Beautiful Voices is our ongoing blog series that highlights inspiring, empowering women. Our most recent Beautiful Voice is Tahlia Hoogerland. See what she says when Annmarie asks her some questions about her own personal beauty.
I had an unusual upbringing. Until I was 10 years old, I lived in a dome without electricity. Being outside and with animals are my happiest times. I am now 41 and a first grade teacher. I am joyfully married and have a wonderful life.
Who do you feel you are today?
I am becoming wiser after much trial and error. These days, I am more honest with myself and others than ever before, but I am learning how and when my honesty is helpful to others. I am a home body and have finally admitted to myself how much happier I am away from crowds and noise. I am a wife, a friend, a daughter, an aunt, a sister, and a pet-parent.
I am also a teacher, but my job does not come first, nor does it define me. I am an unapologetic lover of nature over humans, and I value what is genuine in myself and others. I am a writer and in love with words. I have made one of my lifetime dreams come true this year by finally getting my own horse, so I am a horsewoman of sorts.
I am someone who accepts all of the contradictions that make me who I am—a product of parents who taught me about the natural world and who raised me on garden produce, reading books, and playing outside. But I am also a part of the outside world, someone who enjoys putting on sparkles and going out dancing sometimes. I am Birkenstocks and high heels. I am tree climbing and online shopping. I am whatever and whomever I wish to be.
Where and when do you feel most at peace?
I am most at peace when I am connected to the natural world. Whether it is at our private camp spot in Manistee National Forest on Lake Michigan; climbing a tree; snuggling my dog, cats, or horses; walking in the woods; smelling the beach grass in August; or just digging in my gardens, I am at peace with those connections.
What does beauty mean to you?
Beauty means being real. Beauty is the natural world. It is in the seasons, from the purple spring to warm summer skies to the fiery, buttery, electric fall leaves to the diamond sparkle of freshly lined snow on dark tree branches. It is the places where nature tries to reclaim its territory from humans.
True friendship and open communication are beautiful. Often, beauty can't be captured by camera, artwork, or even words; it must simply be enjoyed in the moment that it is seen and felt. Human beauty is the more natural kind, with less make up and artifice, and more health and happiness shining through from the inside. Beauty is in laughter and forgiveness.
What makes you feel beautiful?
I feel beautiful when I am at a particular music festival with my best friend each September. I am beautiful then and there because I am still brown from the summer sun, and because I am able to wear the clothes that most suit me—soft, flowing, organic and locally made skirts and tops.
It is usually still warm enough that my legs, arms, and feet are bare, and I wear my hair in braids, with a favorite hat. My running muscles make me feel beautiful, and the glance of people who see me makes me feel beautiful. Laughing all weekend with my best friend makes me feel 20 years younger again, and we become beautiful again together, as we were in our early 20s. I believe I am beautiful when I am happy.
I feel beautiful when I take care of my skin and my health. I love the morning and nighttime rituals of cleansing and treating my skin on my face.
How does Annmarie's mission fit into your lifestyle?
Annmarie's mission fits into my life perfectly. She makes products that I can safely put on my skin, and I know from their very scents that they are clean and beautiful. I feel good about myself, inside and out, using these products. I find it difficult not to eat my Coconut Honey mask, because it smells identical to the coconut honey cream cheese frosting my dad always made for my birthday cake.
Isn’t she beautiful?
“Teaching People About Beauty From the Inside Out”
(If you’re interested in being featured as one of our Beautiful Voices, please email us at info [at] annmariegianni.com.)