It is Authentic Beauty’s mission, pride and passion to empower women and provide women and girls with the knowledge and the know-how to create an external look that reflects her interior, Authentic Beauty. Sadly, 98% of women do not believe they are beautiful, and this recent magazine cover is just another example of the damaging and unrealistic expectations heaped upon women and girls every single day.

aly image DSC_2813a2-230x300“We live in a world where our perception of beauty is so grossly distorted by the media and this magazine cover sickens me,” said Alyson Howard-Hoag, CEO & Founder of Authentic Beauty Salon & Studio in Atlanta. “And because of stuff like this- every day we work with women who have been damaged by these unrealistic and unattainable standards of beauty,” she added. “At Authentic Beauty, we believe women must look within to discover true beauty for themselves, and I founded this company based on the belief that every woman IS beautiful and it is our job to assist her in expressing that.”



91E9DAUvL2899AAA_medAlison Cross, a licensed professional counselor at the Atlanta Counseling Center and creator of the The Body Beauty & Bravery Project that empowers women and girls to feel comfortable in their own skin, also chimed in on the magazine cover.

“These types of magazines tend to show pictures that aren’t Photoshopped. That’s the good news.  The bad news is that they ridicule the humanity revealed in these pictures. I feel sorry for the reduced state of emotional maturity of those who created the copy and they don’t acknowledge the fact that her body just nurtured and created a healthy human being.  Do you even know how many women struggling with infertility would take on back fat just for that one experience?”


aly headshot DSC_2813a“I had this beautiful client who came in for a makeup application a few years back and afterwards she loved the makeup but she broke down in tears because she had bags under her eyes. She couldn’t have been more than 45 and I got so upset. Women are being bombarded with hundreds of ads every day that scream the message, You are not good enough. And then we internalize that and compare ourselves to this garbage when really and truly we should choose for ourselves to be our best self. The important question is What is your best self for you?”



91E9DAUvL2899AAA_med“Loads of pressure is placed on women, especially celebrities, to conform to a narrow ideal of beauty. And what our culture thrives on (and makes money off of) is our insecurity.  We can never be left to feel comfortable in our own skin. If we did, then we wouldn’t need the many products the beauty and diet industries tell us are essential for success.

What’s true? What’s REALLY true, is that our bodies are changing all the time.  There’s nothing wrong with that.  The beauty of a woman evolves and changes as she journeys through life.  This is normal. This is good. This is real, and yes, it’s beautiful!”


 “I created the Image Journey, a self reflective journey and in studio course, to help a woman fall in love with herself from the inside out and be the author of her own look.  And  I created this company because I wanted to put a stop to the negativity that women are bombarded with daily.

A woman should never be told how she should look; rather, we are here to  empower and teach women and girls how to express their Authentic Image while acquiring simple and refined makeup techniques that she can do herself at home and fall in love with what she sees when she looks in the mirror!”

 No matter where you are in life, sign up today for an Image Journey at Authentic Beauty Salon & Studio and fall in love with what you see when you look in the mirror. Authentic Beauty is located at 4674 Roswell Rd. Atlanta, GA 30342 or call 404.849.0443.

Or if you or someone you know is struggling with eating disorders or body image issues, contact licensed professional counselor Alison Cross online here.

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