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COLD HEAT NEWS » Entertainment, Health & Beauty, People » Outside the Box of Beauty

Outside the Box of Beauty

“If I was made for art, from childhood given
A prey for burning beauty to devour,
I blame the mistress I was born to serve.”

-BEAUTY AND THE ARTIST–Michelangelo Buonarroti

Maria Amor’s writing contest has moved me to think about the many winners my company has picked in the fields of beauty, fashion, and entertainment over the past few years. Though seemingly very different, these associates actually have many similarities that take them outside the box of beauty.

Their beautiful faces and voices are only the beginning. Their beautiful minds and hearts have taken them everywhere in search of enlightenment and empowerment. These experiences have formed the basis of lifelong learning.

Beauty contestants, models, and performers have learned how to make lasting impressions and meet expectations, skills that will serve them well in any career. Financial gains can be used in the service of educational and vocational goals.

Citizen diplomacy and cultural development naturally follow when contestants gather in one room from all over the world. Contest winners have honed public speaking skills to support causes of global significance in areas such as medical research and humanitarian relief.

As we know in LA, such activities can put us in touch with the world’s major players such as celebrities, elected officials, foreign dignitaries, public figures, and many others with power and influence. Beauty-related professions thus have the potential to transform ordinary people into extraordinary citizens through many different means.

Apart from the glamor and the glitter (plus the power and the glory), the beauty professions’ biggest payoff may very well be opening a window onto the world. Beauty can have broader and deeper dimensions.

In this contest series I will profile six global associates whose beautiful natures have won my admiration and affection. Serving the world is second nature to all. Physical limitations have become personal challenges to shape and mold lives with meaning and significance.

Confidence crowns a winner everywhere in this world. The main eye that beholds our beauty should always be our own.

Written by

Dr. Laura Wilhelm was born in Philadelphia, PA on May 17, 1965. Her family lived briefly in Palo Alto and Oakland, CA before settling in San Diego when Laura was 10. In 1988 Laura graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Reed College in Portland, OR with a major in Russian and minor in Classics. She received her doctorate in Russian language and literature with honors from the U of Kansas in 1994 before relocating to Los Angeles with her husband, Christopher. Laura belongs to Dobro Slovo, the national Slavic honor society. Laura received much recognition for her work with the City of West Hollywood's Russian-speaking immigrant community before moving on to an eclectic teaching and consulting career in the Greater Los Angeles area. Since May 2009 Laura has run an award-winning business and talent development company called LauraWil Intercultural. Her associates comprise major international names in the arts, entertainment, fashion, literature, and science. Laura is a member of the West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce and sits on several of their committees. In West Hollywood she has helped to develop and promote programming for major world events such as Fashion's Night Out sponsored by VOGUE Magazine. In 2011 Laura's company was nominated for a WHCC Creative City Award (Category: Creative Communications). In January 2012 Laura was appointed CEO for a youth oriented online media company called vrmedia based in Washington, DC that has quickly formed networks up and down the East and West Coasts. At around the same time she started collaborating on charity fund raising for the Foundation Fighting Blindness with celebrated beauty pageant winner April Lufriu (Mrs. Florida, Mrs. America, and Mrs. World). Laura works with many other charities such as Finding Freedom International, Pals Around the World, and We Care For the World. She has been invited to serve on the Board of Directors for Designers 4 Africa, whose clientele includes A-list celebrities such as Cameron Diaz and Gisele Bundchen. Laura's Los Angeles company is running an ongoing bi-cultural RUNGLISH book promotion whose author Nina Naydenova is allied with renowned Russian luminaries such as tenor Nikolai Baskov and Oksana Fedorova, Russia's only Miss Universe to date. vrmedia plans to carry a definitive annotated translation of Leo Tolstoy's classic autobiography CHILDOOD-BOYHOOD-YOUTH as well as many other world masterpieces through Penguin Classics. As Los Angeles Chair Laura reviews fashion events for Emerging Global Designers. She also writes regular features on cultural topics for COLD HEAT NEWS and HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY. She has appeared live on KNBSTV.COM and Global TV. In graduate school Laura worked and studied in the former Yugoslavia and Soviet Union. She and her husband have visited Greece and led two successful Explorica tours of Italy for students from Mayfield Senior School in Pasadena, CA. Laura is active with the American-Russian Business Council, the Los Angeles Greek Film Festival, and the Los Angeles Sister Cities. Recently she was designated Russian Ambassador for the multicultural 2012 Global Independence Day awards event at the Beverly Hilton. She has listings in numerous WHO'S WHO, American Biographical Institute, and International Biographical Centre publications.

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