Lysa Cooper
Always on the look out for videos pertaining to beauty, I was introduced to the documentary series called What’s Underneath by StyleLikeU. Founded by a mother and daughter team, the project aims to “strips us down to open us up” in an effort to empower people worldwide to accept and express their true selves.

In celebration of Black History month StyleLikeU will produce eight videos interviewing solely people of African descent. Their first subject is Lysa Cooper; a powerhouse celebrity stylist who tells it like it is and bares more than just her body. Her insightfulness and courage moved me to tears for a few reasons.

Watching these women reveal themselves caused me to wonder if I could be so bold, so fearless, and so vulnerable? I quickly realized the idea of being interviewed on YouTube while removing my clothing terrifies me. I have made concerted efforts to control my body over the years with diet and exercise though there are some things that are just in my DNA … Over the years, I’ve come to accept my body, thick thighs and all. Not an easy feat but I’ve had years of practice.

Lysa also shared her desire to meet a mate while colorfully expressing the frustration she experiences while working in the fashion industry. She mentions the lack of “hits” she receives on dating sites and the pain she feels from being alone. She cried and I could feel her longing. I’ve since spoken to several women who relate to Lysa’s story and feel invisible to mankind.

This got me thinking about Valentine’s Day and how many people refuse to celebrate or acknowledge it—especially if they’re not in a committed relationship. Our expectations around this dubious holiday are over blown and out of touch. It’s not about romance between two people; it’s about loving yourself enough to take a chance.

As a business owner who caters to women, my wish is that all of our customers and followers explore what it means for you to love and appreciate yourself, with or without a mate. St. Valentine’s would have it no other way.

Below are a few of my favorite Valentine’s activities:

  • Going dancing (I love house music)
  • Seeing a movie at the theater (with popcorn, of course)
  • Visiting art galleries or museums
  • Taking a long, luxurious bubble bath (using Anu Essentials products, of course)
  • Checking out a live music performance (my favorite music is jazz)
  • Having dinner with a loved one or new friend

Even when I don’t have a date, I do. Every year I plan something special, and this year I’ll be hosting a private workshop on the basics of perfumery for a group of NBA Moms. This workshop is a part of the big NBA All Star weekend in Brooklyn, NY.

However you choose to celebrate, have fun and remember to treat yourself with tender loving care.