Melati was one of the beautiful guests on my current show How Do I Look Asia, (Unfortunately it doesn't air anywhere outside of these countries..for now!) The original show, How Do I Look? was a dream series for me because it actually confirmed for me that there can be a job where I do what I believe: teach women that when you look good, you feel good. Inner confidence is the key to really living life. Melati wrote me one of the most tender, fearless letters I have ever read after her transformation. With her permission, I asked to share it because the realization she shares is exactly what I pray each night for all women worldwide. I have dreams about what our universe could be like if all women truly valued and ADORED themselves. When I say the word "adore", I don't mean let us be conceited, I mean the same way a mother "adores" her children, let us see the potential and worth in this miraculous creation- ourselves. I imagine that if women truly APPRECIATED themselves, then we would inherently love the woman beside us because we feel for what she has gone through, or would WANT to encourage what she is about to face in her story of life. And we would never compare ourselves against one another, because we would know our personal story is just as unique as the next.
Melati, thank you for coming full circle to bless my dream in sharing your experience and outlook on life. I am united with you on your new mission for other women over there on the other side of the world! Please know, you are an inspiration to me I never expected would motivate me in such an entirely new way. Thank you sis.
Read her letter below:
When I arrived in Singapore, I didn’t have any idea how it’s like, I didn’t get any hints for the make-over process, more-over, I haven’t watched the show before. So I was blind about it. On my first day of How Do I Look Asia shoots, I got butterflies on my stomach, I even skipped my lunch on that day because I was so nervous like hell.
I used to wear sneakers or wedges at least, but never for heels. It’s not that easy trying something new, especially when people tried to pull you out from your comfort zone. For me, it’s more than just wearing things, my logic said yes but my feeling doubted it. You, successfully opened my eyes that how appearance affected our lives. The most lesson that I got from you is not about which dress is good to wear, but how you can appreciate what you have and how you believe in yourself that you deserve to be beautiful, and how you brave enough to reach your dream and going to the next level by going out from your comfort zone.
When I came back to Indonesia, a lot of my friends didn’t recognize me haha, they were shocked by my transformation, even on Facebook, I posted a picture and got almost 400 likes. But the best thing is not about 400 likes on Facebook, but how the transformation made my life easier and smoother, especially on my career journey. The best part is not only about what make-up or dress I need to wear, but about the magic behind it, and it’s real! What I wear affected what comes out from myself, like it affected the way I think, the way I speak, I walk, I react, and the way I treat people. I feel more confidence and mature, and that positiveness is impacting my surrounding and bounce back to me. So I realized that fashion is not only make you beautiful, not only about what’s sticking on your skin, but the impact is too way more beautiful.
After 24 years, I realized that I was the one who limit myself to grow. I learn that my surrounding is just the reflection of me, when I respect myself and upgrade it, others will follow. It all start from myself and how I treat it.
The transformation changed me a lot to be a better person, for me it’s a blessing and a huge gift. Now I feel more confidence to hang out with my girl-friends, more confidence to meet business partners and more confidence talking to strangers. I hate it, but I have to admit that I am not a famous person like Mark Zuckerberg or Bill Gates, that means I still need to prove who I am to people that I meet, that is why appearance is important, and it’s proven! Because when they don’t know we, thing that they will judge first is my appearance, and to judge it takes no more than 30 seconds, and the judgement may build a prejudice/border that’s hard for me to cross it sometimes. But after the transformation, no more border but an open door.
I’ve realized I haven’t utilized myself more, and haven’t bring out the best of me. I was stucked on my comfort zone and not brave enough to jump over it. Now, I can’t wait to wake up every day and enjoy life! I believe that there’s a lot of opportunities out there that I worth to take.
I remember what my boss said to me that“being a woman, smart only is not enough, God has given us grace as woman that we need to be grateful with and respect it by showing its beauty”, and now I understand what she meant. Several weeks after the HDILA, as an Acquisition and Partnership Manager at GO-GLAM, I led a meeting with a potential partner, this company owns more than 100 salons throughout Indonesia and a legend in beauty industry in Indonesia. I and team prepared the presentation very well, a good team work. I even couldn’t sleep until 3am imagined what kind of questions our partner will ask, basically I was little bit panic. On the day, I decided to wear dress with blazer and heels, style my hair, and put some make-up, which my first time since I worked in GO-GLAM. I felt really confident, walked into the meeting room, and led the meeting. First impressions are important, like people said “there is no second chance for first impression regardless it’s true or not”. At night, after the meeting, my boss called me, she told me that she loved the way I presented our product to partner with very confidence, she said I know exactly what I talk and what I do. She has a really positive response with my transformation, which meant a lot to me, because she is my role model at work. A week after the meeting, I got promotion to be the Head of GO-GLAM, acting as the Product Owner, the position that I never imagined before. I also noticed very well the differences in the way my colleagues and business partners treat me, and the important thing is, it makes me happy.
I have experienced this transformation, and I realized the beginning is never easy, but you gotta trust yourself that you can do it! You are special and worth all the beauty that you have. You’re the one who know best about your dream. Never let people define you, you’re the one who will define yourself. Ask yourself how far you’ve tried your best? And you will get your own answer, because you know exactly what you need to do. For me HDILA is not only about a TV show, but it's big part of my journey, and I wanna continue this journey to empower young women in Indonesia. When I empower people I also feel empowered, coz I believe when you share happiness, it doubles. Unfortunately, there’s still some people who love judging person by their identities, such as gender, religion and race, which I experienced it by living as a minority almost 21 years, but it made me strong and be more aware with social issues. And I feel SOO good and addicted to do something for the better society.
After HDILA, I felt like I needed to continue this spirit, then I come up with 2 sustainable initiatives to empower people, especially young women. First, I would like to help women to get beauty tips and treatments with just a click away, anywhere and anytime with GO-GLAM. You may follow our Instagram @goglamindonesia . Second, In 2014 I founded a platform called “Indonesian Youth Dialogue (IYD)” to empower young people in Indonesia to be the agent of change, I did roadshows in 6 big cities in Indonesia and online efforts to promote peace through dialogue for better understading. And I wanna rebrand IYD. I wanna revamp IYD to be a platform to create peace with arts and fashion as the media. Currently I have more than 8900 likes on the IYD facebook fanpage. Feel free to visit our Facebook Page.