What’s a Glamourbaby, you may ask? Well, it is much, much more than the implied wealth, clothes, jewels and superficial beauty. According to Ruby Veridiano, being Glamourbaby goes much further beyond these things.
“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.
More stories from Audrey Magazine’s Archives here.
In our Winter 2010-11 issue, we introduced you to Ruby Veridiano, writer, speaker, arts educator, media personality and founder of the Glamourbaby Diaries, a writing empowerment program for Asian American college women. Here, more of our conversation with Ruby.
Audrey Magazine: OK, give us the basics.
Ruby Veridiano: Filipina-Chinese American, 27, born in Manila, raised in Sacramento, and currently residing in New York City. I went to University of California Davis, majored in Sociology of World Development with minors in Asian American Studies and Communications.
AM: You’ve been conducting writing workshops called the Glamourbaby Diaries, thanks to a grant by Asian Women Giving Circle. What are these workshops about, who’s attending, and why are you holding them?
RV: The workshops are for young women ages 14-20. I designed it for Asian American women as a space for dialogue about issues that they face. However, it is open to all women of various backgrounds. Right now, I have a group of girls from different backgrounds attending, which is great because it allows us all to learn from each other, and build solidarity between different communities. I held these workshops because I wanted to create an empowering place where women can view positive Asian American female role models that stand for something.
I’m also in the midst of planning the Glamourbaby Diaries speaking tour in the Spring of 2011, taking this program and compacting it into a one day event. I am excited to share this program and dialogue with future female leaders all across the U.S. next year!
AM: What does “glamourbaby” mean to you? Why that name?
RV: Ah, the term “glamourbaby.” Well, let me tell you how it came about. My friend once taped me speaking, and I kept messing up with all of these bloopers. I think I kept spitting and sounded like I had a lisp! And then I said, “Ah man, well…it’s not all glamour, baby.”
And much like most of life, it isn’t all glamour. Especially when you’re striving towards a dream, the path towards anything worth fighting for is filled with obstacles. Moreover, as an activist, there’s nothing glamorous about the injustice you witness and the disparity that you become aware of. But it’s about fighting through the struggle, embracing adversity to let it serve as a lesson of humility and perseverance, and continuing to represent something beautiful for your community. The people I consider glamourbabies are those who represent truth, love, and hope. They are influential, purposeful, visionary. They set trends and but more importantly, they set goals. They are aware of their power to inspire and act.
Read more after the jump.