Sometime last year, I got an email from Chioma Obii-Obioha, the creator and editor of the Love.N’Words blog inviting me to take part in her Journey to Beautiful Series. According to Chioma, the series aims to showcase African women celebrating their own beauty, defining what is beautiful for themselves, embracing the journey to total self-acceptance, and living on purpose. I could relate to the purpose of the series so I was excited to be part of it. Chioma has now published my portion of the series on her website but I thought it would be great to publish it here too. I will be publishing others from the series in the coming weeks….but in the meantime please visit Chioma’s blog here.
Below is my interview…..feel free to share your journey to beautiful in the comments section….xxx
The Journey to Beautiful Interview Series is a celebration of influential and inspiring African women across the globe. Its aim is to teach every woman to define beauty on her own terms, to live purposefully, to accept what makes her truly unique, and to fall in love with all of who she is.
NAME: Glory Edozien
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN/HERITAGE: Nigeria
LOCATION: Lagos, Nigeria
WHY YOU HAVE TO KNOW HER: Glory Edozien is what you’d call a walking, talking breath of fresh air. In the current climate of the pursuit of superficiality and trivial things, Glory has made it her life’s mission to empower and inspire women. Through her show, The Inspire Series by Glory Edozien, her goal is to “empower women to love, live, pray, and be inspired.” Featuring guests that make you listen, think, and believe, as well as original articles, she’s certainly on course to fulfill her mission.
Glory’s openness in sharing the challenges she faces, while living with severe psoriasis (a skin condition), especially in a country with Nigeria, are just as inspiring as she is.
As if that weren’t enough, she’s also a superhero in her day job. As a Project Coordinator forEnviro Africa, she is part of a team of individuals at the forefront of the fight against climate change – working on environmental sustainability and emissions reductions.
Glory Edozien is the Real Deal!
WHO DO YOU SAY YOU ARE?
I am Glory. Compassionate, complicated, disorganized and completely in love with love. God chaser, who too often falls short; daddy and mummy’s baby; day dreamer, and dream chaser. I want to know God’s purpose for me and fulfill that purpose. I am a woman constantly on a journey of self-discovery and self-love. Both sad and happy movies make me cry; and I am a complete foodie.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE PHYSICAL FEATURES?
I guess my lips and hips. Sometimes, my eyes and teeth.
WHAT NON-PHYSICAL TRAITS DO YOU MOST LOVE ABOUT YOURSELF?
My heart. I think it is my strongest feature and my strongest flaw. It is so emotive, quick to anger, quick to love and quick to forgive. It is resilient and, at the same time, tender. It is the driver of all I am.
WHAT PHYSICAL AND NON-PHYSICAL TRAITS HAVE YOU MOST STRUGGLED TO ACCEPT? HAVE YOU OVERCOME THAT STRUGGLE? HOW?
My weight and skin is a constant battle. I think the reason behind that is my constant need for external validation. Being overweight with dark blemishes on your skin is definitely not the #flawless look you want to see in the mirror, or that you want others to see of you. Some days, I think I have overcome the struggle; on other days, I fail completely. But more recently, I have been redefining what beauty means to me. It hasn’t been easy, but I have had to look inwards to redefine my perception of self and stop waiting for others to tell me who I am. That means if I say I am beautiful, then no one’s opinion on the matter [counts]. It is a constant pull-and-tug between the need for external acceptance and internal validation. But I think the struggle will be worth it.
As regards non-physical traits, I wish I was better organized and not too much of a procrastinator. I wish I was able to be less judgmental of people and focus on the good in them, because, sometimes, it’s all too easy to see people’s flaws instead of yours. What I do now is anytime I am tempted to be judgmental about someone, I remember how imperfect I am.
I also try to keep a to-do list but, sometimes, it gets lost!
HOW HAS YOUR FATHER INFLUENCED THE WAY YOU SEE YOURSELF?
I am the poster child for the original daddy’s girl. My dad is one of my best friends and quite literally my hero. When I see myself through my father’s eyes I see a girl with big ambitions and dreams who is capable of achieving them. I see a headstrong, intelligent, and passionate person. My father’s belief in me is like a catapult. It makes me feel invincible but also quite humble. It’s like someone somewhere knows you like no one else and they are on the sidelines of your life, shouting your name and praying for you. It makes you super grateful and determined not to let them down.
WHAT ARE YOUR GREATEST FEARS?
Being 80 and having regrets of not living my life my way. Dying and realizing I didn’t do any of the things God wanted me to. My parents dying before I get married and have a child; that might really kill me.
WHAT ARE YOUR GREATEST JOYS?
My parents are the greatest gems in my life: the best ornaments and the perfect symbols of unconditional love.
My extended family: my cousins are like my sisters and best friends. They are my most trusted confidants and are ALWAYS there for me. Spending time with them gives me immeasurable joy.
The Inspire Series: I look at it and I am in awe that little ole Glory Edozien could step out and accomplish a dream. It makes me feel like I can live any dream I have.
WHAT ARE YOUR GREATEST ACCOMPLISHMENTS?
I’d say my quest to find myself and knowing who I am is my greatest accomplishment. Recently, I learnt through one of the guests on my show how to redefine success. It isn’t about how many people notice what you are doing or how much money you make: it is setting out to do something and achieving it your way. This means your sense of validation comes from within. It isn’t about the external pomp and pageantry. This for me is such a great life lesson. Understanding what makes me happy and being able to pursue that relentlessly is the best accomplishment anyone can have.
WHEN DO YOU FEEL MOST BEAUTIFUL?
Ok, I will be honest here. I feel beautiful mostly when I have make up on and [am] dressed up. I also feel beautiful when I feel confident about myself and what I am saying. Recently, I have been trying to wear less make up and to concentrate on the non physical aspects of how I look and feel…but Rome was not built in a day.
Generally though, I feel beautiful when I smile. Especially when that smile is completely genuine.
HOW WOULD YOU DEFINE YOUR OWN VERSION OF “BEAUTIFUL”?
A woman is beautiful when she knows who she is and doesn’t need anyone to validate her. I believe a true sense of beauty comes from within. Beauty is about innate qualities like compassion, kindness, strength and passion. It is when these internal qualities shine through that a woman’s beauty is truly visible.
WHAT DO YOU DO TO STAY BEAUTIFUL, AS YOU’VE DEFINED IT?
For me, 80% of beauty, if not more, is internal. That also means beauty can be personal and individual. I am constantly on a journey of self-discovery. Understanding who I am and what makes me happy and fulfilled. This helps me become confident, less judgmental, compassionate and accepting of others. It makes me set limits, boundaries and goals that are personal to me and evaluated by me alone. The more I can improve who I am inside and the better my internal qualities, the more beautiful my external.
WHICH “BEAUTIFUL” WOMEN INSPIRE YOU MOST?
I love Oprah’s authenticity, Lydia Sobogun’s spiritual maturity, my mother’s determination, Beyonce’s drive for perfection, Elaine Shobanjo’s kindness, Uche Pedro’s ability to bring out the best in the people who work for and with her…..the list is endless.