Most people think that makeup and fashion are all about the glorification of one’s outer appearance but La Tashia Reed-Gardner or Shia Shefawn argues convincingly that there is a deep correlation between beauty, fashion, and style and public health. Gracing the StarCentral Magazine website as the Beauty Guru of the Month for the month of October 2015, La Tashia embodies the words and characteristics of an inspirational figure who hopes to contribute largely for the good of many women who may need some inspiring self-esteem boosters.
La Tashia admits that she has always been different ever since she was younger. She is the type who does the opposite of what everyone else is doing. If you invite her to an all-white party, she would be the girl in black. That is how she manages to always stand out amidst the crowd and this is where she attributes her interest in fashion. La Tashia has just recently discovered her love for makeup but as soon as she learned how just like fashion, it gives her a medium for self-expression, she has never stopped experimenting.
Unlike most fashion artists and makeup enthusiasts, La Tashia embraces the fashion and beauty industry not for its embellished glamour but for the deeper cause that she desires to advocate. ‘It means much more than being pretty and knowing how to dress’, she tells. ‘After I graduated college, I promised myself that I would one day find a way to combine beauty, fashion and Public Health and make it my career’, adds La Tashia. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Health Science. And because beauty fascinates her the most, she knew that this is the best way to give back to the world.
La Tashia did not dilly-dally in realising her dreams. The moment she realised her purpose, she immediately sat down in front of the camera and began exposing her passion to the world using her first camera that her husband, her biggest supporter, gave her. ‘He really believes in me and that’s why I’m here’, she comments.
Fashion presents a broad platform where everyone is free to be herself. This is one of the things that La Tashia loves about her career…the idea that no individual has to look like everyone else, but instead to explore something you enjoy and make a masterpiece out of it. Her inspiration is not sourced from glamorous models or personalities from the same industry. She strives hard to provide encouragement and support to younger girls who feel like they don’t fit in with the popular girls because of the lack of capacity to access the latest trends and fashion. Every day, she wakes up knowing that each day is another opportunity to inspire other to pick up their deteriorating self-confidence. She heart-warmingly admits that these are the same people who push and motivate her to keep going.
La Tashia’s diverse artistry extends beyond fashion and makeup. This past spring, not only did she land an extra role in a television show, she also received a call back for a movie shortly after that. Although it was just a six-second camera exposure, she relished the reward of gaining varied experiences.
Aside from her noble aspiration to combine fashion and public health, La Tashia has expanded her vision and is currently working on a non-profit organisation for younger girls who live in high risk poverty areas. She hopes to continuously support that path as it will be a good starting point to spread her advocacy. On a different note, she also aspires to model hair for one of the big hair companies and to become an actress one day.
‘LIGHTNING FAST’ Round:
- What is the one beauty product you can’t live without? I would have to say my eyebrow pencil.
- What is the most dramatic thing you’ve ever done to change your looks? I randomly shaved off all my hair back in 2010 and then I did it again this year.
- What is in your makeup bag when you travel? Foundation, concealer, highlighter, blush, 10 lipsticks, setting powder, Q-tips…EVERYTHING! Whatever products I’m into at the moment are the ones I’m taking with me.
- What is the one “flaw” you wouldn’t change about yourself? It would have to be the small moles that are on my face. I have at least 10.
- Your best guilty pleasure. Eating sweets late at night while catching up on my favourite television shows.