Posts Tagged ‘women’s events’

Notes from the 2008 Women’s Conference

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008

It was way back in 1972 that an Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution was proposed, guaranteeing equal treatment under the law for all persons regardless of gender.  Sadly, the ERA was never ratified and probably never will be, but there’s another way to look at the matter.  The fact is, women have made enormous strides in this country without a constutional mandate, and in a way that’s even more satisfying that if laws were in place forcing us to be treated on a level equal with me.  Extraordinary women like those we met and saw at the 2008 Women’s Conference in Long Beach, California showed what’s possible with time, determination, brilliance and incredible talent.  They showed us how far we’ve come, even if there’s still a long way to go.

This is a blog about beauty, so let’s get to the point right away: the women in the spotlight at this event were magnetic in the best Beauty Prescription tradition: accomplished, supremely confident and intelligent beyond words.  We were dazzled by the array of women leaders and cultural icons who were in attendance:  Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, journalist Christiane Amanpour, feminist legend Gloria Steinem, Cherie Blair, wife of the former British Prime Minister, supermodel and media mogul Heidi Klum, Chairman and CEO of PepsoCo Indra Nooyi, journalist Campbell Brown, Jennifer Lopez, California’s First Lady Maria Shriver, and many more.  These were Beauty Buddies anyone would want.  It was amazing to see all these women who are so different externally but are all beautiful in their own way.  They all emphasized being part of both a local community and a global community, and agreed that the “glass ceiling” that Hillary Clinton spoke of so often was inevitably going to be shattered.

More than 14,000 people attended this year’s event, which was themed, “Be who you are. Feel it. Live it. Pass it on.”  HIghlights included an exhibit floor filled with fascinating products and companies, a day’s worth of meetings and conversations, and the “Night at the Village” reception, which included book signings, networking and more.  All in all, it was a fantastic opportunity for us to meet some incredible people and spread our message of inner and outer beauty and the Beauty-Brain Loop.

Shriver was especially moving.  She spoke about facing your fears and shared her personal struggles watching her mom deteriorate and her uncle Ted Kennedy become ill. It was deeply personal and quite empowering and gave us both some added personal courage to face our own fears.  She works all year on the conference as her personal project, and her daughters, who introduced her, have become part of it. That’s a woman who’s beautiful inside and out!

We also got the chance to spend dinner talking with Billie Jean King, which was a real thrill.  Eva shares the same birthday with her, and we are so grateful for what she has done for women going all the way back to her “Battle of the Sexes” tennis match with Bobby Riggs to her being one of the first female athletes to proudly declare that she was a lesbian.  As we’re both tennis players, it was a real high to talk to her. She
looked beautiful. She received the Minerva Award along with Hay House Publishing founder Louise Hay, Gloria Steinem, U2 singer and activist Bono and more.

A sign of the times, perhaps, was the prominence of men at the Conference.  Years ago, men would have been the enemy at events like this; today, with the rising confidence and power of women it’s become more than OK to have men be part of the program.  We all enjoyed the exchange between Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Warren Buffett, and Chris Matthews when Buffett asked Matthews, “If you could have changed your sex into that of a woman, would you have?”  Buffett ducked the oddball question (he’s probably a little more focused on the economy these days), and Schwarzenegger came back with the quip “Here in California, they do have men that become women.”

A man, Bono, even had the quote of the event: “Women care more because they bear more.”  Amen to that.

All in all, it was a fabulous, enlightening day.  If you couldn’t make it, try to be there in 2009.

Stay beautiful,

Debi & Eva

Women as Agents of Change

Thursday, October 16th, 2008

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.

Stay beautiful,

Debi & Eva


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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