5 Things I Learned About Women From THBD’s Photo Shoot

(L to R: Melissa McNamara, Amber Grace, Claire Bryett Andrew, Elizabeth Birmingham, Ava Navarrete, Me (Holly Fulger), Oja Fin, Leah Cohen)

The Hollywood Beauty Detective put together a photo shoot recently to introduce THBD’s 10 Legendary Looks: 10 Looks that reflect an ‘essence’ of a woman. With the generous help from Vera Bradley handbags and accessories, and Jane Iredale makeup, we had 12 women – friends and women in the company, even me (as The Enchantress) -personify each Look. Yes, we had doubles for The Inspirer and The Natural, hence the 12.  The ages of the women ranged from 19 to 72 and we had all shapes, sizes, and colors represented.

We shot a 12 hour day and all of us carried with us the same goal; create a more inclusive version of beauty by creating new ‘Hollywood’ legends, thus ‘walking our talk’ and presenting real change in the media. Besides Claire Bryett Andrew, our photographer, Ava Navarrete was there as our videographer. She filmed behind the scenes and basic documentation, and also filmed the answers to a few questions asked of each woman. The questions were the same for all: “What is your negative self-talk?” “What do you love about yourself?” “Can you look into the camera and tell me you’re beautiful?”It was an amazing day, and one of the most amazing aspects was what I learned about women.

It’s Easier to Say What You Hate

It was very easy for the women to talk about what they disliked about their appearance, as opposed to telling me what they liked about how they looked. Each woman was much more at ease when listing the negative body issues and far more uncomfortable saying what they loved.

Your Body Is Never ‘Enough’

Every woman cited her body as something she disliked about herself. Not one woman said, “I love my body the way it is.” All the women wanted to be thinner. Some had come to terms with their bodies and were grateful for them, but ALL of them wanted to be skinnier.

Yes, Youth Is An Obsession

The age variance on set was pretty wide (youngest 16, oldest 70+). The common denominator with the women over 40 was that they all wanted to look younger. It seems that growing older is a very difficult transition particularly because we live in a society that doesn’t exactly present many versions of older women in ads, television, or films. Ageism is pretty rampant, especially in Hollywood.

Beauty Is An Inside Job

When asked what they loved about themselves, at least one response from each woman was always something non physical. Some examples were,”My determination,” “My heart,” “My strength,” “My compassion.” It was such a reminder to me that beauty is about something so much more than how one looks. Beauty is intangible…it really is an inside job.

We Are A Force And Are Stronger Together

What is happening to women right now throughout our country and the world, is extraordinary. There is a sense of oneness and camaraderie that I have never witnessed before. That was very apparent during our shoot.  It was an amazing mix of ages, races, and cultures and we acted as one. We had a mission and we were one together to make it happen. The support from everyone was incredible and I was so moved by each and every woman. I am excited about this shift. Just imagine what we will be able to accomplish.

Rebecca England (The Dreamer)

Betsy Zajko (The Natural)

Leah Cohen (The Artist)

Celia Rivera (The Leader)

Elizabeth Birmingham (The Seeker)

Ratana Therakulsathit (The Thinker)

Victoria Martinez (The Sophisticate)

Ana Sofia Fehn (The Natural)

Cynthia Oredugba (The Inspirer)

Maia Luer (The Inspirer)

Oja Fin (The Dazzler)








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Holly Fulger

Actress, Writer and Beauty Spokesperson, Holly Fulger is on a personal mission to help women understand that beauty is more than just skin deep. Working as an actress on such shows as ELLEN, thirtysomething, ANYTHING BUT LOVE and the trilogy of films for The Disney Channel, ZENON, GIRL OF THE 21st CENTURY, Holly has experienced the good, the bad and the misguided aspects of beauty in our Hollywood and Madison Avenue driven culture.
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