Fearless & Flawless: Meet the Unapologetic Yoga Beauty, Jessamyn Stanley

August 28, 2019  |  

Jessamyn Stanley

Source: Zoe Litaker

Jessamyn Stanley, yoga enthusiast and one of the key pioneers of the body positivity movement is a source of inspiration to women around the world who are living beyond societies’ labeling of traditional femininity. Driven by her love of health and wellness, this Durham, North Carolina gem has amassed a grand number of followers on Instagram simply by showcasing her authentic self, unapologetically.

Inclusive and diverse, Jessamyn Stanley is a movement. Featured in this exclusive beauty editorial series powered by Sephora and MadameNoire, discover how Jessamyn got into the yoga space, why she is team clean beauty, and of course learn her daily beauty regimen.

MadameNoire:
You are true inspiration within the body positivity movement. When and why did you start your weight-loss and fitness journey?

Jessamyn Stanley:
Like (seemingly) most people, I began practicing yoga during a very difficult point in my life. I was 24, and thus completely consumed in the elementary dramatics of being that age. I was studying in a graduate program that didn’t quite fit with my ever-evolving goals, as well as coping with the end of a long-term relationship. In fall 2011, one of my classmates encouraged me to purchase a Groupon unlimited pass to our local Bikram yoga studio. I had tried Bikram once before, when I was in my teens- my experience was so overwhelmingly negative that I almost didn’t heed my friend’s advice. However, I found a great comfort in the Bikram yoga practice when I gave it a second chance – the combination of heat, repetitive sequencing, and long holds was a complete release from the stress of my daily life. I began to look forward to class in a way that I didn’t really look forward to anything else- it made me feel powerful and self-assured at a time when I couldn’t summon those emotions on my own.

However, when I moved to Durham, North Carolina in summer 2012, I almost stopped practicing entirely because I was too financially strapped to afford practicing at Durham’s super chic and trendy (and therefore expensive) Bikram studio. It took nearly another year before I began maintaining what is now a (mostly) daily home practice. I began documenting my home practice on my Instagram account simply so I could track my progress and improve my alignment, but it’s ultimately proved to be a consistent source of invigorating energy to my practice.

Jessamyn Stanley

Source: Lydia Hudgen

MadameNoire:
Yoga is a big part of you. What does it do for your soul and energy? What does it do for you physically?

Jessamyn Stanley:
Yoga creates space for flexibility and strength in the physical, emotional, and spiritual bodies, while regulating energy and a deeper connection to the soul.

MadameNoire:
Share some of your beauty regimens – what colors and looks make you feel unstoppable? What products do you count on? What products from Sephora do you absolutely love?

Jessamyn Stanley:
I am obsessed with clean beauty and I consider skincare to be the most important part of my beauty regimen. I love hot pink, yellow, turquoise, and nearly every shade of purple. Sephora products that I absolutely swear by are Fenty Beauty Pro Filter Foundation (I typically wear shades 410-420), Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz and Brow Powder duo, and Biossance Squalane Oil. I also enjoy Indie Lee cleanser, and I use bentonite clay, charcoal powder, Manuka honey, tea tree oil, and sweet almond oil as the base and components for a number of homemade clean beauty products!

MadameNoire:
You go against the grain when it comes to your content, look, and vibe. What are your thoughts on traditional femininity – you know, the overly glammed up, slender girl next door?

Jessamyn Stanley:
I don’t try to go against the grain- I’m always just trying to be authentically myself. We live in a world where authenticity is a foreign concept- women, especially, are pushed to conform their beauty standards to a very limiting mold. I think everyone should present themselves in a way that feels authentic, regardless of what it looks like to anyone else.

MadameNoire:
The non-traditional woman is holding a lot of power right now. She is changing what beauty means. When you look in the mirror, what do you see?

Jessamyn Stanley:
When I look in the mirror, I see a person who has survived. I see a person who is powerful despite her quirks and scars.

MadameNoire:
Instagram is a major platform for you. Why do your followers embrace your mission, your transparency, your look, and your fearlessness?

Jessamyn Stanley:
I think people are thirsty for someone who isn’t being fake and who is genuinely being themselves. I think that’s why people see themselves in my mission, my transparency, my look, and my fearlessness.

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