Worry About Your Own Waistline – The Double Standard of Body Shaming


This post has been a long time coming, and something that has bothered me for quite some time. Decades if we’re going to be honest. I wasn’t sure if I should even do this post as this is a beauty blog, but our bodies make us feel beautiful (or not at times) so it’s worth sharing. So here goes nothing.

If you know me, you know that I love minding my own business. I don’t care about how much money you make. I don’t care about who you love. And most importantly, I don’t care about what you eat or how you are shaped. As long as you are happy, healthy and whole, I could care less about the choices people make. What you eat doesn’t make me sh*t….literally.

Here are some of the things I have heard over the years. All from other women.

“You need to go eat some meat and potatoes”…..

“I’ve never seen a dog fight over a bone with no meat on it”…

“You look hungry”….

“Skinny bitches are evil”….

“(insert dress size) You’re not even a woman. That’s not a real number”

(That’s me not giving a damn about your opinion)

I can’t for the life of me figure out why people feel the need to constantly provide commentary about how people should go about eating or exercise when quite frankly it’s none of their damn business. More importantly I don’t understand the body shaming double standard. If a “skinny chick” says something about a “big girl” that’s negative and you’re body shaming. But if a “big girl” says something disparaging about a “skinny chick” then that is OK? NO, it’s not! And I’m going to tell you why.

Body image issues affect any and every woman. You’re either too big. Or you’re too small. You really can’t win for losing. If it’s inappropriate for me to tell a large woman maybe she shouldn’t eat so much and should go to the gym, then you can’t tell me that I need to eat more or what am I working out for, it’s a waste because I’m small.

If I can't tell you go eat a salad, then don't tell me that I need meat and potatoes.… Click To Tweet

I’m going to be transparent. I have struggled with body issues for a long time. I’ve gone from being “too small” to now maybe “not small enough”. At the end of the day all things are relative and there are mitigating factors. Being “small” doesn’t mean you’re healthy, just as much as being “big” doesn’t mean you’re unhealthy. At 5’3″ and 147lbs I have high cholesterol, endometriosis, a kidney issue, and some other health issues where proper diet and exercise will do me service. But I’m “small” so you’d never know…right?!? Alzheimer’s and dementia also run RAMPANT in my family. I know for a fact that there is a direct correlation between cardiovascular diseases and Alzheimer’s, on top of the fact that African American’s are disproportionately diagnosed. So basically if you’re black with high blood pressure, cholesterol and or diabetes you’re more likely to be affected. Thanks, but no thanks.

I also want to note that the African American community is extremely harsh in this regard. It’s almost as if your womanhood relies upon your curves, the thickness of your thighs and the meat on your bones. I’m not even going to make this about the men, I’m strictly going to focus on what black women say to other black women.

Worry about your own waistline! #bodyshaming #bodyimage Click To Tweet

I’m urging women to stop telling other women what they need to do with their bodies. It’s not only detrimental, but it’s none of your damn business. And most importantly, stop saying cruel body negative things to young women. There is more that I can say about that, but I may save that for another post.

Better yet, let’s open some dialogue in the comments! Let me know how you feel. Have you been affected by body shaming? How has it affected you mentally and/or emotionally?

Why I Can’t Hear Your Message When You’re Messy

This has been weighing on my heart rather heavily these days. I used to feel for bad for feeling the way that I do. I thought maybe I was shallow, and ultimately worried about the wrong things. But in all honesty, I know that I’m right. When you look a mess, I’m missing the message you were probably trying to send.

I am often attending conferences and networking events for my day job, and I’m always astounded by the number of professionals (in any field) who are thought leaders and influencers that physically look a mess. People that I KNOW have a coin to their name. And it seems as if they just don’t care. Messy hair, ill fitting clothing, raggedy shoes. On the flip side, I’m always seeing aspiring businesswomen who look a mess as well. How are you going to prove to someone that you can handle their business, their financial baby, and you can’t even keep yourself together?

I’m not sure why this concept is hard to digest for many, but I’m telling you from what I see day in and day out in the business world, many of you just aren’t getting it. If you don’t take your appearance seriously, I’m not going to take you seriously as a businessperson. Point blank period.

You’ve heard it a million times before “Dress for the job you want, not the one you have” and it’s true! Look like money and you will attract money. Don’t let your physical appearance be a reason that you actually repel business.

Let’s just think about it this way. If I did my makeup horribly, would you trust me to make you look neat and pulled together? Don’t even try to think of an answer other than “HELL NO”, because you’d be lying through your teeth.

The Best of 2015 Projects

As I sit here looking back at some of the projects from 2015, I’m very pleased with where my artistry has taken me and where Candice Olivia Beauty will continue to go. From engagements, to high profile weddings being featured in publications, maternity shoots, conceptual projects and more, I’m just so happy and inspired to keep pressing forward.

Here are some of my favorite shots from the year

Be Aware But Don’t Be Worried: Surviving Changes in Your Industry

I recently was having a conversation with good friend, mentor, spirit animal and amazing makeup artist Michela Wariebi about some hot topics in the beauty industry. We were mainly discussing how to adapt to changes in the market and what it means for your business and/or your business model. 
There is too much shade and salt being thrown around the industry about how someone is deciding to run their business, price their services, etc. I don’t have time to be throwing shade at you. How is that going to help me make a coin? Throwing shade to another business person doesn’t put you in a spirit/position to receive. So don’t block your blessings. 
The bottom line is, I can’t be all too worried about you and/or your business. Can your business model potentially affect my business and the market as a whole? Yes, that can happen. But are you going to sit and complain about it or find a solution? Bosses and CEO’s are solutions oriented people. Not problems oriented people. Take time to learn more about the market and why things are happening and maybe you will just find your solution. 

You need to be open to change as it is inevitable. I know I know, that’s so cliche. But really it’s the truth. And honestly are you going to be Madonna or Mariah Carey to the bullshit?!? Let me explain.

Madonna continues to make herself relevant, by adapting to what’s current in her market. She’s not shading anyone and worried about her own lane. She sees what’s hot and in, and makes it work with her brand. Meanwhile, Mariah is shading up and comers like Ariana Grande, yet she refuses so evolve. She’s wearing the same gowns, doing the same runs, has yet to pick up a dance move, and still sounds the same. If you ask me, being shady is getting her nowhere. So again, I ask you, are you going to be Madonna or Mariah to the bullshit?!?

Something that I have learned from my boss Necole Parker, is to always know my 3 C’s when it comes to business and business development. By knowing these things I can better assess myself against the market and ensure that I’m giving clients what they need, ensure that I am worth my rate, and that I have a bargaining chip over my competitor.

Know your Customer

Know everything there is to know about your client. How do they like to buy? What type of experience do the want/expect? What qualities about your business model do they value?

Know your Competitor

Who is your biggest competition? How do they run their business? What are they doing that is working? What are they doing that isn’t working? Note that your competitor can often times be a business partner. 

Know your Capabilities

Are you capable of giving what your desired client wants and needs based off of YOUR skill set? Do you need to add skills to your basket based upon market trends or what your competitors are offering? 

If I know who I’m selling to, and know that my skill set and offerings have a one up over my competitor, then I really don’t have time to WORRY about what you’re doing. So while it suits me to be aware of what you are doing, I really have no need to worry.

5 Ways to Increase Your Referral Business

As I have mentioned before in a previous post, I never imagined the day Candice Olivia Beauty, LLC would exist, and most days I still don’t believe that it does. I was just a girl playing in makeup until a stranger from Twitter asked me to do her makeup for her birthday. Completely shocked and terrified, I did it anyway. While she had no clue that I was scared shitless, she was having a horrible day, and she said that she felt pretty and didn’t want to take off her makeup the next day. Creating that pleasing experience for that initial customer has been the backbone of my business as it is today.

From that one client, she referred me to her best friend. “If you could make her look like that, then I need to have you do my makeup as well.” From there, client #2 says “Well have you ever done a wedding? My cousin is getting married a few months.” Bring on my first bridal trial. I then did my first wedding, and the rest was history.

To date, roughly 98% of my business has been based on referrals. Until the last few months, I have never actively promoted/marketed my business. This has been the biggest blessing for me because let’s face it, it’s free word of mouth marketing. Or so I thought. You may think it costs nothing for someone to share their positive customer experiences, but when you really think about it, all the blood, sweat, tears and product you put into your kit and your business, are not cheap by any means.

I have built a certain level of trust with my clients and have become friends and often “family members” as they have told me. I’ve been listening to them and taking mental note on why they continue to do business with me and refer me to their friends and loved ones. They were really things that lend them self to my business model. As long as I stick to these things, I’m sure I will continue to get referrals. So, here are 5 ways that you can ensure your clients refer you.

1. Be Professional

This seems like a no brainer, but clearly a lot of makeup artists struggle with this portion. Consumers are educated and have a clear choice how and when they choose to spend their money. As a business owner or any person dealing with customers directly, always think about how you would like to be treated as a customer. As a customer I know I want someone who is going to effectively communicate with me in a timely manner and quickly answer any questions that I may have. I have had friends of mine that are clients ask me “Why are your emails so formal” and the fact of the matter is I’m not shooting the shit with you via text or in gchat. This is business, and I’m going to treat it as such. Professionalism goes beyond your written and verbal correspondence, but showing up to a job prepared with all of your tools and/or working parts. Have your chair, lights, full working kit, your assistant. Whatever it is you need to get the job done, have it.

2. Be Honest

I am always honest with my clients. While the customer is always right, as a professional and subject matter expert, you should not be afraid or refrain from sharing your opinion or giving feedback on a suggestion or request that the client has. In most cases they will take your professional opinion into account TRUSTING  you and your skill. Most of the times when a client has come to you based off a referral they already trust you because of what you did for their friend so half the battle is already won.

3. Be On Time!

I hate being late. It honestly gives me anxiety and can put me on the verge of a panic attack. I’m a stickler for time and hate being off schedule. As much as a client being late showing up can throw off your day, so can being late to a client. Respect their time as much as you would want them to respect your own. Who is going to think you’re worth your rate if you’re always late?

4. Be Flexible

I have done many things for my clients that were completely out of scope, but its by doing those little things, and going the extra mile that have secured trusting relationships with my clients. I have curled hair because a hairstylist has cancelled, I have picked out an ensemble and accessories for a shoot, I have laced a wedding gown, I have held breasts in my hands to adjust them into an adhesive bra. (Not an exaggeration. I’ve done it all). Some things I have done are completely crazy and maybe I shouldn’t have done them, but what I constantly hear from clients is “Thank you for being so flexible”. Only you know your limits and boundaries, but if it’s not going to kill you and you have time to do it, I say go for it.

5. Be Yourself

Don’t put on a front. Don’t act like someone you are not. Be your authentic self. Don’t have a spam like personality. They can sniff that out a mile away. Just be you!