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The Genesis Of BadAss Beautiful

KUEL badass women with henna on her head

Guest Writer: Melinda Abrams
I’d like to tell you about my friend, my muse, and the genesis of what I call Bad Ass Beautiful. Three years ago last Spring, my friend Bari found out she has the Bracca 2 gene. That meant she’s at high risk for getting cancer. So she goes in for tests, and sure enough; she has cancer.
She has a hysterectomy and a double mastectomy over the summer. That’s A LOT. She could’ve hid in her house. She could have dropped out of her life because she just got confronted with some shitty situation. But she didn’t. She kept working, and raising her son. And, she works at a school where there are lots of germs and those of you who know about chemo—that could be deadly. But she’s too alive!! She LOVES her work. It’s her gift and her passion. She couldn’t not work. She keeps doing the work she loves even while having chemo.
Of course all of her hair fell out from chemo; she could’ve just covered it up… But, not this exquisite woman. She goes and gets a henna tattoo all over her bald head. It was awesome. A work of art on her head. That’s a totally badass beautiful thing to do!
Yet, when she showed me , she asked; “Is this too much, not enough, am I crazy? Should I hide it?” In that moment I knew how profoundly important it was for me to see and acknowledge her badassness. I looked her in the eyes and said with complete truth and integrity. “WOW, LOOK AT YOU. YOU ARE BADASS BEAUTIFUL. YOU ARE A BADASS.” The impact was immediate. She expanded into all of herself. I’ll never forget that moment. And I want it for all of you. It’s led me to write about badassness, hold badass beautiful workshops for people, and create badass beautiful art too.

I define BadAss as the swagger one feels when they release into one’s self—ALL of one’s self. While it’s an incredibly bold and brave way to be, it’s also a little bit vulnerable, definitely intriguing, very sexy, and completely freeing. It’s “thrive no matter what baby!” because your badass self in all your beauty cannot be contained.

It’s in there. It’s in each of you. You know it when you connect with it because it’s completely freeing. It changes EVERYTHING. Here’s the thing, while it’s freeing, it’s not unconscious. It’s actually the opposite, because a badass beauty is aware of herself and aware of her impact….except for when she isn’t , and then she stays to clean up the mess. No numbing out, escaping, or hiding.
Now, I’ve worked with some powerhouse people as my time as a coach. I’m often asked a question like “I want to be bold, but I don’t want to be bitchy” or “How do you give tough feedback without sounding like a bastard”. There are very clear differences between a bitch, bastard, and badass. *according to me.
So here you go Kuel Ones:

  • While a Bitch might be bold, she is guarded and heartless. A Badass is bold, and does not hide behind her armored self, and she can be he heartfull.
  • While a Bitch might be outspoken, she is unaware of her impact and could not care less who is hurt by her words. She does not stick around to clean up her messes. A Badass is outspoken, and she IS aware of her impact and cares deeply who is hurt by her words. She does not run away from her messes…in fact she relishes in them.
  • While a Bastard has swagger, his swagger is used to hide his vulnerable parts. A Badass has swagger; his swagger includes ALL of his vulnerabiity. He KNOWS that he will thrive no matter what. He KNOWS that some people are overwhelmed by their personal vulnerabilities that stop them in their tracks, but he does not hold that against them, nor is that the Badass experience. The Badass sees the beauty in his vulnerabilities and is brave enough to share them with others.
  • When a Bitch or a Bastard enters the room, most people think “oh crap, here he/she comes…” When a Badass enters the room, most people think “Thank God!, here he/she comes…” It’s your choice; regardless of the circumstances, be that badass beautiful person.

With sincere badassery, Melinda.
Currently you can find Melinda working hard on “Arts on Market“. Arts on Market is an event celebrating regional artists, artisans, makers, and bakers. Arts on Market will occur April 22 in Chapel Hill, NC.

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One thought on “The Genesis Of BadAss Beautiful

  1. Rose Tan says:

    Read this with tears in my eyes! Perfectly worded; perfectly said. It’s that “badass” energy women have to create life, maintain a village, make sure everyone is safe and sound at the end of the day and still find beauty within herself, when it’s all said and done.
    Bravo, Melinda. So grateful we crossed paths.

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