My mother is the woman I learned a lot from about personal care and presentation. We never really discussed specifics of beauty when I was growing up, but the information was definitely transferred through example. My mother has always been a naturally strong and confident woman, and even though she came from humble beginnings, she always had the drive to be an entrepreneur and a go-getter. And even though she has worked very hard, she's always had an innate sense of beauty and a very pulled-together presentation. I observed that no matter how exhausted my mom was, when it was time to meet her clients, she projected an immaculate sense of style. I spent a lot of time with her as I was growing up because I worked for her in the family restaurant business. Even in the midst of all that hard work, she interacted with clients and patrons and always managed to look her best.

I think self-esteem is a major component of beauty, and it's a theme that has worked its way into my songwriting at times over the years. The songs I'm particularly proud of are, "The High Road," which is on my album Everybody Knows, a song about finding personal strength after a relationship, and "New Attitude" by Patti LaBelle, which hopes to inspire confidence in women as expressed in their appearance and demeanor. There's something undeniably true that when you get yourself looking how you want to feel, it definitely changes the attitude you project.

I think everyone seeks beauty in their lives in one form or another. They seek it in themselves and others, and in music, literature and art. It seems to be a basic human need. It's hard to define beauty, but I think we know it when we see it. For me, it doesn't necessarily exist only in the physical plane. As I travel around the world, I see a lot of very put-together women. A certain woman may walk into the room whose skin glows because she's taking care of herself physically, but what's more, her eyes have a glow and a relaxed confidence because she has achieved a certain amount of personal fulfillment. Or a woman who looks great because of her clothes and makeup, but you want to know her because she is manifesting the best version of herself and is open and confident because if it. This is the kind of beauty that doesn't come easy. It's something you have to work at. It's whole-picture beauty. It's the kind of beauty that is ultimately attainable by everyone.

Sometimes when I'm singing a song, I become one with the breath, the sound, the melody and the lyric, and everything comes together at once. It's like how I see beauty: a combination of many elements that each individual woman finds and nurtures in herself. A wholeness. An inspiring kind of beauty.

For more information on Sharon Robinson, please visit her website at

Watch Sharon and her mother discuss what they've learned from each other about beauty


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