How not to speak of this woman who created my obsession for this word: empire!
A few years ago, when I was developing a personal business project, it was Helena's journey that inspired me and made me want more. The executive summary of my business started with this introduction:
Helena Rubinstein moved from Poland to Australia in 1896, with no money and little English.
Today, thanks to the magnificent exhibition "The Adventure of Beauty" which took place in Paris in 2019 at the MAJH, I’ll make you discover her story and why she's a great source of inspiration for me.
Believe me Helena Rubinstein is a woman to know…
A complex and determined woman, she’s undoubtedly one of the pioneers of feminism.
Born Chaja Rubinstein in Cracow (Poland) in 1872 in a modest Jewish family, she refused an arranged marriage and the life they wanted to impose on her. In 1896, at the age of 24, she took the boat alone for Australia.
In 1902, she created her first Valaze face cream, and a year later opened her first beauty salon in Melbourne (Australia).
Passionate about fashion, she dressed in Chanel, Poiret, Worth, Dior, Balanciaga, Rodriguez, essential according to her as an ambassador of a beauty brand.
Collecting art from 1908, she was friends with the greatest artists: Chagall, Dali, Picasso, Marcoussis…
An exhibition with her collection of African art is currently in Paris at the Musée du Quai Branly-Jacques Chirac till June 28, 2020. I put a video at the end of the article for you (sorry it's in French but you can enjoy the images).
She also contributed to many museums and was also the model of many works of art.
In 1914, she left Europe to open her first beauty salon in New York. She therefore collaborated with the greatest architects, interior designers and artists.
All her life, art was an important part of her creativity.
Famous names were in charge of her salons, shops, adverts but also of her residences.
With great attention to detail and innovative, she never stopped inventing, among other things, she’s responsible for the classification of skin (dry, normal and oily), sunscreen, mascara in a tube and beauty salons...
Between 1915 and 1918, her business expanded in the United States with the opening of a factory and the first school of beauticians.
In 1939, thanks to the collaboration with the inventor of the first waterproof mascara, Helena created the event by organising a nautical ballet to introduce the product. Huge success.
A year later, this is the opening of a male beauty salon in New York!
For Helena, beauty was a weapon in the fight to make women equal to men. By feeling beautiful in her body, a woman gains self-confidence, she feels bold and becomes emancipated.
"Beauty is nothing without taking care of the body." Helena Rubinstein
Taking care of the body, so obvious for her, not only facials, but also massages, dietetics, breathing and physical exercise. She even created her own gym class “Rubinstein Rhythmics”.
Science serving beauty, essential to innovate, be credible and listened to, she visited her factories in white coat.
Above all, she understood how to use the image in the service of business: marketing!
But Helena was also a philanthropist, in addition to Art, in 1953, she created a foundation for the education of disadvantaged girls.
She loved beautiful things, fashion, jewellery, art and science.
She travelled a lot, set up her salons and left her legacy in Melbourne, Sydney, Vienna, Paris, New York, London, Tel Aviv ... A citizen of the world, a superwoman.
Married, mother of two, divorced and remarried to a man 23 years younger, she didn’t forget to be a woman behind the business woman. She died in New York at the age of 93.
The Helena Rubinstein brand was officially created in 1920. 100 years old this year!
Had the young Chaja ever imagined such an adventure and such a heritage?
We can only respect her audacity, her decadence and her perseverance!
Read again my other articles from the Superwomen Series.
I don't have an empire yet, but I'm working on it more than ever, and My Solo Wedding in Santorini will certainly leave my mark in the memory of many people.
Good week everyone, take care of yourself!
Love & Beauty,
In my series Superwomen that you now know, I keep mentioning people who show exemplary courage to create a better world.
I have largely mentioned in my article Thank you, how important and beneficial it is to thank people. I’m going to continue today.
Mother's Day will be celebrated in France tomorrow and I wanted to take the opportunity to pay tribute to my mother, but also to all those women who are still part of my life today and are in my heart like my other mums.
My mummy, a brave woman who put love before all and everybody. A woman who fought against her family, racism and prejudices to build the family and the life she wanted.
Women have always guided me and served as role models, nothing surprising while in my turn I want to show the way to new generations and be an example.
Catherine: a very elegant woman who showed me that you could be a mother and a businesswoman. She saw me as a newborn, growing up and becoming the accomplished woman I am today. A golden mentor who supported me in my studies and my career choice, and showed me the way to follow.
Laurence: my professional mother, I always called her like that because she’s the same age as my mother and has always supported me well beyond her role as my manager. An extraordinary example that you must be human to be a good leader, and my course of action throughout my career. Once she told me that if I wanted to have a child, I shouldn’t worry about my responsibilities because she would replace me if necessary ... How many women would like to have such a support?!?
Debra: my Australian mum! At 10,000 km from my family and friends, alone in a new country and city, both in the office and at home, she took me under her wing and considered me as her own daughter. She attended my graduation in Australia, a great moment of pride in my life and an unforgettable memory.
Françoise: my French mother in Brisbane who taught me to shout to exteriorise my emotions! I don’t go on a rollercoaster ride without thinking of her, and theme parks have become my favourite place to evacuate frustration. Try, you won’t regret it!
Marie-Paule: Christmas without her is not Christmas! Protector of traditions and family values, she always helps people in need. She took me at home while my ex-fiancé had just left me, I will be eternally grateful.
France: my Tahitian mother with incarnate wisdom, full of positive energy and who always has solutions for everything. I speak to her when I feel down, she always has the right words to boost me!
Thank you all for being here for me and for guiding me in my quest for happiness and serenity.
A year ago I was in Madrid and I started the treatment to freeze my oocytes, I don’t know if I’ll be a mother one day, but there is no doubt that I would like to bring to others as much as these women gave me in my life.
Becoming a mum can be a difficult journey and being a mom is an even bigger challenge, but the joy and satisfaction of contributing to this world by raising a new generation, is an exciting choice for many of us.
Read or reread Gift from Science.
Women, mothers, expectant mothers who everyday help, raise and support others; a strength, a courage and that maternal instinct that we don’t honour enough, don’t change anything, you are wonderful!
Happy Mother’s Day to all these Superwomen!
Love & Joy,
New article from the Superwomen series, previously I mentioned those women who do male jobs superwomen.html or those who fight for their personal beliefs superwomen-2.html.
Today I'm not really speaking of a woman, but I would like to talk about a person who fully assumes his femininity, and who contributes every day to changing mentalities: RuPaul Charles.
Famous American artist born in San Diego on November 17, 1960, he continues to surprise us with his many talents: drag queen, singer, dancer, actor, producer, director ...
In 2017, he was among the most influential people in the world in the Time 100.
He doesn’t care if he’s called he or she, and he works both in his feminine and masculine form. Moreover, he considers being a drag queen as a political act to change mentalities.
I’m heterosexual and I’m a friend of the LGBT community (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual).
Last week, I had the chance to attend the wonderful wedding of friends in Paris. Ceremony where I was able to exhibit my magnificent Arturo Rios blue fascinator, chosen by my followers (article hat-designer-or-dream-maker.html).
Same-sex marriage has been legal since 2013 in France, it is also legal in 24 other countries of the world, and since December 2017 in Australia. The first country to authorise this is the Netherlands in 2001. This legalisation is in progress in Austria and is planned in Switzerland, Mexico and 8 other countries.
Regarding same-sex parenting, 27 states around the world allow full adoption for couples.
However, for MAP (Medically Assisted Procreation) and surrogacy, far fewer countries are concerned. In France, surrogacy is prohibited, and PMA is only allowed to heterosexual couples (in other words, lesbians and single women are excluded). Positive changes are expected soon though...
Spain is the European country that practices IVF the most, not surprisingly, with a more flexible legislative framework, and also, it’s the leading European country for egg freezing (read article gift-from-science.html). However, surrogacy is prohibited.
Greece doesn’t only allow surrogacy but gives full rights to attended parents from conception. The surrogate mother has no rights over the child. Unfortunately, this only applies for the moment to heterosexual couples and single women.
After 40 years of IVF (In Vitro Fertilisation) and more than 8 million babies (yes million!), Laws are slow to become more homogenous around the world and exclude too many people from parenthood.
I’m the happy godmother of 2 adorable twins, girl and boy born from IVF. I know how difficult the process was for their 2 dads.
Why prejudices and ignorance push us to put people in boxes. I’m not an object and the world is very far from looking like a box!
I’ve always been androgynous, my short haircut proves it, my style too. As a teenager, I stole the clothes of my father that I mixed with mine. That doesn’t stop me from being feminine, quite the opposite, my solo wedding in Santorini shows it. I assume all aspects of my personality. My friends say that I have more balls than some men, so let’s speak out loud and reveal my convictions.
Sex by gender or sexuality shouldn’t be grounds for discrimination, harassment and persecution. The difference should be synonymous with tolerance, sharing and enrichment.
I’m for gender suppression, man, woman, transsexual ... How important? We should all have the same rights as a human being.
Equality for all, whether for work, salary, marriage, parenthood ...
June is the symbol of the Pride month for the LGBT community and Gay Prides take place around the world.
Me it's every day that I find them fantastic. I would like to pay tribute to all those who have the courage of their identity and their femininity, to the superwoman who is in you!!
Here is the 2nd article of the Superwomen Series, if you missed the 1st article click on the following link:
Are we born brave or do we become brave?
This is the question I would like to ask some women, especially Ruby Bridges.
On November 14, 1960, Ruby, 6 years old, was the first black child to join the William Frantz Elementary all-white school in New Orleans, Louisiana (U.S.A.).
She had to be accompanied by federal marshals by order of President Eisenhower, because the local police refused to protect her. The first day at school, she spent it with her mother, in the principal’s office, unable to access her class because of protest. In the first year, only one teacher agreed to teach her and Ruby was the only student.
Ruby was not aware of the story that was being played and how this event was going to determine her life. This accomplished woman is now leading the Ruby Bridges Foundation created in 1999.
Far from having traumatised the child she was, she fights for "tolerance, respect and recognition of all differences".
Some people can therefore show exemplary courage without realising it, and that from their youngest age.
I often say that courage comes from determination. When you want something more than anything in the world, you fight for it, sometimes going beyond the prejudices and the misunderstanding of your loved ones.
It reminds me of Queen Christina of Sweden (1626-1689) who renounced her throne and country for her religious convictions. Her desire for freedom dictated her decisions and neither her family nor her compatriots could restrain her. A fate all drawn and glitzy but not the one she wanted. She has shaken up propriety and monarchy, accepted criticism; when you know what you want, and you are determined to obtain it, nothing seems impossible.
A destiny is chosen for us but we decide another one, that’s courage for me!
Like Christine, everyone can discover courage in themselves, just have the right motivation, a dream that makes you fight to achieve it.
Of course, this is reminiscent of Martin Luther King's famous speech of August 28, 1963, "I have a dream". Being sure of your right and your convictions to face the whole earth, to brave hate and stupidity, to follow the path that we trace despite storms.
I like this quote: Grow through what you go through.
In their song Superheroes (song at the end of the article), the band The Script gives a definition of superhero that I particularly like:
When you've been fighting for it all your life
You've been struggling to make things right
That’s how a superhero learns to fly
Every day, every hour, turn the pain into power
This assurance in my decisions and choices have determined my courage several times in my life. Not to mention respect and love that I have for myself. I refuse to accept a future that is not mine, a future dictated by relatives, society, stereotypes, politics, religion, the media ...
Love yourself, respect yourself, listen to yourself, accept who you are, and pursue your dreams. This is for me the combination of courage. So, what are you waiting for releasing your bravery and for becoming your own superhero!!
In my previous article "Unicorn" I mentioned that there were already plenty of superwomen.
I had to mention a few, so here's the first article in a series about brave women.
Today is the 14th of July or Bastille Day, the national day for the French. To celebrate this event, as a very old tradition firemen organise a ball in their fire stations all around the country.
I grew up in a fire station, as a fireman's daughter, I know very well how difficult it is to be a firefighter. If these firemen are often considered heroes, well these firewomen are superwomen!
Prove her worth in a man's world is never easy, no matter what the job is.
The last time I went to San Francisco (U.S.A.), I discovered the photograph of Lillie Hitchcock Coit, a teenager who became an honorary member of a San Francisco brigade in 1859, after helping firefighters on a fire.
Women have always helped put out fires, whether in the countryside or in boarding schools. Their participation had increased during the two world wars, yet most countries in the world didn’t recognise firewomen as professionals until the 1970s.
Joey Lawrence @joeyldotcom, a Canadian photographer based in New York paid tribute to New York firefighters in a series of remarkable portraits. One of them is the portrait of Jackie Martinez, she was the 29th woman to join the fire department in 2006. Today, New York has 72 women against 11,000 men!
In the United States, there are today more than 6,500 professional firewomen and approximately 40,000 female volunteers.
In France, firewomen were finally accepted by a decree of 1976. In 2016, about 14% of the volunteer and professional workforce are women (36,000 women), but only 3% are officers.
Fifteen years ago, India accepted the first female firefighter, end of 2017 they were about 3,000. In addition, this year, a new milestone, a woman took her duties as a firefighter in an Indian airport.
Courageous women who brave prejudices and push back the limits of intolerance and inequality. Women who accept their dreams and fight to achieve them.
Finally, a hero is like an angel, he has no sex when it comes to saving lives. So, let's pay tribute to those women and men who risk and sadly give their lives for us!
I also want to wish a Happy Birthday to my friend Axelle, another important woman in my life.
Have a good Bastille Day everyone!
Song: Free by Emeli Sandé