“I want to help groom the next generation’s future Michelle Obamas: strong-willed, aspira- tional, influential, socially conscious and chic all at the same time.” – Ruby Veridiano
ISSUE: Winter 2010
STORY: Anna M. Park
The Glamorous Life
To call Ruby Veridiano just a writer doesn’t really cut it. She’s more, as she puts it, “a glamour girl off to save the world.” She co-founded iLL-Literacy, an internationally touring performing arts collective. In 2008, she published her first book, Miss Universe, a reference to women raised to live life like a pageant, but also to the “universe” within us, the “ultimate crown of beauty.” And this past fall, Veridiano launched an eight-week writing empowerment program for young women. Called the “Glamourbaby Diaries,” the program focused on Asian American history within a fashion framework, seeking to redefine glamour to encompass themes of strength, inner beauty and positive social impact.
Now, the 27-year-old Filipina- Chinese American is planning the Glamourbaby Diaries speaking tour on campuses across the country. “I want to help groom the next generation’s future Michelle Obamas: strong-willed, aspira- tional, influential, socially conscious and chic all at the same time,” she says.
Veridiano finds that young Asian American co-eds, in particular, “hunger to find someone in the media that represents who they are and who they aspire to be,” she says. “Young Asian women today strive to be more than visible — they want to be relevant.”
And while her message of loving yourself and being the change is nothing new, her glamour framework is. Using women’s fascination with the external, Veridiano encourages women “to redefine their beauty through purpose, meaning and a vision to lead their communities. True elegance is rooted in character and in spirit; fashion is merely the accessory.”
Ironically, Veridiano came up with the term “glamourbaby” in a less-than- glamorous circumstance. After a botched taping, Veridiano had declared, “Ah man, well … it’s not all glamour, baby.” And that encapsulated it for her. “Much like most of life, it isn’t all glamour, especially when you’re striving towards a dream,” she says. “But it’s about embracing adversity, and continuing to represent something beautiful for your community.” — AMP
Veridiano will kick off the Glamourbaby Diaries tour this spring, and the audio version of her book Miss Universe will be out February 2011. For updates, go to rubyisill.com.
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