Interviewed by Sasha Sarago
Pageants and tiaras often come to mind when one mentions the term ‘Beauty Queen’, followed by visions of bikini clad contestants flashing their pearly whites. As women around the globe primp and preen at a chance to win coveted crowns, Kemi Nekvapil is here to introduce a new type of beauty…that of the Raw Beauty Queen.
Without sounding off my tree, Raw Beauty Queen has actually birthed me. Several years ago on my 38th birthday, I found myself feeling more grounded, beautiful and clearer than I ever had in my life. But what I saw (and still see) are women being sold the line that as we get older it will all go downhill. And that the best path for us to take is to spend our precious time, energy and resources on trying to be the thinnest, most flawless and wrinkle-free woman in the room.
It angers me and so I wanted to create something else, an empowering beauty. I wanted to share with other women that there is a form of beauty that is inspiring and nourishing and that once we own it, it can never be taken away.
Raw Beauty is about our beauty coming from who we are and the actions we take.
I have been living The 7 Principles of Raw Beauty for over a decade. They are listed in the order that they have evolved over the last ten years.
The 7 Principles of Raw Beauty
I live these principles daily and I feel incredibly blessed to share these principles with women all over the world through my live events, retreats and coaching programs.
Making a difference to how a woman feels about herself and her life has a very big impact on those she touches, and the ripple effects are endless.
When we, as women, learn that putting ourselves first is not a selfish act, we are then able to nourish a beauty that will sustain us for life.
As a young black girl growing up in 1970s England with white foster parents, there was no mirror of me anywhere.
I never felt beautiful because girls that looked like me were not in adverts or in magazines. And if black women were ever on TV or in a movie, it was in a less than favourable light.
When I became a teenager, I needed and wanted to find who I had always been told were ‘my people’: the black people. So I did – that did not turn out too well, as this particular group of ‘my people’ thought I was too different for them.
I had no idea about the music they liked. I was raised on country and western music and they were into hip-hop. I was wearing the equivalent of Clarkes shoes when they were looking fly in their high tops. I was not accepted and I could not pretend to be what they expected of me.
I had gone searching for these people because I thought when I had found ‘my people’, I would somehow find myself. But that is not what happened.
So I decided that before I was black, before I was a woman, I would be Kemi first. I would stop trying to fit into other peoples’ versions of who they thought I should be; I would just be me.
It has stood me in good stead and I highly recommend it. Being inauthentic is exhausting. Trying to please others is a never-ending game with no ending.
Learning to be the best version of who we already are is a magical journey not to be missed.
“She empowered women to love themselves without apology or guilt so that they could then go out and change the world.”
“She nourished a marriage of over fifty years (in partnership with her husband) and she was an authentic and conscious mother that empowered her children to follow their bliss.”
I am inspired by many things and many people. I would not get out of bed in the morning if I were not inspired by something. What inspires me most are people who are willing to fail, people who get out of their comfort zones, people who are driven to make a difference, people who are willing to be vulnerable. I am inspired by passion.
Kemi Nekvapil is the Founder of Raw Beauty, as well as a keynote speaker and coach. A regular guest for The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, Mind Food, Gardening Australia, Radio National, Kemi inspires and coaches women all over the world to live a fulfilled life of beauty, passion and purpose.