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.
Where does SNL star Maya Rudolph find beauty?