Beyoncé Knowles stole the show at the 46th Grammy Awards with her sexy, superstar performance, and took home five awards for her solo album Dangerously in Love—tying the all-time record for most Grammys won by a female artist!
In September 2006, she released her highly anticipated follow-up album B'Day. And, that's not all—the singer also starred opposite Jamie Foxx and Eddie Murphy in the Oscar®-nominated movie, Dreamgirls!
Beyoncé Knowles Q & A What does "beauty" mean to you? My mom always told me that beauty fades—outside beauty fades—but inner beauty is forever. So I think that it's really important that we focus on the other things that make us beautiful.
And what are those other things that make us beautiful? [For example,] the way we communicate with other people. Focus on the things that make us happy and feel good about ourselves so we can inspire other people.
When do you feel the most beautiful? When I am rested and happy and laughing and with my family and friends.
So, with all your success, you must have felt beautiful all year long! But I haven't rested all year! (laughs)
No, I think I feel the most beautiful when I'm on vacation because I'm relaxed and free and comfortable and I'm not working and I don't have to be glamorous or what people traditionally think of as beautiful.
I feel the most beautiful when I can just be myself.
Gisele Bündchen Q & A What does "beauty" mean to you? Beauty is something inside of us. If you love yourself and accept yourself, that shows on the outside. Beauty is an act—it's how you carry yourself.
And how do you carry yourself? I am a very honest and confident person. I am a very normal person. I believe everyone is equal and I respect everyone. I'm appreciative of everyone and I don't take anything for granted. I've been happy with no money and I am happy with money.
What does confidence mean to you? Confidence is very important for people. When you're good to yourself and you accept yourself and you're honest and you understand yourself, and you're not judgmental—that is confidence. You can work to make yourself better every day.
I'm very confident. It helps that I have the best family in the world. We are very, very close. I believe everything comes from the family. To be a person that is confident, it helps to have a family that loves and supports you and makes you feel safe. When you have that, nothing else matters. They love you even when you make mistakes. I'm very lucky to have a strong base like that. They make me confident, because they accept me for who I am.
How do you celebrate yourself? What do you do to take time out for yourself? I'm a workaholic. I'm not going to deny that. I love challenges and that's what keeps me going. But I do try to make a lot of time for myself. I know my limits. I go to Brazil a lot. I have never spent Christmas or New Year's without my family. I jump horses and go surfing. I'm a certified skydiver. I love the outdoors and sports. I love adventure and doing different things that are challenging. They keep me sane!
Journalist Lisa Ling has worked in television since age 16, reporting on topics ranging from celebrities to drug trafficking to the war in Afghanistan. As host of National Geographic Ultimate Explorer she travels around the world bringing attention to stories that often go unreported.
Throughout the year, Lisa is also on special assignment for The Oprah Winfrey Show.
Lisa Ling Q & A What does "beauty" mean to you? Not to sound too cliché, but beauty really does come from the inside. The most beautiful people, I think, are intrinsically curious, open-minded and nonjudgmental. We all have a tendency to cast judgment on people, and I myself—I'm really trying to be much more open-minded about people rather than basing my views on first impressions.
How do you stay beautiful? I think every individual, no matter how aesthetically beautiful she feels, will have moments of severe insecurity. But being curious and open-minded—that's what creates that inner beauty—and it lasts a hell of a lot longer. For me, I think treating people—whether they are hugely successful or not—with respect, and being curious about their lives—that is a beautiful quality to have. That is why I love Oprah—she makes everyone feel really important, no matter who they are.
If you could pick the one thing that makes you beautiful, what would it be? The thing that makes me proudest is when I feel like I've helped to raise the level of consciousness about things that people otherwise would not have known about. That's what makes me feel really, really good...and I guess beautiful!
Why is it important to feel beautiful? I think it would be a sad and lonely existence if you didn't love who you are. And I don't think everyone will feel totally beautiful with their outer appearance, but I love feeling good about helping people understand things, and raising awareness.
I have a dream job—the travel is really intense, but I'm loving every minute of it. As long as they'll have me, I'll do it!
Wynonna Judd began her music career in 1984 as a part of the mother-daughter country-music singing duo The Judds, which sold 20 million records and won five Grammys®! Even after The Judds retired in 1991, Wynonna gained success as a solo artist. She secured more than a dozen top ten hits and was named 1994's Academy of Country Music Female Vocalist of the Year.
Now, after almost two decades on the road, Wynonna is embarking on a new journey—one to health and happiness!
Wynonna Judd Q & A What does "beauty" mean to you? Pretty is as pretty does. Beauty to me is mind, body, spirit, where balance is the key. If you're beautiful outside but you're hateful inside, you're out of balance! I think that beauty truly comes from within. If you don't go within you will go without. Have you ever looked into someone's eyes and seen that sparkle, that inner light? You are a spirit with a body, not just a body with a spirit. It's all attitude, baby! The rest is extra.
How do you stay beautiful? This question made me laugh! I don't know that I stay beautiful, but I do know that I work it when I can. Ha! Now that I'm [in my forties], I take even better care of my skin. I use Mom's "Esteem" beauty care products. I've made my commitment to exercise five to six times a week and I don't eat four to five hours before bed (I always wake up feeling better), and I groom, baby! Being a working mom I find that I feel better when I take care of my "particulars"—brushing my teeth, keeping my fingernails and toenails groomed, staying shaved and smooth, and last but not least, keeping my hair washed and brushed. I try to wear light makeup (mascara and lipstick). I'm taking better care of "me" and I'm definitely in better spirits these days. You'll be surprised how much better you feel about the world when you feel better about yourself.
If you could pick the one thing that makes you beautiful, what would it be? I feel my heart has always been tender. I guess it's a blessing and a burden sometimes, but I have found peace (finally) with being so sensitive. I'm grateful that I feel deeply because it allows me to experience great pain and great joy. I'm alive! It also inspires me to love and sing with great passion.
When do you feel the most beautiful? I have to pick two things that make me feel the most beautiful: When I am with my husband and three children, and I am fully present and in the moment, I feel bliss. I am complete. No amount of money or material things can make me feel as beautiful as I feel during that time. Also, when I sing I feel beautiful. I feel warmth shoot from my head to my toes. I'm bathed in the light. I've often said it's the closest I get to Heaven here on Earth.
Why is it important to feel beautiful? Growing up I often heard the scripture about loving your neighbor as yourself. I somehow grew up to learn to love my neighbor more than myself. After 40 years, I am just now beginning to practice truly loving myself. I am learning now about why loving me is so important. Without me there is no we. Honey, you have to build your foundation upon the rock! The mother and the father are the foundation of the family.
When I put my oxygen mask on first, I can then take care of someone else. I feel beautiful when I take better care of me. I finally understand now that loving this way is a reflection of God's love. I love this saying: "The waters must be perfectly calm to reflect the heavens." When I love myself I'm able to reflect on God's love. Read I Corinthians 13:13.
In her 1991 international best seller, The Beauty Myth, social critic and author Naomi Wolf challenged society's unrealistic standards of beauty and helped launch a new wave of feminism. Wolf has written for a variety of national publications, including The New Republic, Glamour and The New York Times, exploding the social myths that keep women struggling in their fight for equality.
A Yale graduate, Wolf is the co-founder of the Woodhull Institute for Ethical Leadership, an educational organization that provides leadership training and professional development for young women.
Naomi Wolf Q & A What does "beauty" mean to you? There are two very different things going on here. There's the external ideal that everyone can identify, but no one can identify with...but I think women are really bored with that definition of beauty. Then there is something else—what I call "transformational beauty:" How women experience their own beauty. It's like the times when your spirit lights you up. And it lights all of you up—your physical presence as well as your emotional and intellectual presence. Women—they see beauty in others when they're radiant like that.
You can see this happening—a bride is glowing on her wedding day; a new mother is glowing looking at her baby; athletes, when they're competing, even though they're sweating, they're beautiful, because they're on fire. Teachers are radiant. Women who are fulfilling some aspect of their dreams—they're beautiful. It's hard to put into words because the concept is so subtle! It's really so important for us to find language to distinguish between those two kinds of beauty.
Is it important to feel beautiful? Why? It's not necessarily important to feel like you're like the ideal...it's important to feel beautiful in your spirit-lighting-up way because then you take care of yourself; you feel like your best self is coming out and you're emitting self-love. Women feel beautiful not necessarily when they've lost a lot of weight, or have nice clothes—it's when they're loving or giving love; making changes in their life.
When do you feel the most beautiful? There's this photograph where I'm holding my daughter who is two at the time. She's looking at me and I'm looking at her. And there's this expression of bemused recognition...it's not a particularly flattering picture of me. But it portrays an aspect of me I love. I love to be a mom. It captures that.
Maya Rudolph has loved performing ever since she was little. The Saturday Night Live star was inspired by her talented mother—the late soul-singer Minnie Ripperton. At SNL, funny girl Maya's over-the-top impressions of such stars as Donatella Versace, Jennifer Lopez—even Oprah!—have made her a favorite attraction.
Maya Rudolph Q & A What does "beauty" mean to you? Being nice...? No seriously. I really do think it comes from within. My mother is beautiful. My grandmother is beautiful. All the women in my family are beautiful. My stepmother is one of the most beautiful people I know. They all look young and healthy. And every woman in my family, from my grandmother down, is very creative. I think that has something to do with it. I come from a very creative family that isn't afraid to express their real self and they're able to wear who they are on their sleeve.
When do you feel the most beautiful? When I have nothing on...no makeup, that is! And when I'm not doing anything. Besides, my boyfriend likes me with no makeup too! When I told him I was coming on [The Oprah Show], he was like, "Don't wear all that makeup; don't let them put all that makeup on you. Don't go crazy with the makeup!" I'm not going to lie—I don't look my best when I wake up! But I do feel beautiful when I'm tired and happy and I've had a good laugh and a glass of champagne.
Is it important to feel beautiful? Why? For me, I feel beautiful when I'm just resting. I think that's when you really get a chance to sink into your own skin.
Each week, thousands of people across the country turn to Harriette Cole for her no-nonsense advice. Through her nationally syndicated column, Sense & Sensitivity, Cole tackles tough issues ranging from etiquette to relationships to careers. Cole began her career as a runway model, later leaving her success behind to become lifestyle editor and fashion director at ESSENCE magazine. She is the author of several best-selling books, including Jumping the Broom: The African-American Wedding Planner and Choosing Truth: Living an Authentic Life.
Harriette Cole Q & A What does "beauty" mean to you? Beauty is feeling great from the inside out. That includes feeling healthy, strong and vibrant. And I think that includes a connection to your sensuality—a positive, conscious connection to your sensuality.
It's fundamentally spiritual; my foundation is a spiritual one. Prior to anchoring my self spiritually, I had a very different perception of my body. I used to be a runway model. I looked good on the outside, but I didn't feel beautiful inside. My emotional perspective regarding my physical body would shift based on another's opinion of me. Upon cultivating a spiritual life and recognizing that the greatest beauty comes from your core, my relation to my body has changed and my overall feeling about myself has changed dramatically.
How do you stay beautiful?
I meditate. I've been practicing for [over a decade] and that practice keeps me in tune with my spiritual self and helps me to recognize how to get rid of the mental, physical and emotional clutter. I feel strong and clear and beautiful.
If you could pick the one thing that makes you beautiful, what would it be?
My family. It is one thing that has prongs. When I see my daughter, who happens to be extremely alert and inquisitive and beautiful, I see that beauty has come through me and my husband. So she is a manifestation of the spiritual, emotional, physical beauty that we are as a family. That's pretty amazing. And she does happen to be a beautiful child. Her spirit is quite abundant.
And I really feel fortunate to have a partner who loves me. He thinks I'm beautiful.
Why is it important to feel beautiful?
I go back to choice. We do have a choice how we look at our lives and how we look at ourselves. It's easy to bemoan what our circumstances are. But I think it's ultimately easier and more efficient to recognize the beauty in the moment, the potential in whatever is before you.
In the context of beauty, you feel beautiful when you are unencumbered emotionally and spiritually and recognize the beauty in the moment.