Better Than Beautiful: Fiona Davis
July 30, 2019
Violets Are Blue operates under the philosophy that women, particularly those over 40, are better than beautiful. They are better than unattainable standards. They are better than toxic ingredients. They are better than comparison traps. They are better than costly and risky procedures.
Women are more than beautiful. They demonstrate this daily with their strength, kindness, compassion, and power to effect change in this world. We are honored to introduce you to members of the Violets Are Blue community who embody our philosophy.
We are thrilled to begin our Better Than Beautiful series by introducing you to Fiona Davis, the nationally bestselling author of historical novels set in iconic New York City buildings, including her most recent, The Chelsea Girls. She began her career in New York City as an actress, working on Broadway, off-Broadway, and in regional theater. After getting a master's degree at Columbia Journalism School, she fell in love with writing, leapfrogging from editor to freelance journalist before finally settling down to write fiction. She’s based in New York City and her books have been translated into over a dozen languages. For more info, visit fionadavis.net.
What does being “better than beautiful” mean to you?
For me, “better than beautiful” refers to that state of flow that I get into when I’m deeply engaged in whatever I’m working on, whether it’s writing a first draft, doing final edits, or brainstorming cover ideas. When I emerge out of it after an intense few hours, there’s this feeling of pride and accomplishment that truly defines who I am. It’s such a relief to understand -- now that I’m in my fifties -- that that’s the goal. Not a good hair day or a good skin day. It’s about me doing something that makes me deliriously happy but is really, really challenging.
Tell us about your favorite Violets Are Blue product – how do you use it? Why do you love it?
I love the deodorant. Last year, I was doing book talks around the country – a crazy schedule of eight cities in seven days. Even as I rushed from airport to bookstore, I was totally confident that I stayed fresh as a daisy. Or perhaps a violet, in this case. It’s fabulous and safe and I adore it.
When did you realize your worth beyond beauty?
After ten years as an actress, where one is judged on looks nonstop, I applied to Columbia and got a graduate degree in journalism. At the graduation ceremony, I learned that I was one of the top five graduates of the class. The accomplishment was all brain, it had nothing to do with my looks, which was a mind-blowing realization. At that moment, my confidence grew tenfold.
How do you embrace the concept of aging gracefully, or do you?
When I used to look at old photos of myself, I would think, “Wow, I didn’t appreciate my beauty/youth back then.” Then I realized that in twenty years I’ll be doing the exact same thing, but I’ll be pining for the age I am today. I vowed to be grateful for my body, every inch of it. It’s changing, but I’ve earned those changes.
Is there a beauty or cosmetic procedure, treatment, or product you’ve engaged with in the past that you regret?
I wish I’d never permed my hair in my teenage years. I have very fine, thin, hair and it was ridiculous to think I could try to fight that with chemicals. And the smell, remember the smell?
What would you tell your younger self with regard to worth, beauty, or aging gracefully?
Photos of beautiful people in magazines and online are retouched and fiddled with, and so don’t reflect what the models or actresses really look like. These days, I follow women on social media who show what true beauty and aging look like, from Michele Pfeiffer to Icon Accidental, and I revel in their realness.
Thank you so much, Fiona, for sharing your story and embodying the spirit of More Than Beautiful. Would you, or someone you, know like to be featured in our More Than Beautiful series? If so, please follow this link to learn more!