It was International Women's Day on the 8th of March, and it coincided with The Body Shop's 30th anniversary of operations within Malaysia. They kicked off the week, on a Monday, with a rather intimate gathering to celebrate some of the women who have personified the role perfectly.
Personally speaking, I'm not at all a fan of the majority of feminist movements because they scream instability and a complete lack of balance. Andrea Dworkin, in particular, comes to mind. If you would like to understand who single-handedly ruined the feminist movement, please Google her.
This event was nothing like any of those over the top "hear me roar" events. It was a very powerful, yet tasteful event which got the message across very effectively. The event focused on 4 Malaysian women who have dominated the public eye for years, while still turning up dressed impeccably and being extremely poised. These are definitely the women you should be looking up to. Beyond the likes of Ivy Josiah, Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir, Dato' Ambiga Sreenevasan and Zainah Anwar, it would be remiss for Datin Mina Cheah-Foong (MD of The Body Shop) to be left out of the list of amazing women who inspire us all!
The slogan for the event was "Be More Than Beautiful", and that's definitely a foundation for a fabulous campaign right there!
The event itself was held in Mid Valley, and it got off to a very interesting and interactive start with life-sized cutouts of the 4 women being honoured gracing us with their presence.
[Cut-Outs of the Special Ladies]
[Be More Than Beautiful]
[Shivani & Me]
Once everyone was settled, Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir, Ivy Josiah and Zainah Anwar made their entrance. Dato' Ambiga Sreenevasan was unable to make it as she was held up.
Things kicked off with a video showcasing the ladies' thoughts on what was important to them in their lives, and if you watch the video (below), you'll notice that the last question which was snuck in by Datin Mina hit the nail on the head. There should be more than you than your handbag!
Thereafter, Datin Mina took the stage to give us a short, but thorough introduction of the campaign.
[Datin Mina Cheah-Foong]
Now, I've never personally heard her speak, but I was so very impressed!
She's incredibly well spoken, and so evidently passionate about what she does that it's mildly infectious! I think she single-handedly got everyone in the audience very hyped up about the event!
She then presented a token of appreciation to the videographer for the video above.
[So well deserved!]
Thereafter, the ladies were called back onto stage to be Hollywood Glam by embedding their hand prints in stone!
And this was followed by a bit of a get-to-know-you exercise with a twist.
Each of them were required to introduce the person to their left, and Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir kicked things off by introducing Zainah Anwar.
[Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir on Zainah Anwar]
[Zainah Anwar on Ivy Josiah]
For the record, Zainah Anwar's introduction of Ivy Josiah had her tearing up, because it truly was extremely heartfelt and personal.
[Ivy Josiah on Dato' Ambiga Sreenevasan]
It was all too clear from the descriptions each of them gave of the other that there was plenty of history and affection between the ladies. It was a very relaxed side to them as they spoke of their encounters together, and how they met. Quite the insight!
This was followed by questions from the audience.
There was an unequivocal response that each of their mothers played a very major role in shaping them into the women they have become, and truly, most of us have mothers who put us before them every single day. You don't need to be in the public eye to be a heroine, just someone who stands for their convictions and has no qualms about keeping their moral code in tact.
One of the journalists then diverted a very heartfelt question with a completely unnecessary question about the roadshows The Body Shop would be having for the 30th anniversary, a question which Datin Mina successfully evaded by steering the conversation back to the issue at hand. (For the record, journalist, the information can be found with a simple search on Google.)
[Datin Mina explaining the rationale behind the campaign]
Datin Mina might truly be my new hero! She was extremely clear about why she was so keen on this campaign, and it's because she worries about how women are being affected by today's media in terms of being bombarded by advertisements which tell you to be unrealistically thin and beautiful. The campaign is meant to glorify the side to real women, which goes beyond looks. So yes, Be More Than Beautiful! In order to make this a community effort, there a tag on Instagram (#bemorethanbeautiful) which will allow you to share pictures which you feel personify the movement. So definitely get in on the action! There's so much more to women than how we look, or at least the should be.
The 3 guests of honour were then presented with a token of appreciation for their participation in this extremely worthwhile event.
[Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir & Me]
[Ivy Josiah & Me]
[Ivy Josiah & her stunt double]
We were then very generously treated to an amazing lunch at Amarin Thai in MegaMall.
[Mmmm Chili Padi & Sambal]
[Green Curry with Chicken]
[Kailan with Garlic]
[Tom Yam Soup]
For the record, the food was absolutely amazing!
But the generosity didn't end there, within our press kits was a voucher for 3 full sized products of our choosing from their 30 bestsellers!
I don't think they could have been more amazing about this because it ensured you got what would work for you instead of a random assortment of products which may end up lying in the corner.
[Atlas Mountain Rose EDT]
I've been eyeing this for a while now, and I was all too excited to get it. I was rather torn between this and their Cherry Blossom EDT, but my current obsession with roses won out. No regrets! Cherry Blossom, I'm coming for you!
Next up, is a product which I've heard impressive things about but never tried personally.
[Spa Wisdom Africa Ximenia & Salt Scrub]
I've tried the shower cream within this line, though, and it really was quite nice. This is extremely promising, and I'll review it soon!
[Love the packaging!]
[Smells just like the shower cream]
And finally, I picked up another bottle of Nutriganics Drops of Youth.
[Nutriganics Drops of Youth]
I'm halfway or so through the bottle I'm currently using, and I'm still loving it rather obsessively. The review can be found here, so you just know this was something I headed for first.
They had set out all 30 products in a lovely display, but my priorities appear to run along the lines of food > shopping, so it didn't occur to me how crowded the store would be post-lunch. It was quite a mad dash, but the sales staff kept their cool and did a great job in helping ease the process.
All in all, this was an absolutely lovely event which reinforced my ideology that strength of character is far more important than how you look will ever be. See you at #bemorethanbeautiful!