A PURA Muse is a woman who inspires us with their content, business, work ethic, values or beliefs. This woman is aligned with the goals and motivations that we strive for each day here at PURA Botanicals (if they are already a PURA lover, it makes it all the better!). Our muse is working to elevate their community through their business, volunteerism, or their commitment to wellness, and they consistently advocate for well-being & intentional living.
The PURA Muse February 2022: Bridgett Burrick Brown
We are so pleased to introduce you to 2022's first PURA Muse - Bridgett Burrick Brown - the founder of The Beyond Beauty Project. Bridgett started The Beyond Beauty Project as a podcast that is redefining the meaning of beauty. Over the past year, it has blossomed into a movement to improve self-esteem and confidence around body image and mental health. We recently caught up with Bridgett to chat all things beauty - from the origins of her podcast and her definition of beauty, to her self-care toolbox, as well as her favourite PURA potions. Keep reading to learn more about this inspiring project...
The Beyond Beauty Project podcast is focused on inspiring women to be (and feel) truly beautiful. The first question you pose to your podcast guests is how they define beauty. What is your definition of beauty?
In my experience, authentic beauty is more of a feeling than an aesthetic. To feel beautiful, I truly believe it needs to come from within. Beauty is also an emotion – feeling happy is beautiful, being present is beautiful, and being passionate is fuel for creating beauty.
Over the years, I have discovered that when my mental, physical, spiritual selves are healthy, I can radiate beauty. To feel beautiful, all those cups need to be full. There is so much beauty in nourishing the self. I have found it helpful to have a self-care toolbox to draw from. My self-care toolbox includes sleep, journaling, talk therapy, acupuncture, sweaty workouts, yoga, and drinking plenty of water. I have found that getting to know my inner self and trusting my intuition is a form of spiritual health. Oftentimes, when I get quiet, my body is able to give me cues as to what it is craving. We are so accustomed to equating beauty with success and we need to shift our focus to view beauty as entwined with mental, physical, and emotional health.
Tell us a bit about your journey to creating the Beyond Beauty Project. Why did you start with a podcast?
From Beyond Beauty Project’s inception, I felt like I had a story to share and that a podcast would be a great way to share others’ stories as well. My desire is for the Beyond Beauty Project to be impactful, inspiring, and educational. I knew that I wasn’t an expert, but wanted to probe the notions around beauty from varying perspectives and experiences. I wanted to create a space to foster real-talk about beauty that isn't just relegated to the tall, white woman ideal. I think conversations about beauty have been long overdue, so it was important for me to start a dialogue of diverse voices through a podcast platform.
The Beyond Beauty Project was launched during the very beginning of COVID. It was a personal sanity project that quickly resonated with others. This platform was something I had dreamt about for many years as a way to help women and children build confidence and thrive outside of the conventional beauty standards imposed by advertising and subsequently absorbed by society. During COVID, I needed something to fuel my creative self. Writing and journaling have always been a passion of mine, but launching a podcast was definitely jumping into the deep end.
In the past, I had been a very successful commercial model in NYC until my world crashed down with several members of my family passing away as well as experiencing a string of miscarriages myself. At this point, I was so fragile, broken, and a shadow of my former self. After several months, I remember chatting with my agents in NYC to discuss going back to work as a model, and the first thing they told me was to "lose weight". This was a rock bottom, yet light bulb moment for me - as a woman, I felt very dismissed, but it also prompted me to actively ask - “Where is the supposed inclusivity in fashion? How can we acknowledge the beauty of how our bodies change throughout our lives?”. As women, we are so conditioned to be accepting of comments on our looks instead of challenging conventional beauty norms that may, in fact, be harmful. It was at this point that I decided to step away from modelling as a career - not only for myself, but as a role model for my daughter.
Let’s chat about the importance of self-care in the context of being a mother. How do you carve out time for yourself in a very busy stage of life?
As a mother, I have found that I NEED to schedule time for self-care and find practitioners that play a supportive role. Proper self-care restores my mental health so I can be a great mother. At my lowest, I definitely needed a trained team to guide me back to myself - a chiropractor, massage therapist, acupuncturist, and a great therapist.
Being resourceful in terms of finding space for self-care as a mother can look different for everyone. I truly believe that having a therapist is one of the best gifts you can give to yourself. When I’m feeling overwhelmed, I definitely carve out some time to shift and refocus my scattered energy. I have discovered that journaling is a great way to get in touch with my intuition and I often write a stream of consciousness entry first thing in the morning. Self-care covers a wide range – from a bubble bath, a cry session with a therapist, to lying in bed and quieting my mind – and it is always a time I use to nourish myself. Even simply taking a quiet second can be a gift to myself.
What are your favourite PURA potions or rituals?
I resonate with PURA’s message that the intimate time we spend with ourselves in our self-care rituals is not only beneficial to promoting radiant, healthy skin, but to also feel truly relaxed and naturally beautiful. I also love PURA’s mission – to help women feel their best and radiate beauty. For skincare, I adore PURA’s Hyaluronic Ruby Serum and how it brightens and tones my skin. The ruby gemstone and gorgeous packaging are such beautiful touches as well. I’m a bath person, so I love PURA’s Whimsical Bubbles. Studies have shown that immersing yourself in water can actually lower your blood pressure. Sometimes I draw a bath in the middle of the day and I find it to be the reset I needed.
What’s next for The Beyond Beauty Project and how can people join/engage in your movement?
I’m currently working on expanding the e-commerce section of our website, so stay tuned! The Beyond Beauty Blog recently launched at the beginning of this year. I’m so excited about the line up for Season 2 of The Beyond Beauty Podcast, including my chat with PURA’s founder, Lane Edwards, as our first featured guest. A sneak peek of other guests for Season 2 include Lexi Kite (author of More Than A Body), Katie Willcox (author of Healthy is the New Skinny), and Jolene Hart (author of Eat Pretty and Ignite Your Light).
I’m also planning (hopefully) in-person workshops and summits. I’m always expanding our community by listening, investing and connecting with others around the world as well as partnering with other brands to change the narrative about beauty. The best way to get involved with the Beyond Beauty Project is to follow along on our Instagram @beyond.beauty.project , go to our website, and subscribe to our newsletter.
In our culture, beauty is often associated with youth. How can we encourage women to ‘age in power and grace’ and be their best selves as they grow older?
Honestly, I think we need to be realistic about aging and that it is a natural process. Not accepting this can make life very hard. As women, we need to start saying ‘no’ to the boxes that advertising and cultural attitudes impose on us. We are constantly monitoring ourselves according to the cultural beauty narrative and instead we need to make conscious choices to feel the best we can at whatever age. Focusing on ‘not aging’ is such a set up to make women feel less-than. I’m a believer in letting the benefits of how you feel spill into your outward appearance. I used to focus a lot on how I look, but I realized that it is not healthy to let it take up that much space in my brain.
What is the legacy you want to pass on to your daughter and the next generation of women through The Beyond Beauty Project?
I desire a future for our daughters where they don’t obsess over their looks or let their outward appearance lay claim to who they are. Looks are so fleeting, and yet we often treat them as foundational. I want our children to live in a world where they feel good about themselves. At a very young age, girls are told through advertising and media that they are not good enough and we need to work to break down the boxes that define this toxic type of beauty messaging. Body image and eating disorders are very much a very serious mental health crisis. The patriarchal system is alive and well in the advertising world and girls are taught from a young age that their appearance is very consequential to their future. I think we can make a difference for subsequent generations by gathering a community of other women and girls who inspire each other to feel truly beautiful from the inside out.
Interview by Marla Boehr