Harper's Bazaar (USA)
On Finding BEAUTY
Iwish we could have made 2,000 covers to represent our beauty issue. That feels like a number that could more adequately capture and celebrate the expansiveness of beauty. Still, in the images and words of the women who appear on our covers—Imaan Hammam, Jill Kortleve, Sora Choi, and Lauren Hutton—I hope our readers can find something that resonates, that feels familiar, that reminds them of their own beauty.
These women represent four of fashion’s leading faces; they’ve walked the runways in New York, Paris, and Milan, modeled for some of the biggest beauty brands, and lent their images to giant advertising campaigns. They represent what is beautiful now, and they have all worked to broaden and diversify those once overly narrow standards. But that’s beauty on the surface. When we asked them about it, their notions of beauty were far deeper and more complex than what could ever be captured in a picture. It’s in the scent of home, in a feeling of connectedness to one’s culture, in the sound of a loved one’s snore, in the freedom of being at peace in your body, or in knowing exactly where you are in your life.
In our Voices section, Theaster Gates, who has used a mix of art and resourcefulness to help reinvigorate an entire neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago, says something that resonated deeply with me: “If you care about a space, if you make it work—if you make it beautiful—then that allows other people to believe in your care and believe in themselves.” I would add that the kind of belief Gates is talking about—a hopefulness—allows others to see and experience beauty as well.
I often find that I feel beautiful when I’m with my close community—the people who make me feel safe and seen. When I’m present with my son, Lex, or when I can put together an outfit that perfectly expresses how I feel inside.
Everyone deserves to have beauty in their lives. It can be found in small, intimate gestures of self-care, like taking the time to apply a rich, velvety moisturizer or a nourishing serum, the best of which our beauty team rigorously vetted for our annual skincare awards. It can be found where nature and sustainable design meet, exemplified by so many of the thoughtfully planned resorts and arts centers on Spain’s breathtaking Balearic Islands, including the new Hauser & Wirth outpost that occupies the entire Isla del Rey off the coast of Menorca. It can be found in the simplicity of a black-and-white color palette brought into sharp relief through layered and sculptural clothing, as in “High Contrast,” the fashion story photographed by Jody Rogac and styled by Elin Svahn.
But we also have to seek it out. As our features director, Kaitlyn Greenidge, so keenly observes in the introduction to our beauty portfolio, beauty is a practice, one that, for her, has been reinforced by her young daughter when they play an “I spy”–like game they call “safari,” wherein they each call out interesting things they see on their daily journeys. “It has become a way to train ourselves to always look for beauty,” she writes. “Beauty is its own kind of emotional intelligence—a map for all the things we value and think to be true.”