Lime Green Loafers and Finding Your Truth


Kevyn Aucoin didn't just paint faces. He mined the beauty of the soul, and showed us that surface beauty is only the tip of the iceberg. He died at age 40. In this video, Kevyn talks about the loneliness of growing up gay in Louisiana, marching to a different drum. As a child, school shopping with his mother, he came upon a pair of lime green patent leather penny loafers and fell in love. In a sea of brown shoes, his heart wanted the lime green. They were girl’s shoes. He wanted to paint, design his own clothes, express his creativity, do makeup on his five-year-old sister.

But the real beauty of his words here lies in the almost spiritual way he speaks of intuition, of finding your truth and loving yourself, of celebrating different-ness, and of how we each hold a universe of multitudes within us.

When I was a teenager, I loved his books. His overwhelming positivity and unique personality shone through. He transformed faces, loved color, celebrated women, and saw people both for who they were, as well as the many facets they could be. (I also may or may not still have all of the pages of his column from Allure magazine from the late 90s cataloged in plastic sleeves on my shelf.)

His work touches me, because he shows so elegantly and simply that creating beauty on the surface is merely an expression, an illumination, of a life lived deeply and meaningfully. The work of growing our deeper selves is mirrored in the creative surface expression. He calls it a "mission to beautify the soul."

So rock your lime green loafers. Listen to your intuition, celebrate creativity, make things beautiful, and beautify the insides too. But this shouldn’t just give pop-self-help lip service to the topic. To do this meaningfully and genuinely is messy, often faltering — and absolutely vulnerable. I’m curious about those seekers on the rocky path of beautifying the soul. How are you doing the inner work? What in your life has given you the most "bang" for your "growth buck?" And how are you teaching or impacting others in this way?