Stylist Shows How You Can Really Make A Difference!
by Antonio Gonzales on Wednesday, April 6, 2011
I was born in Trinidad in the height of a hurricane. I spent my childhood surrounded by the sights and sounds and smells of Carnival and the other Indian, African and Spanish festivals of the Islands. Loving the amazing costumes, I got my start dressing my sisters and doing their hair and makeup. An opportunity came up to work with Trinidad’s leading costume designers, makeup artists and hair stylists. After I left the Island, my career evolved with work in Munich, Los Angeles, New York City and now Miami. Vogue magazine recently named me as one of the rising hairstylist stars in New York, I was awarded the best haircut of 2008 by sheckys.com, Gotham Magazine called me a Shear Genius and Allure Magazine featured me as one of the Best Cuts 2009.
Moving to Miami, I was certain about two things: the ocean was awaiting my arrival and I was going to make a difference in Miami through beauty—one head at a time. When I say make a difference, I’m not talking about the usual cut and color for the usual clients. I mean giving freely of myself and helping women understand their inner beauty is their individual beauty. I believe, once women discover this truth, appearance and beauty come into alignment and their individuality shines.
Through a fabulous new Miami friend, I heard about Casa Valentina; a non-profit that helps young women who have been in foster care. When these women turn 18, they are cast out of the foster care system to fend for themselves, and Casa Valentina helps these young women transition to a lifestyle of independent living.
After doing some research, I discovered just how painfully difficult life can be for these girls. I knew I had found a group of kindred spirits who could benefit from learning that beauty equals “individuality” and what makes someone unique should be celebrated.
In a world where the focus is on our outer appearance, I feel it’s my duty as a beauty professional to let these young ladies know that there is more to self-love than the outside.
I spent a blessed evening with them all crowded around. As I shared with these lovely ladies, I reiterated my personal belief and experience that true beauty is more than skin deep. Needless to say, the girls and I had a blast!! We shared all. We laughed, we related and we listened to one another’s struggles with appearance. I left that evening filled with positive energy, hope, a renewed commitment and a date to return for another lovely night with my new friends.
I am so grateful for this experience. Readers, please take this small example of how we can all make a difference. I hope you challenge yourself to go out into the world and help a fellow man or woman, no matter what your occupation.
As Gandhi once said, be the change you wish to see in the world.