I heart Jeannie Mai! The self-proclaimed Fashionista, Foodiva and Wearapist is a powerhouse of a woman with a big open heart and impeccable style. As a television personality – the host of The Style Network’s Emmy-nominated ‘How Do I Look?’ makeover show – she educates, guides and empowers women to overcome their insecurities; to see their true beauty, and to embrace their personal style to convey power and confidence helping in the pursuit of their biggest dreams. She also appears on E! News and the (US) Today Show as a fashion correspondent.
Jeannie started her career as a celebrity make-up artist and stylist working with the likes of Alicia Keys, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jennifer Aniston and more. If all that wasn’t enough! One of the greatest reasons I think Jeannie is amazing, is the fact she gives back to the community and contributes a wealth of positivity to the world via her inspiring philanthropic work. Mai works with several charities: Heartbeat Vietnam (a non-profit devoted to improving health care for impoverished children); NightLight International (an organization committed to rescuing women and children from sex trafficking and prostitution rings by providing employment and vocational opportunities) and more.
As well as ‘giving back’ herself, Jeannie encourages and motivates others to give back to the community with her pet project, The Prayer Box. Located in Runyon Canyon in Los Angeles, The Prayer Box encourages visitors to leave a personal prayer and take another from the box—the idea is to share expressions of love, hope and faith and to open people’s heart, mind and eyes to the prayers, plight and dreams of others. To me, Jeannie is a shining beacon of light, filled with loving-kindness and compassion—the perfect person to kick off another year of awesomeness on ConversationsWithBianca.com!
Let’s dream even bigger and better than ever this year friends and take positive action towards living our best life (something which is always growing and changing). And remember, as Mother Teresa once said, “It is not the size of our actions but the amount of love and care that is put into them that matters.” Dream big! Be awesome! Here’s to a kick ass 2012!
I’m a huge believer that we become what we believe in our life.
JEANNIE MAI: Yes!
Growing up what did you believe? What did you picture in life for yourself?
JM: I pictured so many different whirlwinds of possibilities and super powers that I didn’t just believe in one thing. The one word I remember that every position that I pictured I could be growing up (or that any women could be growing up) was: beautiful. Every woman to me was so radiant! When I say ‘radiant’ I don’t just mean looks, I mean the way they think, the way they connect together to build things to make amazing things happen, to combine talents and uplift each other – that was much more to me a ‘star-struck’ feeling than a position. No matter what position, whether she was a police woman, a doctor or she was a celebrity, every woman had that same spotlight glow on them. I think that is why I eventually started to fuse into makeup and fashion. I realised that is really the key to unlock all of the other beliefs about yourself on the inside as you can see it on the outside.
Have you always been a helpful and kind person? You have such a big and open heart; where did that come from?
JM: Aw Bianca thank you! That’s a nice thing to say. I didn’t always have a selfless perspective. I always loved being selfless but it wasn’t always an automatic thing. Obviously with your teenage years you get much more self-involved but, it was right around my mid-20s that some things really happened to me that helped me to find faith. To me faith is what really fuels me. I am very particular how I talk about this because I don’t want to preach at all for anybody else. Whatever works for anybody else that is amazing!
For me, having the feeling of gratitude that I was made and born with a purpose ignites that ‘give back’ feeling that I wake up with every single morning. To not only give back to others (like to the person that hands me my Starbucks cup to somebody that I am performing a makeover on) but also to myself what I need to be fuelled and to give my best, to not walk into situations half full. If I can’t bring my optimum best I reschedule or edit the situation so that I can. Like with this phone call that you so graciously moved. It was like, ok if I’m not going to give Bianca my full attention because I’m running around getting ready or whatever, I’m going to move it until I can give you my full attention because you deserve that. It’s something that I think people can experience once they have enlightened themselves to it. It’s actually still really a selfish thing to begin with because once you experience what it’s like to be that, it feels so good for yourself that you just want to keep doing it.
You’re a deeply spiritual person; what does that mean to you? What does spirituality mean to you? What does being spiritual mean to you?
JM: Spirituality for me means to believe that I was created with purpose. That’s my whole foundation, that I was born uniquely with purpose; that I was moulded together, every hair on my head, every experience that I went through, every heartbreak, every closed door, every person that walked into my life up until today—there’s a purpose for it. It gets me excited to be my very best and to expose myself to what could happen next. It’s all chronological; it all has to do with each other. For me, it’s also praying, having a conversation with God, actually thanking him in the morning for what took place and touching base throughout the day. And, trust me I am not the most holy saint of a person. I swear like a sailor… I’m pretty raw with my spirituality too and that’s what I love, having a really good communication level with praying. I love that when I talk to God that I’m talking to him just like I am talking to you or my best friend over a couple of beers. It’s no different; you don’t get any different side of me. What is different about who God is for me as opposed to talking to just any other person is that I thrive to mould myself to be better because of him. It’s a different sense of mentorship.
In a previous interview you mentioned that sometimes people annoy you but you always choose the higher road with every single person. I wanted to ask, how do you manage to do that?
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