Hey there beauties! It is officially fall and we hope that everyone has picked out the perfect pumpkins and enjoyed some fall treats, apple cider doughnuts anyone? Speaking of treats, we couldn’t be more excited to expand our ambassador family! We have the pleasure of introducing you to another outstanding lady on wheels who is doing her part to prove that life can be as sweet as you want it to be! Her name is Emerald and she is one sweet diva! As the mastermind behind Sweet Tart Beauty, this maven encourages all to “Be Your Own Kind of Beautiful.”
Emerald is passionate about promoting the belief that ALL women are beautiful and worthy of love and acceptance. Recently, we had the chance to interview this saucy girlboss and boy do we think she’s super fierce! So, let’s get to know this sweet beauty!
Can you tell us a little about yourself and what you do?
My name is Emerald and I am in my late 20’s. I reside in Florida and have two sisters and a dog that moonlights as my nurse. Prior to becoming ill in 2010, at the age of 20, I had dreams of being a makeup artist but soon I began to experience the effects of what I later learned to be a form of myopathy. This condition makes it difficult for me to walk and at times (like now), either makes it difficult for me to speak or takes my speech all together. This has been very difficult to adjust to. Going from being an able bodied 20-year-old who had an active social life, to being sick and alone, I struggled with depression and felt as if life was no longer worth living.
I especially found it difficult when I noticed the beauty field, which I had previously poured all my money into, no longer saw me as beautiful. I began to realize that people with disabilities are ignored so much by the mainstream media and this frustrated me. My self-esteem took a plunge and I just wanted to give up. But, in early 2012 Sweet Tart Beauty, which at the time was solely a beauty blog, was born out of the determination to create a space on the internet that not only shared beauty tips but also offered encouragement and tips on living with a disability. Although, due to various reasons, I have swayed on my goals, my hope is to turn Sweet Tart Beauty into a social hub for beauty-obsessed women with disabilities who just need a little laugh, encouragement or advice. In the future, I hope to write a book about my experience in hopes of giving others the push to keep fighting. I may have a disability but I won’t allow it to dictate how I live my life.
How and where do you find inspiration?
I find inspiration everywhere. It could be a song or it could be a movie or something inspirational my mother or sisters share with me. It is a goal of mine to keep my mind open to various forms of inspiration. For example, Jessie J’s song “Big White Room” inspired me to be open about my fight with depression. I realized that I could either stay on the sidelines watching everyone else live or I could choose to continue living and soak up the inspiration around me to encourage me to do better. If I can make one person smile, I feel accomplished because in that moment I wasn’t self-concerned but rather focused on encouraging someone to maybe keep living and that’s really all I could ask for.
What does empowerment mean to you?
Empowerment to me means that you do things on your own terms without worrying about following the crowd. I use the tagline “Be Your Own Kind of Beautiful,” on my blog because I truly feel that when women tap into what makes them special, they blossom into the most beautiful version of themselves. For many years and even sometimes now, I will fall into that trap of feeling that I must look a certain way to make it in this world. But, that is not true. This world would be so boring if we were all the same, so break the mold and be the best you, you can be.
When was a time you felt completely discouraged and how did you push through it?
Back in 2010, my family and I were really scared for my health. I was losing the ability to communicate, my legs wouldn’t work correctly and I was experiencing stroke like episodes that would leave me needing speech therapy. We once went to a doctor and he was so unkind. He dismissed me and gave me a referral to a neuropsychiatrist because he was convinced I was out of my mind. I cried profusely, because I felt that this doctor, someone I put my trust in, didn’t believe me and thought I was crazy. I won’t lie at that moment I was so deep into despair that I contemplated giving up. I knew that I was sick and I knew that if I could just get someone to really listen to me that they would be able to help me. So, after being encouraged by my mother, who by the way remained strong and stood up for me, I got up, brushed off the insensitive words he told me and I said to myself, you’re either going to give up nor or you’re going to keep fighting for what you know to be true. You see doctors are people too and I was giving them too much power over me. So, what if he didn’t believe me, I could go to someone else until the right doctor would give me a chance. Thankfully, that is exactly what happened and I am so happy I kept fighting. My biggest takeaway from this whole experience has been to trust yourself because you know your body better than anyone else. If something doesn’t feel right keep knocking on doors until one opens with a kind doctor on the other side. Don’t give up, you can survive and going through this experience will only make you stronger.
What is one piece of advice that you would give a young woman to navigate today's ever-changing world?
Stay true to yourself. This world will try to change you. This world will try to break you but you must stay true to yourself. Know what you will and won’t stand for and then remain steadfast in your beliefs. Don’t waver to fit in, or to satisfy someone else. You are important and you deserve to be happy. So, get out there fight for what’s right and remain positive.
To learn more about Emerald visit: https://sweettartbeauty.com.
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