Breaking Barriers With 5 Bold Blind Beauty Contributors
- Editor’s Note
- YouTube Video
- Melody Goodspeed
- Cheryl Minnette
- Alicia Connor
- Gabby Mendonca
- Sylvia Stinson-Perez
- Supporting Bold Blind Beauty On A.I.R.
- Dana’s Beauty Byte
- Bangs, Curls & A Henna Crown
- Image Descriptions
“Our stories have the power to break down barriers.”
At Bold Blind Beauty breaking barriers is more than a philosophy it’s embedded in everything we do. We are a team of people who rely on each other and believe in uplifting one another. Everything we do is to further our mission of changing the way we perceive one another.
In today’s episode of Bold Blind Beauty On A.I.R. we go behind the scenes at Bold Blind Beauty to showcase a few of our brilliant content creators. Among our featured guests, you’ll hear from today are Melody Goodspeed, Cheryl Minnette, Alicia Connor, Gabby Mendonca, and Sylvia Stinson-Perez. Then Dana Hinnant will share her monthly Beauty Byte and afterward, she will join Nasreen, Sylvia, and me for a brief discussion about beauty.
During our beauty discussion, I make a lighthearted comment about baldness as it refers specifically to me (Stephanae) and my bald head. My intention is not to offend anyone who may be living with and/or sensitive to their baldness.
We’ve provided the podcast episode in YouTube format along with its transcript below the video. Enjoy!
Steph: Welcome back to another edition of Bold Blind Beauty On A.I.R. Podcast, the show that’s clearing the air for more A.I.R. (access, inclusion, and representation). I’m Stephanae McCoy, and with me are my co-hosts
Nasreen: I’m Nasreen Bhutta,
Sylvia: and Sylvia Stinson-Perez.
Steph: Continuing with our focus on access for 2022, I want to share one of my favorite quotes on rights. “Equal rights for others does not mean your rights for you it’s not pie.” ~Unknown.
Basic human rights begin with the right to exist to be seen. For people with disabilities, even being seen is something we have to fight for. It’s incomprehensible that in 2022, there are still people who believe that people with disabilities are less valuable than those without disabilities.
Bold Blind Beauty believes in the value of all people. As a matter of fact, our main resources are our people, both internal and external. Bold Blind Beauty wouldn’t be where it is today without the kindness and generosity of people who believe in our mission.
We have five internal teams, consisting of our advisory board, ambassadors, business development, contributors, and interns. All of these people freely share their time and talents with Bold Blind Beauty. It’s because of them, that we’ve been able to develop projects like our Virtual Work Experience Program, and our InSIGHT Through Inclusion speaker series.
Since being seen through empowering people on the blindness spectrum, is one of the goals of Bold Blind Beauty in today’s podcast episode, you will meet a few of our contributors. By the way, this team of brilliant women created the InSIGHT Through Inclusion speaker series.
With a mission as big and broad as Bold Blind Beauty’s it requires passion and dedication, qualities that all of our volunteers possess. Externally we have shared hundreds of stories of people across the blindness spectrum who are living and thriving with blindness. Going forward, we will give you, our listeners, access to the behind-the-scenes stories of the people who sustain Bold Blind Beauty. Empowering others happens when we continually uplift and showcase the amazing people on the Bold Blind Beauty platform.
Unfortunately, not all of our contributors were able to record a personal message. However, their names will be in our show notes. After our featured guests, our Beauty Editor Dana Hinnant will share her monthly Beauty Byte. Then, Sylvia, Nasreen, Dana, and I will have a discussion about the Beauty Byte. But first, let’s meet some of our contributors. Melody Goodspeed, aka the voice of the Abby, Bold Blind Beauty’s brand icon, will kick things off.
Melody Goodspeed: Hi, this is Melody Goodspeed, and I am in Richmond, Virginia. I would say my major theme, which is to put out a sense of togetherness and advocacy. But also really driving home the point that we are never going to reach our goals as humans if we do not look at each other, for who we are, which is real people. And at the end of the day, I want us to think in a space of curiosity, and also removing fear because I believe fear is one of the biggest barriers to success. When we’re seen as equals then inclusion is fully integrated.
My major goal with being a content creator really is just being able to do self-reflection and also sharing. Because it’s so important that we share with one another and that we lift one another up and we advocate. And another thing that’s so important to me actually is the most important thing to me is to be completely vulnerable. Because I remember when I first became blind reading things that people had done. And it wasn’t their success stories that drove me it was the vulnerable moments that drove me to think, ‘you know, there are going to be struggles and knowing that there’s going to be struggles but then also knowing that there’s success, and there’s fulfillment behind those struggles.’
But I also have a unique gift, and I am just as equal to anyone else to explore that possibility. So for us being vulnerable is such a power and none of us look at it that way. Sometimes, you know, we think, oh, gosh, I don’t want to say that I don’t might hurt, you know, I don’t want them to think differently. No, no, that’s not it at all being vulnerable is someone else’s medicine, it’s someone else’s light in a dark spot, it’s someone else’s air to breathe. So I am all about taking on the vulnerability and using it for good.
I love writing as Abby. First, you know, seeing all the different facets, and I think portraying that we are all we have different facets of who we are, and being able to see each one of those facets of our lives. So if it’s hey one day, I’m feeling really fashionable, I want to be able to write about that. You know, introducing what colors are thinking about them. And even if they’re silly, and they’re sassy, like that’s a part of me, too. I like to be silly and sassy.
But there’s also the very serious part of me, that wants to share in a comfortable way. So that someone that may not necessarily understand blindness, or understand how a person was blind even would want to think about fashion or something out there, it’s to be able to say, hey, you know, we really do care. And that fashion comes in so many different forms. It’s not just about hair and makeup, you know, you and I love writing about that stuff.
But it’s looking at it and saying what, what’s in my heart, what’s in the soul. And I think, being Abby, portraying her and being, you know, that vulnerable person that gets out there and goes do the person that travel or that person that just wants to sit and say, why why do things have to be this way, when they’re not going so well?
And really to bring about awareness is another one that really speaks fashion to me, I know, no one would ever think that for fashion but for me, it does. Because it’s, it’s a part of who we are. And it’s like putting on that mental suit, you know, like that thing that always just what, we all have something that we really just make us our authentic selves, whether if it’s sweatpants, or if it’s a pair of socks, or if it’s a hair clip, or anything, when we have it, we just sort of feel a little bit better, like we’re engaged with our own selves.
And I think when I was writing, it was such a vast content would definitely be the power of however I’m feeling that day, or message that I want to get across. And most importantly, is seeing what people are posting about in the group. And what they’re talking about. Because I want to address those issues as well, in a way that everybody knows, just so you know, you’re not alone, or you have the access to what it is you want to be, which is great.
And lastly is just lifting up other individuals, again, so important, because when we lift one another up, we’re gonna elevate ourselves too.
I have many favorite quotes. The one that’s really resonating with me right now is Helen Keller, you know, life is a daring adventure or it’s nothing. And it’s so true. And I don’t have the whole quote of that memorized in the first part of it she’s talking about fear. Seeing that fear that it’s something that we don’t need to be living in, you have to have faith in your abilities, and you have to live with faith and hope. And that’s kind of a motto that I go with, I have faith that I will figure it out even when I’m scared. And yes, everybody has fear we all do. But for me, I kind of renamed it to its forecasting events that are not real. And so many fears that we have, are literally just that.
And when I think about Helen Keller saying life is a daring adventure or nothing, that she’s removing an obscene amount of fear and trudging forward. So we have a faith in ourselves and the hope for tomorrow. And that’s really the motto of where I live with a kind heart, an open heart, but a strong heart. And also knowing when things are wrong, that we can make them right. And we have the ability to do that. And that’s really what I think about my motto of life is that it is a daring adventure and with daring comes ups and downs. But we’re better together.
I can be reached on LinkedIn at Melody Goodspeed, also on Facebook, and also I’m accessible through the American Foundation for the Blind. My email address and contact information is up on our website which is ‘a’ as in apple ‘f’ as in Frank ‘b’ as in boy.org. And I would love the opportunity to connect with anyone I love people’s stories. I love people’s dreams. I love listening to them. And I like connecting them with people that can make those happen if I can, and it’s a real joy to me, so please I would love it.
Cheryl Minnette: Greetings everyone, I am Cheryl Minnette your vision loss boss located in the lovely garden state of New Jersey, in the USA.
In an effort to narrow the gap as I see it between the sighted and visually impaired communities, the purpose of my articles and Bold Blind Beauty magazine is to bring awareness and insights to the sighted community by highlighting challenges that we have on a day to day basis.
A painter uses their palette to create a picture that draws you in with your eyes. As a writer, I use words. I string them together like a strand of pearls, drawing you into an experience with your mind’s eye. My goal when writing these articles is for the readers to walk away with a heightened sense of consciousness, awareness, and sensitivity.
My favorite article is titled Tell Them So They’ll Know. As a content creator for Bold Blind Beauty. My perspective comes by way of transition from sighted to sight lost. It appeared as though I was living in an altered state of my reality. Now moving differently in the world, I wondered if others could see the world through my eyes would it cause a conscious level of change and sensitivity to occur? Yes, indeed I do.
“You may not control all the events that happened to you but you can decide not to be reduced by them.” Quote by Maya Angelou from Letter To My Daughter.
You can email all questions and comments to me Cheryl Minnette at CherylSpeaksLife@gmail.com. That’s c-h-e-r-y-l. And do follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn @CherylMinnette that’s c-h-e-r-y-l m-i-n-n-e-t-t-e. Thank you.
Alicia Connor: I’m Alicia Connor and I’m a dietitian and chef. I live in San Francisco, California.
The purpose behind my writing blogs and being a content contributor for the Bold Blind Beauty is, one, I’m legally blind. And I like to share my story of vision loss as well as health and meal planning information to help you and anyone simplify your life. These blogs are not just for folks who have vision loss, but for anyone. And so don’t feel like you’re not included.
I write articles, like how to be a goal-getter and not just a goal list writer, then about meal planning. And I really want to help people simplify their lives. So I am a big fan of if you read like a simple strategy that just saves you time in the kitchen, then that could be a piece of gold today.
I don’t necessarily have favorite posts that I’ve written, I just really like to share golden nuggets to help people simplify their life. And this coming month, April, I’m writing an article about energy suck assessment. So this is the idea of assessing our lives, the things that are taking our energy unnecessarily. This could be turning around the rug that you trip on because the corner is turned up. Or just getting rid of, you know, books and projects that you’re not going to read or physically donating items to Goodwill. Anywhere we can simplify our lives is really helpful so we can clear the path and focus on our health.
One of my favorite quotes and there’s many and so it’s hard to say like a favorite. But right now one of my favorite quotes is by Steve Jobs, he says something to the effect of we can always put the dots together looking back, but we can’t put the dots together in the future. You must believe and trust that the dots will connect in the future. So we must believe that things will work out. I just love that quote.
You can check me out on YouTube at Quick and Delish by Alicia Connor, or clicking Delish by Alicia Connor on Facebook. And I have a free open to the public Facebook group there. Also on Instagram at Quick, underscore Delish, and check out my website, Alicia@AliciaConnor.com for my meal planning program, which will help you save time in the kitchen and connect with me, I’d love to hear from you.
Gabby Mendonca: Hi, my name is Gabby Mendonca and I am a recent graduate from St. Francis College.
My major goal for being a content creator for Bold Blind Beauty is that I want to be able to inspire people. And I also want to share the knowledge that I have gained through what I have written for Bold Blind Beauty.
I would say that the theme of my blogs for Bold Blind Beauty is mainly for self-care, and mental health, because those are the topics that are really important to me. And I just hope that by me writing these posts, someone out there is, you know, learning how to take better care of themselves and to treat themselves with more kindness.
I would say that my favorite post that I have written so far for Bold Blind Beauty is where I talked about finding courage. That was a recent one that I put up. And I liked this one because especially with the pandemic and just everything else going on in the world, it was something that I knew that everybody was probably feeling a little discouraged about things that they were trying to accomplish.
A favorite quote of mine would be “I may have lost my sight, but I never lost my vision.” And I found that when I was scrolling on the internet one day actually I stumbled upon that when I was looking at quotes.
You can find me on YouTube. My YouTube channel is Gabby Mendonca. I’m also on Instagram @g.donza underscore, feel free to connect with me. Thank you.
Sylvia: Hi, I’m Sylvia Stinson-Perez, one of your co-hosts for the Bold Blind Beauty On A.I.R. But I’m also a contributor for Bold Blind Beauty.
I do a monthly blog. And my major purpose or theme is to inspire people to live more confidently or boldly to help those on their vision loss journey, develop more hope, confidence, and independence, and to inspire all of our readers to appreciate the beauty of their journey.
My favorite post as a Bold Blind Beauty contributor was probably my first blog post, which was called Auditioning for Bold Blind Beauty. I think the reason that this was my favorite is because I’ve come to recognize that we’re all on this journey to find the beauty, the boldness within ourselves.
My favorite quote and anyone who reads my blog posts will know that I am all about quotes because they’re always full of quotes. But my favorite quote would have to be the Helen Keller quote that says “the most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or touched but are felt with the heart.” And we’re really all on a Heart Journey to find our courage, our confidence, our beauty.
To connect with me I am on Facebook, and it’s just Sylvia Stinson-Perez s-t-i-n-s-o-n Perez p-e-r-e-z. I look forward to having you as a friend.
Supporting Bold Blind Beauty On A.I.R.
Steph: At boldblindbeauty.com we sell a message of empowerment, acceptance, and hope. Our mission is to improve humanity by changing the way we perceive one another. When you shop our online store, you support our mission and projects such as this podcast. We are thrilled to introduce our three lines of merch beginning with Bold Blind Beauty On A.I.R., Abby Swag, and BLIND-Bold Leaders Illuminating New Directions. To check out our latest merch and for full product details please visit boldblindbeauty.com.
Dana’s Beauty Byte
Dana Hinnant: Oh hair it is! For those of us who wear our hair curly, wavy, and coily this is what is trending, wash and go. What is the wash and go? Wash and go is shampoo, a leave-in conditioner, and one styling product to bring out your natural curls.
Two, center parts, part down the middle that’s trending with curly hair girls. And shag baby, the shag, curly shag, and we can also wear bangs.
The 90s are back, channel your favorite 90s sitcom show with chunky highlights. Great for this summer and spring season. Check it out.
Move over curtain bangs, it’s time to bang it out with bottleneck bangs. What are bottleneck bangs you say? This is the 70s inspired choppy face-framing bangs that are easier to style than blunt bangs, give it a shot.
Another twist on bangs and a must-have in your beauty bag is the original wet brush. No matter if your hair is curly, straight, multi-textured, wet, or dry. This is definitely a must-have and makes detangling very easy. So that is your April Bold Blind Beauty Byte.
Bangs, Curls & A Henna Crown
Nasreen: Bottleneck bangs? Every time Dana you bring us something fascinating and fun. And I’m not even sure if I could sport that.
Dana Hinnant: Um, you probably could think of curtain bangs, the bangs when I brought last summer instead of it being straight across your brows, it’s more flexible. You can do it like parts, like a side part, it’s layered. So instead of that straight blunt thing, it’s choppy, so it gives it a little texture. So I think you could wear it, it might be easier for people to wear that versus a curtain bang.
Sylvia: So I’m gonna have to admit that when I heard you say that, I thought of how I have very long bangs. And sometimes when I can’t get them to do exactly what I want, I just pull out my little scissor. So I feel like now I feel like I have permission to pull out my little scissor and do a little chip chop on my own bangs.
And I have that curly hair and so I love the whole wash and go because if I do wash and go, it’s gonna be fairly curly, not as curly as I want it to be. But I can have very you know that curly look, or that wavy look, or very straight depending upon how I style it. But definitely when it’s the wash and go, it’s the curl. So I love that that that’s back in because it’s easy.
Dana: It really is because I do a lot of that myself. Even when I wear my hair in a bun I still use a gel to bring out my curls and waves and when it’s slicked back. So even when my hair was short, I would do a curl cream, slick it back, and my natural waves and curls would come into play.
And even over the summer when my hair since I’ve grown my hair out, I did a wash and go my stylist did it. And oh my gosh, she made my curls look amazing. And it was so full. And it just was really cool looking. So it’s kind of an easy way to go. You’re not doing a whole lot of manipulation on the hair. You’re just enhancing your natural curls.
Sylvia: And I like the whole highlight thing too that big chunky highlights are back. I love I’m gonna just admit that I like to color my hair. Okay, it’s probably that I must color my hair or I have that gray thing coming on. And so I’m already contemplating, what am I going to do for the summer? So some highlights are on the way.
Dana: Yep. Cool thing to try out. Steph. Got any comments, or thoughts?
Steph: Yeah, I was gonna ask a question. So how does one who has a bald head do a wash and wear? Would that just be a shampoo and condition? Or I mean, and then what would your recommendation be for someone with a bald head to blow out their bangs? Just kind of wondering about that.
Dana: You know Steph you wear your hair, very close cut. [cross talk] Because you wear your hair close cut, I know you make sure that your scalp, scalp is very… Your scalp is very important. So I know that you rock wigs a lot of the times, but just make sure that your scalp is very clean. Um, you know, it’s hydrated, it’s still skin.
So just because there’s no hair up there, you still have to take care of the skin on your scalp. So you know, just make sure you clean it. Clean it well. And make sure that you when you’re not in wigs, just like even if you’re in a house, just don’t put a wig on. Don’t cover it just so we can get your scalp can breathe. So
Sylvia: Steph do you have an amazing curly, curly wig with some highlights in it? Because if not, I’m feeling like you need to get one.
Steph: That’s a good question. And I’ve actually been trying to not look for a curly one, I actually wanted an afro. And the reason being last year at the 60s party, I had a pretend one. I call it pretend because I bought one on Amazon. But it was big. And it really looked good. And I actually got compliments on it. And it got me thinking, Wow, maybe I should try it. I love it. But you know, I’ve had the hardest time trying to find one, so I’m going to try to do that sometime this summer.
But one of the things I really want to do for this summer is and Dana to your point, I do go around without anything on my head while I’m when I’m at home most of the time. But I do want to go outside that way too. So one of the things I’ve been wanting to do for the past few years, and I haven’t done it, but I’m determined to do it this year. I want a henna crown. And I want to you know wear it very confidently and just what’s the word I’m searching for? You know, I just want it on display because I think we don’t talk enough about beauty as it relates to women who don’t have hair for whatever reason.
Sylvia: Can you tell us what that is the henna crown?
Steph: Sure you might have heard of henna tattoos?
Sylvia: Tattoos? Yeah.
Steph: Oh, they’re beautiful. The designs are gorgeous. And you’ll see them like on hands and on arms. And it’s typically, correct me if I’m wrong, Dana, I can’t remember the culture, but maybe Indian culture? [crosstalk] But the person who does it I mean, it is an art. It’s definitely an art. And the crowns are just these really intricate designs done on a totally bare scalp. And they’re just gorgeous.
Nasreen: Oh that is so cool, Steph. Yeah, they do them on the hands a lot. And then over time they do fade and depending on how deep like how deep the color of the henna is, and how sort of the chemicals in your scalp or the skin. If it’s your scalp or your hand or whatever kind of reaction to the henna composition, can also determine how dark it is.
Some people also put a little bit of once they’re done washing off the hand, because henna will dry and as it dries it flakes. But when that’s done, what happens is you’re left with this beautiful design. And like I said, depending on the chemicals in your skin, and the henna composition, determines the color of the outcome of the henna. So it could be dark, it could be like a light crimson, it could be dark to light.
And then sometimes people to kind of just preserve it the little bit of oil or baby oil or maybe a little bit of olive oil or something just to kind of seal in the henna. And that is supposed to kind of like make your color last longer.
Steph: Thanks, Nasreen. This has been an interesting discussion, and I hope we can continue it in an upcoming episode. For now, we’d like to express our gratitude to all of our Bold Blind Beauty contributors. We see you, we appreciate you, and we love you. Thank you for all you do to expand the mission of Bold Blind Beauty. To connect with today’s featured guests please refer to the show notes for their contact information.
Nasreen: Thank you for listening to this episode of bold blind beauty on air. Please subscribe and if you enjoy this show, please do recommend it to your friends and family. Thanks for listening everyone.
Like what you’ve read and want to chat about it? Join us in the Bold Blind Beauty Facebook group.
- Header – A team of skydivers with parachutes on their backs floating high above the ground in a circular formation joined together by holding wrists and legs.
- Melody Goodspeed – Melody Goodspeed is a white woman posing in a CABI Jacket. The Citizen Jacket looks like it is the Pantone color Saffron (a gold color). The jacket has big pockets at the waist and what looks like big brass buttons.
- Cheryl Minnette – Cheryl is an attractive light brown skinned black woman wearing a black v-neck top with a strand of pearls around her neck. Her dark shoulder length hair is styled in loose curls.
- Alicia Connor – Alicia a pretty white woman is a brunette with dark wavy shoulder-length hair wearing a denim jacket as she leans on a kitchen counter with assorted veggies in front of her.
- Gabby Mendonca – Gabby is a fair skinned woman of color with long dark hair. She’s sitting outside on a wall wearing sunglasses, shorts and a white tee. Behind her is a wall of green trees.
- Sylvia Stinson-Perez – Sylvia, a white woman is standing in front of a building where she previously worked with her white cane. She’s wearing a light blue dress with long sleeves and her long auburn hair is loose.
- Several BLIND (Bold Leaders Illuminating New Directions) white drawstring bags are sitting on my dining table.
- A woman with her back to the camera is shampooing her hair in the shower.
- A closeup of a henna design.