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The Power Of Three On Confidence & Style After Sight Loss

Terese Goran's image is described in the post.

“When you base your confidence on who you are, instead of what you accomplish, you have created something that no one or no circumstance can ever take away from you.”

~Barbara De Angelis

Today’s Woman On The Move and fashionista, Terese Goran offers her insight on the topic of confidence for those new to sight loss. Terese was featured on Bold Blind Beauty last week, you can check out the article here: Blind Beauty 77 | Terese Goran

Early Love For Fashion & Makeup

I have to confess, when I was asked to write this, I wasn’t sure how to contribute. Personal style and confidence in how we look are so important to our identity. Growing up I really struggled with the way I looked, frequently hearing comments about how my eyes looked funny. Even at the age of 50, there are still some days where I lack confidence in my appearance. When I was growing up, my parents owned and ran a ladies fashion store, and this is where I developed my love for clothes and makeup.

As someone who has been legally blind all my life, I can’t speak to knowing what it’s like to lose my vision, because I never had it to begin with. However, in my career as an Assistive Technology Specialist, I work with a lot of people who are at the beginning of their vision loss. Most of these people are trying to come to grips with their situation. They may still be overwhelmed and not realize that it is still possible to do most things, even without vision. One question that I get asked repeatedly is “How do you get dressed?”. The simple answer is one step at a time.

Easy Answer To A Simple Question

It is such a simple question and a task that many take for granted. But no matter what your vision situation is, looking and feeling confident and put together can be possible. So here’s my advice:

First things first. Be open to learning to do things in a different way than you have done them in the past. There ARE ways to do practically anything you want to, from putting on makeup to matching your clothes, but they will likely be different than how you did them before. You have to be open to learning new ways of doing things.

Secondly, take things one step at a time and be patient with yourself. Learning to do things in new ways will take time and practice. I’ve had to develop my sense of feel over the years to tell where my makeup is applied. I don’t mean by paying attention to what my fingers feel, but how my face feels as I run my fingers over it.  I have to first put it on and then look in the mirror when I’m done to see how it turned out.

When it comes to makeup and clothing, some days things come together better than others. I remember quite a few days that I thought my clothes matched and when I left the house I realized they clearly don’t. To help with this, ask people that you trust for their feedback. I’ve had a lot of help from my family. They aren’t afraid to tell me if I look like a hot mess. Moms, sisters, and nieces are good like that, but if these aren’t available, close friends or even significant others can give helpful feedback. 

Speaking more generally, I’m a big believer in the power of three. Pick your base, sweater and pants or dress, then add 3 pieces to bring the outfit together. This may be shoes, a necklace, and a jacket. It could also be a hat, belt, and earrings. It could even be your eyeglass frames, handbag, and your cane. Whether you’re in work clothes or a t-shirt and jeans the rule can still apply.

I know this world is all about “the look”.  Almost every morning I strive to put myself together. What’s more important is the confidence and belief in yourself. The truth is you can be dressed to the 9’s but if you don’t have the confidence to back it up then that look isn’t going to work. At the end of the day, I just want to be the best me I can be.   

Image Description:

In this photo of Terese, she is looking very stylish in jeans, a burgundy top, and a long taupe sweater. She paired her outfit with a gold statement necklace and brown peep toe, sandals with a block heel.

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Blind Beauty 77 | Terese Goren

Blind Beauty 77 | Terese Goren

Growing up I really struggled with the way I looked, frequently hearing comments about how my eyes looked funny.  Even at the age of 50, there are still some days where I lack confidence in my appearance.

Terese Goran

I’m so excited to introduce you to today’s Blind Beauty, Terese Goren who will also be our featured Woman On The Move next week. I met Terese earlier this summer at Wichita State University (WSU) campus, host to the week-long Envision 2019 Level Up Conference

As a lover of technology, I was naturally drawn to Terese when I sat in on one of her courses during the conference. She’s a brilliant Assistive Technology Specialist whos vibrant personality brightens any room. Later in the week, I got to know a little more about her during a semi-formal networking event as we were seated together during the dinner. I must admit I was thrilled to be seated with Terese as I was dying to pick her brain on cell phone technology as it relates to accessibility.

A fashionista at heart, when our conversation turned to fashion I needed to know more about this beautiful woman. We found we shared a passion for beauty and addressing some of the stereotypes where beauty and blindness intertwine. Terese’s love for fashion is evident in how she presents herself to the world. Next week you’ll get to hear her beauty advice to those who are new to sight loss. At the heart of Bold Blind Beauty is the message of empowerment and confidence and I really like what Terese has to say about this topic:

“I know this world is all about “the look”. Almost every morning I strive to put myself together.  What’s more important is the confidence and belief in yourself. The truth is you can be dressed to the 9’s but if you don’t have the confidence to back it up then that look isn’t going to work.”

Terese Goren

Terese, thank you for allowing me to shine the spotlight on you. You are a Bold Blind Beauty!

Featured Image Description:

The image is a faux fashion magazine cover titled Blind Beauty. Terese’s photo on the cover shows her looking very stylish in jeans, a burgundy top, and a long taupe sweater. She paired her outfit with a gold statement necklace and brown peep toe, sandals with a block heel.

Blocks of text superimposed on Terese’s photo are: “Bold–She Keeps Pressing Onward, Blind–She Has Deeper Insight, Beautiful–She Sees To The Heart Of Others.” “Real Beauty Transcends Barriers.” “Makeup Trends for 2019–How To Maintain A Flawless Look”

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Trust Is Key To Unlocking Confidence & Independence

Trust Is Key To Unlocking Confidence & Independence featured image description is in the body of the post.

Trust Is Key To Unlocking Confidence & Independence

My other goal is to teach the community that people with visual impairments are just anyone else. They just use additional tools to access the world. This access should be universal and a normal part of day-to-day life.

~Michele Danilowicz
1. Michele Danilowicz image description is in the body of the post
#1. Michele Danilowicz

I am a Michigan-based Teacher for the Visually Impaired (TVI) and a Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist (COMS). My undergraduate degree is in teaching elementary and special education with a focus on visual impairments. In addition, I have a masters degree in Specific Learning Disabilities and Orientation and Mobility for Children. For 14 years I’ve taught students aged 3-26 years old.

My passion is teaching students to help them gain confidence and independence so they are successful adults. I work with students on accessing and using the technology and tools they need to live independently after they age-out of the system.

Oftentimes, students with visual impairments are led to believe they can’t be successful, independent adults. So the most important part of my job is building trust with them. This enables them to believe me when I tell them that they can do anything.

How Trust Delivers Results

I had an elementary student who lacked confidence and hesitated while crossing streets. His parents were fearful and did not want him crossing a street on his own either. He was a fourth grader and at this time was not independently doing what his peers were. Together we went out weekly rain, snow or shine to work, navigate the neighborhoods, and cross intersections. So he was able to walk to friends houses to play and hang out.

I never pushed him if he ever felt uncomfortable to cross. We would cross the street when he built up his confidence. He achieved all his goals that year and crossed at stop signs and even small, lighted intersections. Once he began, he advanced so quickly after he gained confidence and is now unstoppable.

Building trust with parents is crucial also. So after he mastered some of these skills, I invited his parents to a lesson. His parent’s witnessed how confidently their son now crosses intersections, independently and safely. Seeing him progress was so rewarding!

The Long-Lasting Effects Of Trust

Recently, a former student contacted me to tell me she was accepted to a dual masters program. This student and I worked together ten years earlier. I was beyond excited to hear that she is starting a master degree!

She has been living independently since starting her undergraduate degree. Now she is moving across the state by herself to start and complete her master’s program. This student also made a huge transition in her life and is transgender. I was so grateful to hear from her and learn that she trusted me enough to share with me, her transition. The trust and confidence that she has built is amazing!

Passion & Pursuit of Personal & Professional Goals

2. Two women presenting image description is in the body of the post.
2. Two women presenting

My other goal is to teach the community that people with visual impairments are just anyone else. They just use additional tools to access the world. This access should be universal and a normal part of day-to-day life. Part of my job is to teach awareness in local schools about the tools people use who are visually impaired. I also spread this awareness to the public about what helpful accommodations they can use. Along with how to help (or not help) people in the community.

Recently, I was teaching an accessibility workshop to third graders. One of the students stopped me before I walked into the classroom. She said she knew someone who was blind and felt sorry for them. My immediate response was there is no reason to feel sorry for someone who is visually impaired or blind. They are people just like you or me they just access the environment differently. I told her how I knew many successful people doing amazing things. They read by using braille and travel the community and even the world, independently with a cane. The cane helps them to “see” where they are going.

I began the presentation and thanked the students for coming to hear about how everyone can be independent and successful. Everyone just approaches it differently. This is one of the most important parts of my job, educating the public on how and when to help. To not pity visually impaired or blind people, but to appreciate how they navigate the world with the tools at their disposal. When the average person realizes how independent the VI community members are, it gives them a whole new level of respect. Respect is most important, not pity.

3. Table of materials image description is in the body of the post
3. Table of materials

Featured Image Description:

A woman talking while holding up a white cane looking off camera. There are backs of participant’s heads watching the woman present about white cane safety.

Collage Image Descriptions:

  1. Pedestrian Walk Sign: Woman (O&M instructor) is holding a folded white cane, smiling looking off camera, standing at a detectable warning next to a pedestrian walk sign.
  2. Bus Stop Shelter: Woman (O&M instructor) smiling at camera holding a folded white cane standing next to a bus stop shelter.
  3. A city bus. 
  4. Boarding Bus: The back of a woman (O&M instructor) walking onto a city bus. 

Additional Image Descriptions:

  1. Close up of Michele Danilowicz with long brown hair in her 30s smiling at the camera. 
  2. Two women presenting on cortical visual impairments. The power point presentation behind them says: “Tips for Providing Interventions cont.” One presenter is looking at the camera and smiling. The other presenter is looking at the audience holding up a red Elmo stuffed animal and a red and yellow stuffed monster. They are both standing behind a table full of red and yellow materials and toys. 
  3. Table with materials scattered across, a light up magnifier, dome magnifier, Braille writer, telescope, two vision simulation goggles, Braille book, large print book, large Braille cell drawn on paper with the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 next to the dots and worksheets to learn Braille for print readers. 

Connecting With Michele:

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Blind Beauty 71 | Amy Wilson

Blind Beauty 71 Amy Wilson featured image description is in the body of the post.

Blind Beauty 71 | Amy Wilson

Your confidence can affect so many different aspects of your life. From getting that amazing job to finding the person of your dreams. Or worse, staying with someone who doesn’t deserve you because you think you can’t do better.

~Amy Wilson, Mary Kay Beauty Consultant

Who Cares How I Look?

Time after time people say to me, “who cares if I wear makeup or use skin care products?”  Well, I’m going to share something with you, a lot of people do.

It’s one thing to be confident in yourself, I get that, and it can go along way. However, there is something to be said for a person who is well put together. Whether it’s just well taken care of skin or a full-face of makeup. It matters.

Here Is Why…..

The First Reason:

Whether you like it or not people judge. Even those of us who are totally blind or have low vision judge people. Everyone judges, it’s an unfortunate fact of life.

You get judged by the person at the checkout at Wall-Mart, people who drive past you, co-workers, fellow students and many more. People want to look at things that are enjoyable. They want to smell pleasant things and they want to interact with people who make them feel good.

Now you are probably thinking how the heck does this have anything to do with makeup, lady? Here it is, when you take care of your skin and it’s healthy looking and feeling, that builds your confidence. Even if you don’t feel it right away it does. When you receive a compliment about your glowing skin, you will for sure feel it then.

When you add some makeup, even if it’s Basic Jane looks you will feel more confident.

The Second Reason:

You lack confidence in yourself or your ability to take care of your skin or apply makeup.

Your confidence can affect so many different aspects of your life. From getting that amazing job to finding the person of your dreams. Or worse, staying with someone who doesn’t deserve you because you think you can’t do better. I have been there myself. I can’t count how many relationships I stayed in because I thought so little of myself. Man, that was hard to write, but its the truth.

Don’t settle in your life when you’re unhappy. Do something different. And yes it will scare the crap out of you. But life happens outside your comfort zone. I was reminded of that fact just today. I did something that would move my Mary Kay business forward big time and it scared the hell out of me. That told me I needed to do it.

If you lack confidence putting on makeup―Take A Class!!!! There are several different videos and in-person classes you can watch or attend in-person. I do live videos and Zoom video classes about two or three times a week where you can learn and ask questions right away. Since I haven’t been able to use a mirror for years, I do ALL my makeup with NO mirror. So you can learn from someone who understands your struggle.

The Third Reason

You should care. Care about yourself, your appearance and how people view you.

Care about yourself above everything else cuz no one will take care of you but you. You set the standard of how you want to be treated. It took me many years to learn this lesson. I let people treat me how they wanted to and then I was surprised when I felt like crap. I just wanted people to be friends with me, after all, I was that poor blind girl so friends were limited. Note, I said was?

Once I began caring about myself and how others treated me, my life changed. At first, it was hard. Not all those people who took advantage of me were around but then something happened. I found people who treated me with respect. It takes adjustment but is it so worth it.

Once you begin practicing caring for yourself then you want to up your game on your appearance. Because ultimately you feel the need to look as great as you feel.

Now don’t go thinking I’m telling you to go from zero to a hundred on the makeup thing. That’s too much work, lol. What I am saying is to start small.

Girl wash your face, put on some foundation and either lipstick or cream eye shadow. This is all I did for years. You have to start somewhere.

Header

Now going back to caring how people view you. I’m guessing like most people on the planet there’s something you want and you probably can’t do it alone? Yup, here’s the thing:

  • you can’t get that job,
  • land that hot guy,
  • start your own business
  • or just make some friends without people looking at you and your appearance.

The whole world is not blind. We don’t live in that kind of a world, but if it was it would be an interesting place. Anyway back on topic, lol.

Now for me, my appearance is a massive part of my job. No one wants to buy beauty products from someone who wears sweatpants, never wears makeup or has bad skin. Not that I don’t wear sweatpants when I’m at home—like all the time, lol. When I leave my house though I AM my business.

Not only am I my business but I am a representative for our blind community. That’s right you represent your fellow community. If you’re not blind I promise there is another community you represent. So represent it strong and with pride. Let’s show the world our #BlindPeoplePossiabilities.

I truly hope this article is helpful to you. One of my biggest missions in life is to build confidence and courage in others.

My Mary Kay is more than just products. It’s about allowing people to find themselves, grow and spread across the world like beautiful Wildflowers. If you’re interested in getting to know more about me, you can find me on Facebook under Amy Wilson. You can also join my Facebook group called Wilson’s Wildflowers to check out FREE classes and videos.

Connecting With Amy:

Blind Beauty 71 | Amy Wilson Featured Image Description:

Featured image is a faux fashion magazine cover titled Blind Beauty. Amy’s image on the cover is black & white.
She is smiling in this photo as a first-time attendee at the 2018 Mary Kay Seminar. Her sunglasses are on top of her head and she has a strand of pearls around her neck. Blocks of text superimposed on Amy’s photo say: “Bold–She Keeps Pressing Onward, Blind–She Has Deeper Insight, Beautiful–She Sees To The Heart Of Others.” “Real Beauty Transcends Barriers.” “Makeup Trends for 2019–How To Maintain A Flawless Look”