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The person who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. The person who walks alone is likely to find himself in places no one has ever seen before.

Albert Einstein

Do you ever look in the mirror and feel like you need to massively alter something in order to feel beautiful or do you try to emulate others to be successful? Before you start changing yourself or following others, I want to challenge you that you may be destroying that very thing that could make you extraordinary:  your exotic appeal.

Exoticism is often associated with characteristics of those of a distant foreign country.  I’d like to think that we can all be a bit exotic if we separate ourselves from all we’ve been taught and create our own country within us.

Diana Vreeland said, “You don’t have to be born beautiful to be wildly attractive.”  And, I’d like to add “wildly successful.”

Think about the iconic women who leveraged their exoticism to captivate the hearts and minds of all they encountered.  Eartha Kitt with her wide set eyes and a strong jaw, landed her the role as catwoman.  Instead of altering her unibrow, painter Frida Kahlo chose to turn it into her signature style.

Then, there’s Josephine Baker. She fled to Paris and took Europe by storm with her sensual and erotic dance moves. She had a deep desire to shine and refused to conform to society’s expectations.

In Paris, she was celebrated for her exotic appeal.

Ernest Hemingway called Baker, “the most sensational woman ever saw.”  Men flocked at her feet.  In fact, it’s rumored that she had 1,500 marriage proposals.  By owning all of herself, she became a legend, and eventually returned to her home country where she was finally appreciated.

Exoticism is not just about your physical features. It’s that je ne sais quoi that comes from deep within.  It’s about you deciding on the type of woman you want to be and cultivating her with your attitude and style.

Women often come to me after trying to fit into a society norm because I’m the coach that doesn’t believe in formulas or systems.  I don’t want to fit you into a one-size fits all formula.  Your soul, m’dear, does not belong in a box or equation.

Instead, I want to know what lights you up, your unique gifts and strengths and how to leverage what comes easiest to you, to boldly declare who you desire to be in the world and embody those qualities every day.   To me, that is what the School of Self-image is all about.

So, instead of trying to have lips like Angelina Jolie, dress like the latest trend in Vogue or build a business like Marie Forleo, what if you focused on setting your own trends and cultivating your own exotic appeal?

My friend, you’d create your own beautiful version of success.

So, if you want to be a one-of-a-kind piece of art (because you are), here are some questions to get you started:

What’s draining you?  What are you trying to be/what formulas are you following/what are you wearing/where are you spending your time/what are you reading that’s draining you?

What physical features do you want to accentuate?  Instead of trying to change what you don’t like, what if you changed your attitude towards that thing?  I spent years obsessing over my curvy bottom. During the era of waif models, I saw my bum as a negative.  But, through a lot of head work, I learned to see it as one of my best features and stopped wearing things to hide it.  I was way ahead of the Kardashians.

What are your unique passions? I worked with a lady who attended many social events with her husband where the conversations usually revolved around politics.  She walked away from each cocktail party feeling less than and like she needed to learn more about a topic that, quite frankly, bored her to tears.  During our work together, we excavated what she’s most passionate about: art.  Now, when she walks into any event, she has something to talk about that lights her up.  And, trust me, people are more interested in the passion than the content.  So, what’s yours?

What are your unique gifts and strengths?  Are you an introvert?  Instead of trying to become a social butterfly, what if you allowed yourself to be the mysterious beauty you are?  Do you have a natural sense of humor?  Then, leverage it to bring a sense of lightness to the room.  Work what comes easiest to you.

What is your signature style?  Instead of jumping on the next trend train, what if you stood solidly on the style that best expresses who you are?  Find that thing that best brings out your unique essence — a scarf, cat-eye glasses, red lipstick, crazy hats or classic pieces — be known for that thing that is you.

What kind of world do you want to live in?  Are you creating that kind of world for yourself or do you let others build your world for you?   Don’t wait for permission or you’ll be waiting for a long time.

Be exotic: accentuate your differences. (tweet it)

I’m more convinced than ever that what makes you different is what will lead to the most fulfilling and wildly successful life.

Now, tell me: what is your exotic appeal?  Don’t be shy. It’s time to own it.

With Love,


Self-Image Makeover

Live Your Life With Style, Flare, and Elegance