JOIN THE LIST and get $10 OFF | WIN $50 |
JOIN THE LIST and get $10 OFF | WIN $50

Beauty Icons

Icons; we can’t help but to gravitate towards them. In this series, Jodie Patterson sits and chats with some of the most beautiful, smart and powerful people in pop culture to understand just what makes them so intoxicating.
Yaya DaCosta Alafia has an aura so strong that it’s quite possible the entire world is orbiting around her.

This actress, mother and wife commands the attention of a veteran yet has the allure of a vixen. How does she do it? Maybe it’s her flawless skin and beautiful hair. Maybe her uniqueness makes us believe in our own awesomeness. However you call it, she’s a woman’s woman - someone who assures us that it’s possible to be beautiful and powerful, sexy and smart all in the same moment.

Yaya converses in English, Portuguese, French, Spanish and dabbles in Japanese Bambara and KiSwahili. She graduated from Brown University and boasts impressive modeling gigs with Sephor, Target and Garnier Fructis – among others. She has a new baby boy and an indi-film maker husband. I mean, come on!! She is that complete woman that we all can respect and even want to emulate. Her acting career spans over television, film and theater - performing side by side with such mavens as Oprah Winfrey and Forest Whitaker in The Butler and Mark Ruffalo in The Kids Are All Right.

What’s particularly beautiful about Yaya is her humility; it seems part of her DNA. Whenever I’ve been around her, she is calm, smiling and thoughtful. When the world is a mess and bad things are happening all around us, she projects integrity and care. This, to me, is her source of beauty. It’s as though she radiates from a place of absolute goodness. And then there’s that look – it’s as though she knows the secret to life. So I asked Yaya; “What’s behind that smile? We all know thoughts are energy, and your energy is so beautiful. What are you thinking about that makes you so beautiful? How do you project such a gorgeous spirit?”

Now I now this is an odd question and a bit metaphysical…but I figured with Yaya, it has to be more than just a great concealer. It’s obvious, she’s other-worldly. Here’s what she had to say:

“Happiness is the bomb cosmetic! When I'm smiling, sometimes I'm giving thanks for all the things I have, rather than worrying about the things I don't. Or I'm remembering how much I've grown in the past decade, year, or even a day - instead of beating myself up about my shortcomings. I'm replaying some silly joke my younger brother told me, or basking in the light of my older brother as he looks upon me from the spirit-world. I try to make my mood uplifting and peaceful then watch the world around me reflect that mood.

Women have been conditioned to dislike ourselves, to compete with each other and ignore the beauty in other women. We often feel we ourselves are not enough. This psychology of ‘lack’ is a source of unhappiness. Always remember, joy and peace actually look good on us! Just like we choose whether or not to where mascara, we can choose happiness.

We can simply be joyful, inspire those around us to be more joyful, and then let the domino effect begin!

The answer is JOY.”


 2013/11 - Bethann Hardison