Introductory words according to Dakota, SHE II, and Raven Vanguard’s third member, also known as Sloth
Due to the mad dash to finish our interiors in a timely fashion, and having two out of three members of Raven Vanguard being whisked away by the promises of a colder summer and antique riches just North of here, we simply did not have the time to complete a Once-Over on our own. Not even in the slightest. (It does not help that the more profound author on this site is one out of the two people in the North.)
We searched and search for someone with beautiful thoughts, but the truth is we didn’t have to look far at all. In fact, this very woman stood in our House just one month ago. As she stated, she was “uninvited, being asked to meet a friend,” but we blame this meeting on fate rather than mere coincidence. So, we could have scrounged something together this week, yes. Something to talk about. Always. However, we prefer to sometimes lend this platform to those who believe in our craft as well. Those who believe in transcendent experiences and the importance of emotion in art and design.
As for this week, we present you with none other than the gloriously cool, mohawk-adorned truth speaker, Lacy Christ. A woman of profound thought and depth. We leave this Once-Over to you, Lacy.
Words according to Lacy, the mohawk sporting, woman-supporting, bad-ass empowerment speaker with no affiliation whatsoever to Raven Vanguard
Empowerment Through Beauty
“Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.” Confucius
I’m a weird bird. I’ve always been attracted to older men, scars, and big noses.
As I write this, I sit at a stunning, perfectly round table with swirling veneers inlaid into a design that is romantic and fierce at the same time. I’ve always envisioned magical séances taking place around this table. The chairs are equally as alluring to a lingering eye. They are mesomorphic and shapely in a way that is pleasing, but not too overpowering. They are large, but demure… sturdy, but delicate.
This exquisite table has its battle wounds. As much as I wish it to be restored to its former beauty, I can see the splattered acrylic paint from my three year old, and the lifted finish from the hot pretzels of my husband’s creation - and I can appreciate the love there.
If someone walked through our front door and saw our table, they would probably admire its symmetry and design. Later, they might remember the quality of the wood, and the flowing curves of the pedestal base. Most likely they would only remember the food shared at its breast, and the laughter that rippled across its surface.
Would my guests remember the splattered paint, the scratches, and the flaws? Probably not.
Like a flower in a forest clearing, the “flaws” are beauty just for me to see. They are there for me - my secret garden.
The reason we polish silver, place things in the center, and lean in to our perception of beauty is because it brings the power of that thing forward. The power is inherent. It doesn’t need to be earned. It just needs to be revealed, and remembered - and so it enters its legacy.
As a mother of four, I have scars. My stretch marks are my secret story. Bearing them with pride and fearlessness is my legacy. Being badass, fierce, sharing my story is my legacy. The stretch marks are my beautiful battle wounds. Can you imagine if I walked around showing them to everyone the moment I met them? People aren’t ready for that kind of beauty at first. It’s too vulnerable. Too much. They need to see the easy-to-identify prettiness before they can appreciate the dark beauty.
Wearing makeup over my age isn’t to cover it up. It helps me honor the beauty of who I am. When I put on the perfect shade of lipstick, and the sheen of pearlescent contouring - I help my legacy shine through more clearly. I’m not trying to cover up the pain, or forget about who I am, I’m trying to detract from my secret scars, and empower my legacy.
Shining things up makes people pay attention to what we want to bring forward. Some view it as “fake,” or “trying to be something you’re not.” I think it’s a very different energy - one of empowerment.
A woman who is put together exudes confidence. Her message is clear. That’s not to say there isn’t any beauty in the mess - but the mess makes it harder for people to see. The scars and the battle wounds are intimate - savored only by those who dare to get close enough and pay attention.
I find beauty in knowledge (old men?). I find beauty in survival through painful experiences (scars?). I find beauty in character development through overcoming obstacles (big noses?). But, when I see beauty that sparkles and shines, I see how powerful it is! This would be the man in the suit, with snip toe boots. This would be the guy with a well-groomed beard and excellent posture who isn’t afraid to make eye contact.
Choosing symmetry, alignment, and complimentary colors is for everyone who honors themselves! Choosing clothes that accentuate our qualities, hairstyles that frame our faces, and colors that mesh with our skin tone are ways to bring our best selves forward. These choices equal empowerment. We can arrive in this fold, simply by choosing beauty.
What does that look like?
1. Let yourself desire. Desire is a powerful word. It’s thicker than “lust” and has more depth than “want.” Allow yourself space to have deep longings, and you will find that your target is always beauty. A beautiful love, a stunning dress, an inspiring vista…
2. Don’t settle. If you find yourself saying “It’s good enough,” you’re settling. It might be good enough, but what if it was amazing? I’m not saying to put immense amounts of pressure on yourself, but to, perhaps, inquire of yourself how to acquire the next echelon.
3. Cover the basics. Nobody can create beauty while they’re stuck in a wallowing place. Mire hates growth. Shame keeps us small. So, start with a mindset of expansion - maybe even a glimmer of hope if you’re at rock bottom - and let the colors of the wind lift your wings. The basics can be taking a shower, listening to music, and loving your reflection. The basics can be nourishing food, tokens of remembrance, or just moving your body. Feel something good, and take it from there. The cure from mire, is to ADmire.
4. Lean in - or lean out. Check in with yourself. How’s it going? Does the dress light you up? Does the wallpaper lure you in? Does the mountain path call to you, or do you feel like sleeping? Keep choosing the paths that make you feel indulgent and luxurious. This isn’t about going Marie Kondo, or about being irresponsible. It’s about listening to the inner calling to beauty.
Eventually, if you follow these steps to bringing more beauty in, and if you’re committed to endeavor toward beauty… you will find the silver lining even in the darkest places. From the safety and sturdiness of light, you can peer into the murky swamps of your life and see beauty there.
Maybe, like me, you will look at the (older) man you married and instead of seeing a rough diamond, you see the diamond in the rough.