks of life, backgrounds and perspectives.”
We expect to meet hundreds of fascinating women from all professions, hear women like Madeleine Albright and Condoleeza Rice speak, and discover what’s new in the world of women’s business, social activism and the fight to end poverty (a major initiative of the organization called WE Care). But for us, as doctors who address beauty from the inside out, this conference brings up a question as well: shouldn’t women be uniting to transform how our society decides what’s beautiful and perceives women of all ages? Just walking around the exhibit floor of this conference you’re likely to run into more women with MBAs, MDs, PhDs, EdDs, Pulitzer Prizes and awards of every stripe than you might meet in a year in the regular world. These are brilliant, accomplished, self-assured, powerful beings whose inner selves make them magnetic. Yet by and large, our society is more concerned with starlets and models and singers who contribute maybe 1% of what the ladies at the Women’s Conference bring to the evolution of our culture. There’s a disconnect there, don’t you think?
Beauty is as much about intelligence, creativity and passion as it is about the face or body. Maybe it’s time that women came together to demonstrate this—to show that the idea that power and influence are attractive isn’t an idea that applies only to men. It would be wonderful to focus some of the most educated, skilled and committed women on the planet on transforming the messages that we broadcast to young girls and to women who choose to engage in careers that have been dominated by men: that you can work hard and pursue knowledge or power and still be feminine and beautiful. The two are not (and have never been) mutually exclusive.
We’ll bring you more from the Conference on October 22. It should be quite a ride, we’re thrilled that our literary agents, Jillian Manus and Dena Fischer, are joining us.
Debi & Eva