The Tig Archives 08 / 11 / 2015
Lindsay Jill Roth and I met in an African American Studies class our freshman year at Northwestern University; it was the works of Toni Morrison taught by Professor Pamela Harkin. I remember Blue being our first read, though, truth be told, it could have been Sula – it was 1999 and I’m getting long in the tooth. (I kid, I kid).
But there, in that small classroom in Evanston, I found a kindred spirit. We were both in that class, not to tick a box of a prerequisite, but to dig for something deeper. To find the nuance in something literarily inspiring, and culturally profound. And now, fifteen years later, I am swelling with pride to see my friend have her very first novel published by Simon & Schuster, but moreover that amid such ebullience, to find that she still wants to dig deeper. Lindsay’s novel, What Pretty Girls Are Made Of, is set in the world of cosmetics, but navigates her lead character through a tumultuous journey within the not so pretty side of the industry – think “the Devil Wears Prada” but with lipstick. While this covetable beach read is a page turner in and of itself, Linds is using this opportunity to open the conversation on what beauty really is. What it truly means to be pretty…something, as you know, is near and dear to The Tig ethos.
Take it away my cherished, valued and endlessly “pretty” friend. I couldn’t be prouder.
“Do I look pretty?” How many times have you asked yourself that question in some form or another?
And more often than not, you receive a quick yes or no answer, and then move on with your day. But this question is so much more than if that sale dress hugs your curves, how the haircut you just received compares to Jennifer Lawrence’s pixie, or if the shoes you’re wearing make it look like you’re trying too hard.
Have you ever taken the time to actually ask and answer the question: “What really, truly, one hundred percent makes me feel pretty?”
I’ve been very lucky to go through the last sixteen years discovering my “pretty” with a partner in crime whom you know as Meghan Markle, Rachel Zane, and EIC of The Tig. To me, however, she’s my best friend – my chosen family.
Meg and I have searched for our pretty together while prepping for college dates, galavanting through the streets of Rome on spring break (backpacker style), sleepovers at our family’s homes, sick in bed, through our various jobs since college – and as we got older, and infinitely fancier even to the beaches of St. Barths. You know Meg’s history, but here’s a bit of my story.
I’m a TV producer in my 9 to 5. But at heart, I’m a storyteller. And while I’ve always had this gift of literary gab, I didn’t always work in television. There were a few years when I worked in the beauty industry: a time I call “the greatest career detour of my life.” During this career purgatory, I was surrounded by sheets of colors and palettes of glosses, I felt ugly, miserable in my career choice, dissatisfied and lost. I had all of the equipment to paint myself pretty on the outside, but a big piece of something was missing. I was misogynistically mistreated for no good reason, undervalued and living for each paycheck perched behind a makeup counter versus on the front lines of my own creative dreams. So I left.
And through uncertainty, being open to a little failure while I pursued my greater aspirations, I discovered my “pretty.” For me, it became the truth of living fearlessly, and of stepping away from something that made me feel less than.
I wanted others to find their pretty too — to understand what makes them feel like the most gorgeous version of themselves. So I wrote about it. This resulted in 350 pages of thought-turned-novel called, What Pretty Girls Are Made Of.
In it, my heroine, Allison, learns — because I learned — that feeling pretty goes beyond the external and the obvious. It’s about knowing your value and that what uniquely makes you feel ravishing has to come from self-work. Through writing this novel, I discovered what makes me feel pretty all over again. It’s an ongoing process, but an invaluable one. Because every day, I wake up knowing my worth, and I’m so grateful that it’s taken the form of a much larger conversation: #PrettyIs.
So, tell us: What makes you feel pretty? — From volunteer work, to picnics with friends, to getting the perfect blowout, or simply the glow that makes your skin sparkle after an epic yoga class. Tell us what your #PrettyIs. Share it with us by tagging @_thetig and #PrettyIs on Instagram and Twitter, and we will choose our favorite pic and send the winner a special gift from me, Meg, and The Tig. Cheers to you, and your endlessly pretty spirit.
Images via: Instagram