Moj Mahdara: Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

May 31 - On The Dot
 
It’s a great day to be a woman! Melinda Garvey here as your voice, with the mission to give women everywhere a place to be heard and tell their stories. We’d love to hear from you!

FIRST THOUGHT: Redefining Beauty

They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and it’s true. While we compare ourselves to stunning celebrities in commercials and on the covers of magazines, what’s on the inside matters most of all. It’s like having a crush on that dumb yet handsome guy in high school, but then he opens his mouth, and your attraction dwindles by the syllable.

Today, think about some qualities you find most appealing. Is it intellect? Generosity? Fierceness? Try to exude that characteristic as much as possible, and see who you attract.

WOMEN IN NUMBERS: $1,832

Of course, the beauty industry often seizes on the outer insecurities women have and tries to “fix” them. If you’re like me, you’re a fan of some of these tricks (Thank you, concealer!), but you also want to feel comfortable in your own skin. It’s a bit of a catch 22.

Women spend about $1,800 on beauty products every year, whereas men spend about $700. A lot of this has to do with companies banking on women’s insecurities and hiking up the cost of women’s products, like deodorant, razors and moisturizer. And once you throw in other items, like curling irons and bronzer, it adds up fast.

WOMAN TO WATCH: Moj Mahdara, Founder of Beautycon

Despite what marketers think, women are all over the place on the beauty-product spectrum. Some are super low maintenance, while others don’t want to leave the house without contouring, and many women vary on this spectrum from day to day.

Moj Mahdara is an LGBT advocate and marketer extraordinaire in the beauty industry. Before eye palettes and eyelash curlers, she was CEO of a digital interactive studio called Exopolis, with a client list that included Microsoft and Apple. After that venture, she founded Made With Elastic, a consulting company whose clients included BMW, Motorola and Levi’s.

Now, she’s leading her biggest venture yet: Beautycon Media. Beautycon asked Mahdara to join the team and re-launch the digital-media company. She focused on a trend she noticed, that millennials feel more connected to YouTube stars than traditional celebrities.

Beautycon now brings teenagers and young women face to face with some of their favorite online celebrities through festivals and community content, and also offers a subscription beauty box.

Millennials spend about $4 billion a year on cosmetics, so it’s no wonder companies are lining up to work with Beautycon. The company has connected with nearly 300 brands to promote sponsorships and products. About 50 girls help select which brand partnerships Beautycon accepts. They meet through Google Hangouts and usually toss out the diet-food and soda pitches, instead focusing on items and services that make girls feel good.

Mahdara believes Beautycon is all about encouraging girls to express themselves in a powerful and creative way. She thinks popular sites like Instagram and YouTube have a huge minority following, and traditional media often doesn’t represent them. One of the things that drew her to this industry is that online stars aren’t one-size-fits-all. Beautycon reflects that by appealing to a plethora of ethnicities, cultures and sexual orientations.

Mahdara considers herself a fan of the exciting digital era, rather than a leader of it. With the limitless popularity of makeup and hair tutorials on YouTube, Mahdara fan-girled Beautycon in a smart and stylish direction.

QUITE THE QUOTE

There are some things hairspray can’t fix, and that’s a bad attitude. I’ll leave you with this quote by Elvis’ former better half Priscilla Presley, who said:

“Inner beauty should be the most important part of improving one’s self.”

That’s all for now. Be sure to share this so more women can have a voice! Thanks for getting ready with us.

To learn more about our conversation, check us out at OnTheDotWoman.com and talk to us @OnTheDotWoman on Twitter and Instagram. We’d love to hear your voice.

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