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Transforming Inner Power into Radiant Beauty
By Candis Cayne
With Katina Z. Jones
Formats and Prices
- Trade Paperback $22.99 $29.99 CAD
- ebook $12.99 $16.99 CAD
- Audiobook Download (Unabridged)
This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around June 20, 2017. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.
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Engagingly written, highly visual, and filled with “Glam on the Go” tips and exclusive interviews with Candis’s team of “radiance experts,” the book will cover everything from new definitions of womanhood and beauty (with elements of Candis’s own journey woven in) to hands-on makeup and style tips aimed at enhancing all of a woman’s possibilities.
Hi Gorgeous! opens with a foreword by Candis’s best friend, former Olympian and transgender star Caitlyn Jenner. This beautiful, inspiring, and informative book will empower women on their own path and help them convey their radiance to the world.
This book is dedicated to my mother, Patricia; my father, Gary; and my brother, Dylan, who encouraged me to thrive as my authentic self for my entire life. To my friends and family, who have been my joy and happiness. T, C, C, A, J, M, L, D, J, M, R, A, and J, I love you all! And, finally, to everyone who lives and inspires all in beauty.
To Harriet, the real beauty expert on my family tree.
Beauty is a funny thing. In Hollywood, we use the word a lot: this beautiful actress, her beautiful dress, his beautiful eyes. But I think everyone somehow knows when they find true beauty—the kind that makes you stop in your tracks, the kind that you can't forget. Maybe because it's something you feel more than you see.
Let me tell you, when you meet my friend Candis—Candis is beautiful. It's not her gorgeous hair (though she has that… my god, that hair!) or her big almond eyes (she will definitely melt you with those baby blues), but the way her positive spirit infects those around her. It's the way her radiant smile and bubbling laughter make you want to luxuriate in life the way she does.
For many years, before I came out—when I was "stealth Caitlyn"—I tried to follow anyone I could who was trans. Candis was one of them. I mainly knew her because of her show, Dirty Sexy Money. I thought, "How cool is that: a trans woman playing a trans character!" She not only looked fantastic, but she looked comfortable in her own skin, comfortable with who she was. Her glow stuck in my mind, so when we were getting ready to select the cast for I Am Cait, Candis was first on my list. I didn't get to meet her until right before we started shooting. She waltzed into my house for dinner, flipped her hair, and her smile lit up the room. I wasn't disappointed—she was and is a wonderful, kind human being. I love her style and her beauty, inside and out.
As we've gotten to know each other, I've learned where some of Candis's confidence comes from. It comes from a beautiful soul and many years of purging those voices of self-doubt that say, "You're not good enough, you're not pretty enough, you're not feminine enough." It's a difficult and exhausting task, but when you keep at it, those around you can tell. I believe that beauty comes from within, and that being true to who you are is the best way to project your personal image of beauty.
Another thing I've learned about beauty is that it often shows up in unexpected places. On one of our first trips together, the whole crew headed up to Shelina Moreda's Girlz Motocamp in Napa Valley to learn how to race dirt bikes. When Candis, all geared up in a padded jumpsuit, took her helmet off and flipped her gorgeous mane of hair back, we all cheered. It was completely spontaneous, we couldn't help it! Candis is glamorous against all odds.
Every person deserves to feel comfortable in their body and to face the world with confidence. Who better to serve as an example and to write a book on beauty than my beautiful friend, Candis Cayne, who has mastered this art both inside and out? I truly hope she's able to help you as much as she's helped me because YOU are beautiful, too, and you deserve all the best in life.
Love to you all! And lots of love to my wonderful Candis.
Finding Your Inner Radiance
"BEAUTY IS NOT IN THE FACE. IT IS A LIGHT IN THE HEART."
So, you've picked up this book, and you're already wondering how this is going to be any different from all the other beauty books out there. Well, for one thing, how many of those books are written by women whose journey to womanhood began after being born into a male body?
Before you slam this book shut, convinced that it isn't actually for you, you should know one more thing: No matter how you define yourself, no matter what type of female you are in your innermost dreams, you will see yourself within these pages. This is a book where all are welcome, free from fear and shame and judgment. It's about learning not to let those feelings define or inhibit you. This is about expressing your inner beauty!
I'm an actress in L.A., so I am used to living in a skin-deep world where every person is judged on the basis of looks alone. And every day, I see women across the entire spectrum of femininity who berate themselves or allow themselves to think they are "worth less" because they are not built like supermodels. Some of these women are already famous—A-listers who are just as insecure as you might feel at times. Some, like Lupita Nyong'o, have won Oscars before they finally felt like they could own their beauty.
This self-perpetuated, societally reinforced "body shaming" makes me so sad, because the most important thing I've learned on my long journey to womanhood is that you're only as beautiful as you believe yourself to be—and if you don't believe you're beautiful or even worthy of beauty in the first place, you're never going to experience the absolute joy that comes from living a life of radiance, happiness, and especially freedom. How about using that negative energy to your advantage by turning it into your own special power to simply be beautiful?
Here's a little secret: We all have the same goals, worries, and insecurities about our looks; however, more important, we share a birthright to be beautiful. What we need is a totally new definition of what beauty actually is so the playing field becomes fuller—more real, well-rounded, and inclusive than ever before—and that's why I've written this book. For you, gorgeous! Because each one of us is capable of being, expressing, and living in beauty. Finding and conveying your real self—with confidence—is the key to it all. It's the foundation for every bit of beauty you are seeking to exude. As a bit of a trailblazer myself, I know what I am talking about. Trust me, I've been there!
MY BEAUTIFUL BEGINNING
I grew up in a Hawaiian paradise, surrounded by natural beauty from my earliest days. Still, even when I was a little kid, people would come up to me and ask, "Are you a boy or a girl?" because my femininity was always somehow visible. It radiates, and comes from the deepest source of my inner being. It's not something that was learned—it was always the most natural feeling in the world to me. I knew in my heart and soul that I was born to be a woman. These feelings, though, confused and angered people, so growing up was not always easy.
My first experience with this was when I moved to Maui and took a family trip to Hana. I saw kids jumping off the Hana Pier into the beautiful blue water and wanted to join in. I ran up and said "hi," then jumped into the water. I looked up with a smile and the other kids said, mahu (meaning "faggot"), and started to jump onto my head from the pier. Of course, I panicked and quickly swam to shore, not understanding the name they were calling me nor the anger they felt; still, it was the first time I truly realized I was different. This story is not the only one like it over my lifetime thus far, but you know what? We all have a story like this; many of you reading this can no doubt remember something very similar. Honestly, it's how you rise above it all and stay true to yourself, no matter how long it takes, that ultimately defines you.
Still, despite all of these feelings, there was no way at that time to research anything, no Internet to rely on for connection with others who felt the same way. It took a much longer time for me to find my tribe than it does for others who identify as female today.
I knew that I had to leave Maui in order to follow my dream and discover who I truly was meant to be. So, after I graduated from high school, I moved to Los Angeles with $400 in my pocket (much to the chagrin of my parents, because they were so scared for me) and trained as a dancer. I stayed there for one year, got a job dancing on a cruise ship for eight months to save money, then headed to New York City and rented a living room couch in hopes of fulfilling my dreams. I got a scholarship to the Steps dance studio, and worked as a "Kitty Girl" at the Roxy, a former gay club in Chelsea. The gay clubs were where I fell in love with drag. I started to participate in drag shows, but even that was not enough to fully express my true self.
Nothing made sense. I just felt better when I actually was female. And I started to think about whose responsibility it really was to express that true inner self—confidently and beautifully. And that thinking changed everything.
START FROM INSIDE
Let's talk more about what it feels like to not feel right in your body, to not be your authentic self. For so many of us, this is a constant thing that plays in our minds, because we tend to spend so much more time focusing on the outside rather than the inside. A lot of us tend to think negatively: If you're single, are you going to attract someone? If married, how will you keep the spark alive? If thin, how can you gain? If overweight, which diet can you try this time?
The trans narrative about this is that we tend to get in our heads questions like, "Am I feminine enough?" and "Am I passable enough?" That can quickly become a mean inner bully. It's an interesting thing to talk about, and it can be something all of us feel for different reasons. For example, if you're African American, there's an automatic "card" you're dealt because of the color of your skin. Or if you're fair-haired, your inner bully may focus on everything being a "blonde thing."
Getting control of your inner critic is all about being able to shut off that inner bully—and start feeding your inner beauty. I work at it, too. I'm not immune, but I've also learned how to use my inner bully inspiration for kinder words: "Okay, so you don't feel great right now. Start working out, start meditating, go to a class and learn something, or just talk to a friend." A lot of times, we internalize all of this pain and don't talk about it to others, and that's what's dangerous, because then you've confined yourself in a hopeless place. But I live by the Golden Rule: "Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you."
I wake up every day and still need to remind myself of the importance of remaining positive in the face of bullies, both inner and outer ones. I think about my best friend, Danna Davis. Once, on a flight, a sports team noticed that she was trans and started to berate her for the entire seven-hour flight. They were throwing paper wads at her the whole time; the flight seemed like it took forever, and when she finally came off the plane, she was mentally and physically exhausted and just wanted to get home. She got her bags, then looked up and saw the TSA agent that she still had to go through. She walked up to the agent, and it was a Latina woman with door-knocker earrings, the type of girl that would typically give "us girls" a hard time back then. She said to Danna, "Where are you coming from?" and Danna, almost in tears, said "Milan." The woman looked her up and down, and Danna thought, "Well, all right, here it comes." The woman said, "Well, how was your flight?" Danna, frustrated from her harrowing experience, said, "Do you want the truth?" The woman nodded her head and Danna said, "It sucked!" then told her everything that happened to her. The woman looked her up and down again, paused and said, "That ain't right, you can go ahead." Danna thanked her and started to walk away; after about ten steps, the woman said, "Ma'am!" Danna said, "Yes?" The woman said, "When you get to the end of the hall, turn around before you exit." So Danna turned at the very end of the hallway to see the customs agent with the entire team in a line, going through each and every bag, pocket, and suitcase, for hours to come. Danna turned back and exclaimed, "Gorgeous!" It's such a lesson in staying true to who you are, because moments like that truly transcend anything else.
Stay true to yourself, no matter how long it takes; that ultimately defines you.
As another example, just the other day, I had a comment on my Instagram from a girl I'd apparently met in the 1990s who said: "I met you at electrolysis and you gave me the stank face." What? I have never given anyone stank face! All I could say was "No, I didn't. I check myself, I don't allow myself to use whatever I'm going through to hurt anyone else." I'm not preaching here or trying to seem perfect, only to say this is about managing yourself, your body, your work, and your mind. It's all a choice for you, to either thrive or crumble.
Like all of us, I have had days when I've been so depressed I didn't want to get out of bed. What do you do about a funk like that? You allow yourself some TLC. You stay in bed, wallow in it, and allow yourself to experience it. But then, after a while, you start to think, "What can I do to change this situation?"
A lot of people see me on TV, and think I haven't had any struggles or problems. But let me tell you, living in New York City as a young trans performer, I had some truly rough times. Not only was there the trans thing, but also the woman thing. There are few of us on this earth who have had the ability to experience life as two different genders, and it has been interesting, to say the least. The way society treats you, the way men treat you, the list goes on. It's important for me to say that it's not okay to talk about women in negative ways. When I first started living as my authentic self, I was so excited to walk around New York City as the new me!
The very first day, I wore a fitted dress and was feeling so beautiful. As I crossed the street at 9th Street and Second Avenue, a truck drove by with three men in it, and one of them loudly yelled, "I want to lick your p###y!" Needless to say, I was horrified—and it changed the way I thought about how I presented myself to the world.
Anyway, as a young trans performer, there was no health insurance, no stability, and I would have to find other gigs all the time. So I went out and offered my talents to restaurants, retail shops, and other highly visible places. I did whatever I could to keep myself up, positive, and working, even when all the signs pointed in another direction.
We all know how hard it is to grow up in this crazy world, but you know what? It's so important to find the people who lift you up versus bring you down. These people are your chosen family—and they can be just as important to your survival as your birth family.
LIVE FOR YOURSELF
Twenty years ago, when my brother, Dylan, married his wife, Trudy, I was asked to be the best man at the wedding because he was my twin. I had just started to transition, and yet I had to go and be a good twin and give the best man's speech at the wedding. It was at that time that I realized I could not live for anyone else anymore, I had to live for myself. I love my brother and his wife, so I did what was necessary, but then I came home and promised myself I would never do that again. From that point on, I would live my life the way I wanted to live it. I think we all have experienced that moment where you can either adapt yourself to meet the expectations of other people, or jump into the ring and live your life for you.
After my brother's wedding, I was so depressed. I came back home to my $600-a-month apartment at 14th Street and Ninth Avenue in New York City; mind you, this wasn't the glamorous 14th and Ninth Avenue of today, and it was definitely not a very safe place at the time. I had a bed and a kitchen where I stored my drag and paperwork, and that was literally all I had at the time. I remember looking at myself in the mirror, feeling so sad, when suddenly I saw a lilac aura around myself—and it was then that I knew I needed to live my life as a woman. I am still the same person I was before; I just needed to change the physical to match my heart and my mind.
I dove in and truly started the major steps that it took to live my life as a woman. I waited for about a year before I started to tell family, and finally one day I decided to tell my brother. Pensive but excited, I called up Trudy and Dylan and said, "I have to tell you about this!" Dylan said, "What? I didn't realize you felt this way!" Trudy, who studied sociology, explained to him what transgender meant, and Dylan got it. He accepted me for who I told him I really was, and has been a huge supporter ever since.
I felt so much happier when I started living as my authentic self. Brendan was a good, talented, and kind person, so I wasn't going to leave him behind. Today, I still feel the same as when I went by that name, because my mind was always female. Mentally, I feel exactly the same.
It's so important to find the people who lift you up versus bring you down.
Two years after starting hormones, I packed up all of my old clothes and threw them into a bag. I took them down a New York City street in the middle of the night and threw them into the garbage. I woke up the next day, got ready for the airport, nervous but ready to do this. I dressed myself in a gorgeous pair of brown slacks with a demi pump and maroon sweater, and when I got to the airport, walked up to the ticket counter and nervously handed the agent my ticket, she said, "Thank you, ma'am, you can go on in." It was this magical moment that really started my new life, and I remember it like it was yesterday.
Think of your own "magic moment" of truth about who you are, in the deepest sense of the word. How are you living authentically—in a life that you designed specifically for your truest self? Where is your spiritual center, your "radiance spot"?
Think of every woman you think of as beautiful. What stands out the most for you? How has this become part of a narrow definition for yourself?
For me, true beauty is about grace, elegance, confidence, and inner beauty. It's a constantly moving target, too—one that's just as much about breaking the old paradigms that confine rather than empower us to redefine what beauty and radiance really mean—especially if that definition is different from anyone else's. It's about opening up the box and releasing all of the amazing colors of the rainbow, and not giving a second thought to what others will think, as long as we are happy and living the truth of our real selves.
You want to know what happens when you allow yourself to truly shine? You become more beautiful than ever. You radiate personality. You become magnetic, drawing the people, experiences, and fulfillment you most desire. All of us shine so much more brightly when we find and share our "radiance spot."
"But Candis—what if people don't like the real me?" you ask.
"Girl, what if they never actually see the real you?" I say. "How will they ever know who you are, or come to understand you like you understand yourself? Isn't that more important?"
We live in an exciting time, brought to us by a new generation who basically laugh in the face of established categories. They don't want to be defined by others, so they instead brought us fifty-eight categories of sexual identification on Facebook as well as phrases like "gender fluid." They are overwhelmingly in favor of LGBT rights, because they see them as human rights.
So, this is not just another beauty book, it's part of a much larger social movement—one based on breaking barriers and releasing the rigid definitions of the concept of beauty and who it is for. It's a call to action for all of us to wake up and celebrate our unique (and collective) beauty!
TAKE YOUR INNER BEAUTY OUTWARD
- On Sale
- Jun 20, 2017
- Page Count
- 192 pages
- Running Press