Q: What do you wish you had learned as a child about beauty and confidence?
A: I wish the circumstances of my childhood had allowed me to think that I was inherently good. That my being, that the essence of me was good. Children need to have experiences that leave them with a great sense of trust in that they are good, capable, talented, smart, valued people. That they have hope and are inspired to affect the world in a positive way. If they have that, then beauty and the perception of beauty in themselves and others will follow. If you are confident, then you can be beautiful no matter what you look like. If you are not confident, you won't be beautiful to yourself no matter what you look like.
Q: What messages do you think should be communicated by the media?
A: I think first and foremost we should be managing our expectations. We can't hope to live to be 100 years old but look 30 doing it. We need to hear that beauty is encapsulated in the whole of a being, not just a flawless, perfect moment captured for the cover of a magazine.
Q: Do you see any positive examples being put out there?
A: Well, Oprah of course. And Dove tried a campaign with different-aged women of all walks of life. I applaud them for exploring that new ground. I have no connection to that company, nor do I know if it was "successful." We've spent decades being sold on an idea of perfection equaling beauty. It will take more than one random campaign to shift that perspective.