I adore this picture!!! The minute I saw it I asked my friend Sophie if I could feature her this week. I know you are probably wondering where the style comes in as you can't even see her clothes...I figured you would. But, you see style and beauty ultimately comes from within. I always say you can dress someone in their Sunday best, but if they aren't a good person, a confident person, if they don't have true inner beauty then they can never have true style. The most stylish people I know can wrap themselves in a paper bag and still look fab. That is because, like Sophie in this photo, their inner light is always shining. You want to be near them, you want to be their friend, you want to emulate them...they are inspiring in every way. This is the person I strive to be...sure sometimes I fall short, but I always try to let my love of life, my optimism and my altruism shine through. Someone told me once that I was the most universally well-liked person they know and it was by far the best compliment I have ever received!!!
So back to Sophie and why she is a true Style Maven...I have known Sophie socially for some time, but it wasn't until recently that we became friends. She is one of those natural beauties that insecure women love to hate and men just love. I mean come on...how gorgeous is this photo of her (she looks like Sienna Miller perhaps)? Here is the thing though, as beautiful as she is, she is a good person. She is always smiling, always seems to be having fun, always friendly and as a result I barely even notice her clothes. Don't get me wrong, I can tell you exactly what she was wearing the last couple of times I saw her...I mean I do make my living noticing and talking about style. The point is that what she has on is irrelevant, because of the person she is. If however you are wondering...yes, she does also have great personal style...no paper bags for her!!!
I mentioned some of my style icons in an old blog entry and now I am rethinking my choices...Kate Moss, Sienna Miller, the Gossip Girls. Sure I will always admire how these women dress, but they will never truly be people I want to emulate. Now of course, I don't know them personally so this judgment is not 100% fair, but alas I only have their public persona as a reference. Its funny, but if you think about all of my choices for the Style Mavens column so far, Brendan, Erika, Paul, Andrew and now Sophie, I have chosen them all for both their inner and outer beauty. This entry is of course the first of the series that does not have a fashion slant, but if you re-read the old features, you will see that I am equally as inspired by who the person is. I launched Style Mavens with a promise to only write about those I know. Sure I knew you would be more engaged by your friends and colleagues, but I think deep down what I really intended to do was to celebrate all of the fabulous people I know for what they bring to the world...my way of giving back!!!
So here is my challenge to all of my loyal readers...I want you to think about the people you consider true Style Mavens. Think about the people who inspire you and why they inspire you. Think about your own nature and what attracts you to people. Think about society's style/fashion icons and ask yourself whether they truly deserve this status. Think about the person you are. Are you nice to those around you; are you a positive, confident person? Do you smile...a lot? If the answer is no, then I promise you a little priority review is in order...worry less about the It Bag and more about who you are and I guarantee a happier more fulfilling life!!!
OK, yes I am on a soapbox today, but the ultimate moral of this story is that if we all spent just as much time working on the people we are as we spend on worrying about what we look like, maybe the world would be a better place. So thanks to my friend Sophie for reminding me why I write this column and ultimately for inspiring me to be a better person/friend!!!