Putting on my power suit…

Standing in my power…finally.

Standing in my power…finally.

Today, as I dressed in this “power suit” for a day of meetings, I was reminded that it is International Women’s Day.
I find it charmingly ironic that is also my father’s 76th birthday.
Not exactly the biggest advocate of feminism, this man who would be the first man I was to meet on this journey here on earth, was a larger-than-life personality, often described as taking up all the space in a room, always full of ideas…and my first symbol of what power was.
And, I was born into this world, stamped by a likeness to my father…and I despised it.
His power and self-assuredness at all costs scared me.
I looked like him.
I talked a lot like him.
I had a flair for dramatic delivery like him.
I was a lover of music like him.
I was strong like him.
I was a people person like him.
I liked being the center of attention like him.
And it all frightened me.
Our longtime family friends will remember how tears would stream down my face, and my bottom lip would pout out in protest, when people would tell me at age 3 that I looked just like my father.
Because there was nothing worse to me than that.
I was scared of him.
I was scared to be like him.
And, while many argued that I got the best parts of him, not a morsel of it did I want.
Recalling my protesting pout now, I realize that it wasn’t just because of a fear of my father, but more so…a fear of myself.
No, I wanted to be like my mother – unassumingly beautiful, soft, smart, ladylike, shy, and demure.
And, alas, I was none of these things.
I am most definitely not demure.
I am strong,
I am brave,
I’m a survivor,
I’m an inspirer,
I’m a creator.
But, demure?
No. That’s not my lot in this life.
That’s best left for someone else to be – a girl, perhaps, who has yet to learn her purpose, or a woman who recognizes – and embraces – that demureness is HER strength…her power.
Now, I see that perhaps my mom has gained some of my strength.
While I never learned her knack for knowing when to speak, or how to be shy and demure, perhaps something even more pivotal happened. Perhaps with my birth, my mom learned how to stand in her own power.
And, I have come to stand proudly in my inherited personal power, strength,  dynamism and “too-muchness”.
I now thank both God – and, my dad – for these traits, and I thank years of experiences for giving me the realization that these are indeed gifts, and not the curses I always deemed them to be.
And, after 38 years of being scared of my own power, I now can wear a power suit, and feel right at home.
Here’s to all women worldwide not only standing in their power, but embracing it…and maybe even stepping into a power suit every now and then.

KNOW. YOUR. WORTH.🏆

Know your worth.

Know your worth.

As some of you know, I do quite a bit of creative consulting and brand strategizing.

It started 3 years ago, and I don’t promote it because it was not something I ever set out to do.
Rather, it was something that found me – smackdab in the middle of doing what I love – and I answered the call.
After all, much to my mother’s chagrin, I am not a business major. I am just a person who built the brand, and as strange as it sounds the brand just happens to be me. People took notice and started asking for help, and started PAYING me for it.
Yep. Not something I planned or had even attempted to manifest.
I am a creative, not a business person, I always thought.
WRONG.
It was a lovely lesson in avoiding labels, because labels can so easily be peeled off and applied elsewhere.
Recently, I had a growing experience when a friend asked if they could be a client and put me on retainer.
Eeek. 🙈
It made me very uncomfortable, so much so that I said I needed to take a day to think about it.
I mean, I love working with brands, charities and personalities, but a close friend who would pay me like they do?
Yikes.
But, then this friend put it beautifully, when addressing my initial hesitation with genuine confusion.
“Why does this make you uncomfortable? You are the best at what you do, and I want to hire the best. If not you, I’ll hire someone else, and why would I hire someone else when I have the budget to pay a friend who would do it better than anyone else?”
That made my decision MUCH easier.
And, it made me really get in touch with my hesitation, and where it stemmed from.
I realized that as confident as I have become as I’ve accrued years and experiences on this here planet and in this here Hollywood town, sometimes I question my value, even when I may not realize that is what I’m doing.
I find this particularly funny because I have no problem whatsoever letting others know what THEIR value is – so much so, that sometimes, I actually think my greatest strength is helping other people understand what their biggest value is on this earth.
Today, as I sat at a brunch meeting at Urth Cafe with a pr maven turned blossoming blogger, who was seeking some guidance and direction, I was reminded of this one area in which I am still growing, and learning…and, then I listened to my words to her as I said them.
“Know your worth. Don’t spend so much time trying to take care of everyone else, that you forget to take time for yourself. Sometimes, we involve ourselves in caring for others, so that we don’t have to be brave and do what we are most scared to do.”
Wow. WOW.
As much as we all have a responsibility to care for one another, our utmost responsibility is to care for ourselves.
And, one way to care for yourself, Dawn McCoy (and you, dear reader) is by recognizing your talents and strengths, making them readily available for other people…and KNOWING YOUR WORTH.
Snap.

Sandra & Lynn…and Pamela: Body Image & Our Personal Power To Make The Choice

Today on my walk/run, I listened to my dear friend Lynn Chen’s The Actor’s Diet podcast from last year, and her guest was actress, Sandra Oh, of Grey’s Anatomy fame.

This perfectly imperfect fallen leaf reminded me of myself, and of all of us. Our imperfections make us beautiful.

This perfectly imperfect fallen leaf reminded me of myself, and of all of us. Our imperfections make us beautiful.

As I saw this perfectly imperfect fallen leaf on the ground, I found it to be no accident that Lynn and Sandra’s conversation about body image and the pressure of a preferred body type in Hollywood was playing in my headphones.

Lynn: “Do you believe the pressure to look a certain way exists…for real?”

Sandra: “The pressure exists, and the pressure cannot exist…at the same time. It comes down to ‘What voice am I going to follow?'”

Lynn: “How do you quiet that voice when it is screaming in your head?”

Sandra: “Sometimes, I give my voices a name, ‘OK, just breathe, Pamela. I can hear you, Pamela. I know you’re angry.”

I’ve heard Pamela in my head a few times too, I think.

Girl gets around.

I met Sandra Oh last spring, when we were both invited to a gifting meeting by a fashion designer, & our appointments were double-booked. So, we basically had to shop together, which some actresses of her caliber might not exactly be comfortable with. She was with her mom, who is beyond adorable, and to see them interact was the sweetest thing ever.

As the designer offered to give her everything, I was amazed at how genuinely grateful and gracious Sandra was.

There was no entitlement.

No ego.

No expectation.

Just gratitude.

I realized listening to the podcast today, how we really do have the choice of how we want to be.

Are we going to feel entitled and feel disappointed when life is short of our expectations?Are we going to feel let down by people who don’t live up to who we want them to be? Are we going to see billboards with women with less body fat – or a bigger cup size – than us – and then feel like less, or feel hate for our bodies?

I sure hope not.

And, I hope that more conversations like this can occur between all women and girls, so we can learn to calm those vicious voices in our own heads.

I also hope that when Pamela rears her head in Sandra’s head, she hears my voice of gratitude now.

Thank you for leading by example, lady. And, thank you, Lynn Chen & The Actor’s Diet, for giving us a platform on which that dialogue can occur.

xoxo,
Dawn

Dress For Success Going Places Network: Who’s inspiring whom?

So honored to spend my morning speaking about creating your brand, social media as a tool, embracing your power, nurturing yourself and living a life you love to the women of Dress For Success Going Places Network.

I was there to inspire them, but I left feeling like I was the inspired one.

I was there to inspire them, but I left feeling like I was the inspired one.

The first thing I talked about?

My mom being a full-time community college professor, CFP & CPA – and a full-time mom – and learning my work ethic and drive from her, while still balancing femininity.

My theme? “Kindness is key” – both with others, and yourself.

The women I had the pleasure of speaking to today are bright, kind, assertive, hard-working, creative, loving, nurturing stories of success and survival. I hope I inspired them half as much as they inspired me.

Gratitude is the best attitude! (And donuts are the best morning treat!)

Gratitude is the best attitude! (And donuts are the best morning treat!)

And, you KNOW I brought something sweet!!

 

Preparing for Dress For Success: If I can inspire just one woman…

Working on a speech…to inspire others…to live a life they love

Working on a speech…to inspire others…to live a life they love

Spending this cloudy Monday afternoon, prepping for my Dress For Success talk tomorrow morning in downtown LA.

For 2 hours, I’ll be coaching women in the Going Places Network & talking to them about creating their personal brand, social media profile & professional identity.

I find myself overwhelmed with all of the things I want to say to these women: the experiences I want to share, the struggles we all have as women, and the successes that are often just waiting for us around the corner from those very struggles.

I’m sitting here, pen to paper, asking for guidance – as I always do before a speaking engagement – for the words that will help me improve just one woman’s life or inspire just one woman in that room.

If I am able to do this, I will have done my job.

Here we go, Dress For Success

On The Board: Kappa Kappa Gamma Alumni Association

At the LA Kappas Kickoff Brunch with my fellow board members, co-president, Mikey (right) and treasurer, Nuphar.

Ok, confession: I was not the most active sorority girl.

Just ask my Kappa house roommates.

While a Kappa Kappa Gamma at the University of Texas at Austin, I was actively pursing an acting career, withdrew in the middle of my junior semester (with my dean’s approval & much to my parents’ chagrin) to be a “Player’s Wife” in Oliver Stone’s Any Given Sunday, was dating a producer 7 years older, was appearing in commercials you never saw, and even took 25 hours of classes to graduate in 3 1/2 years (which had to happen or my professor parents would have KILLED me for leaving that one semester).

So, to perhaps make up for my lackluster college participation, I was honored to be asked to be on the board of the LA Kappas Alumni Association, as Philanthropy Chair.

I’m looking forward to encouraging as many women as possible to get involved with the charities I work with currently, and many more.

If you work with a charity and would like to partner with Kappa, send me a message, and if you’re a Kappa living in LA, and would like to join the Kappa alum fun, hit me up.

Loyally, Dawn 🔺

‘Tails: Dress: @Forever21 (coachella 2014, baby! @jennifercchan @rocuriel)

Hair: @beautybyninfa

xoxo,
Dawn

My Favorite Beauty Icon: My Mom

My mom and me: Just cal us "The Cheekbone Twins"

My mom and me: Just call us “The Cheekbone Twins”

 

“You are so beautiful, Mommy.”

These are the words I can remember thinking in my head, long before I can even remember being able to say these words to her.

Then, when I could talk, I told her so much, that she would actually tell me not to.

She never believed them.

But I could never refrain.

Because my mom is THAT beautiful.

I always wanted to look like her, and while I always looked more like my dad, I love that Facebook now tags her every time I post a picture of myself.

Seems like I had to grow into myself before I could grow into her cheekbones.

She will always be the definition of beauty to me.

And, it doesn’t hurt that she’s killer smart.

Wicked combo.

xoxo,
Dawn

 

Friday Favorites: High-Fiving My Dream Team, Good Carma Studio

Celebrating a High-Five circle with the best team ever (Good Carma Studio) at The District in LA, after the No Kid Hungry Influencers Brunch I hosted.

Celebrating a High-Five circle with my dream team – and the best team ever (Chrissy and Melissa of Good Carma Studio) – at The District in LA, after the No Kid Hungry Influencers Brunch I hosted.

Today’s fave? A picture that was captured as I was high-fiving my dream team, also known as Good Carma Studio, after our No Kid Hungry Influencers Brunch on Wednesday. (*Please Note: Blog post to come)

While it was a truly stunningly beautiful affair, I am even more proud that it was an event – full of heart – that accomplished what we set out to do: get out the word about childhood hunger and breakfast in our schools.

I am so thankful to have a team that works as hard as I do. Trust is EVERYTHING to me and I trust these women implicitly.

Chrissy Kling & Melissa Wallace, you are gifts—and you produce the best events to boot!!!

Again, special thanks to our sponsors Tyson Foods, Kellog’s and Citi for all you do to help eradicate childhood hunger in America.

xoxo,
Dawn

Stepping Up: The 12th Annual Step Up Inspiration Awards at the Beverly Hilton

Dawn McCoy  (ummm…me) at the 12th Annual  Step Up Inspiration Awards at the Beverly Hilton

Dawn McCoy (ummm…me) at the 12th Annual Step Up Inspiration Awards at the Beverly Hilton

Have I mentioned how much I love Step Up? I know, I know. I have – and have again.

The stars of Step Up with star, Lea Michele. Their lights all shine equally bright!

The stars of Step Up with star, Lea Michele. Their lights all shine equally bright!

The Step Up logo is more than just a logo…it's a mantra.

The Step Up logo is more than just a logo…it’s a mantra.

But it’s just because that’s how deeply it lives in my heart, and impacts my everyday life. I was introduced to Step Up by my best friend, actress Sarah Jane Morris 3 years ago, and I quickly became a member, changing my life  – and my heart – for the better.

My best friend, Sarah Jane Morris, & I at the 12th annual Step Up Inspiration Awards at the Beverly Hilton on Friday, June 5th, 2015.

My best friend, Sarah Jane Morris, & I at the 12th annual Step Up Inspiration Awards at the Beverly Hilton on Friday, June 5th, 2015.

This past Friday, June 5th, 2015 was my second year to attend the Step Up Inspiration Awards – and their 12th year of hosting this awards luncheon, so full of heart.

But this year, I didn’t just attend as a guest, I was also honored to be the announcer of the show – or as they call it – their “Voice of God.”

Are you there, God? It's me, Dawn.

Are you there, God? It’s me, Dawn.

And yes, you can call me that from now on. I’m kidding. Kinda.

Behind the scenes action at the Inspiration Awards. Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Behind the scenes action at the Inspiration Awards. Generated by IJG JPEG Library

No, it really was a dream come true, and not just because it was the first time I had been the announcer at an awards show.

That's me. Always straddling the line between talent and press. Literally.

Being interviewed on the red carpet. That’s me. Always straddling the line between talent and press. Literally. I mean, we took down the rope so we could do interviews for #Dear15Me.

As I sat there with 850 others in the room, feeling my own dream come to life, I got to hear the stories of dreams coming true for so many others, including Julie Bowen…

The ridiculously impressive - and kind - Julie Bowen. Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

The ridiculously impressive – and kind – Julie Bowen. Generated by IJG JPEG Library

Cristela Alonzo…

Our charming emcee - and my fellow Texan (holla!) , Cristela Alonzo.

Our charming emcee – and my fellow Texan (holla!) , Cristela Alonzo.

Lea Michele…

The lovely Lea Michele at the Step Up Inspiration Awards. Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

The lovely Lea Michele at the Step Up Inspiration Awards. Generated by IJG JPEG Library

honoree Peter Kim of Hudson Jeans…

Honoree, Peter Kim, CEO of Hudson Jeans, as photographed by Amy Tierney

Honoree, Peter Kim, CEO of Hudson Jeans, as photographed by Amy Tierney

and honoree, actress & director, Elizabeth Banks.

Honoree, Elizabeth Banks, as photographed by Felix Salzman

Honoree, Elizabeth Banks, as photographed by Felix Salzman

But, I also got to see the girls of Step Up, whose dreams are coming true – like honoree Maria – simply by being able to graduate high school and attend college, thanks to Step Up, so that they can pursue their dreams.

Step Up Honoree, senior Maria Soto. This girl is everything we wish we were at that age!

Step Up Honoree, senior Maria Soto. This girl is everything we wish we were at that age!

 

Step Up believes all girls should have the opportunity to fulfill their potential, and the Inspiration Awards raises 55% of the funds Step Up needs to serve its Los Angeles community for one year. Know how much we raised this year? Over $400,000!! We went well past our goal of $75,000!

Speaking of raising money, I have never seen anyone in entertainment work so hard (while being SO adorable and full of heart) as Modern Family’s Julie Bowen did, while trying to raise that money. I wish I could say every celebrity put this much heart into their work with charities!

I've always really, really liked Julie Bowen, but after seeing her work her heart out? I can honestly say that I LOVE this woman!!

I’ve always really, really liked Julie Bowen, but after seeing her work her heart out? I can honestly say that I LOVE this woman!!

It was a day that I will always will remember, not just because I was surrounded by the most talented people with the most generous of hearts, but because for the first time, I actually could count myself as one of them. Thank you for letting me be a very small part of the magic, Step Up.

So incredibly honored to be in this company. Wow.

So incredibly honored to be in this company. Wow.

Memories like those never die.

 

xoxo,
Dawn

 

Hats Off To Hudson! Hudson Jeans Summer Styles & the 12th Annual Step Up Inspiration Awards

Happy Thursday, friends!

Getting ready for the 12th Annual Step Up Inspiration Awards - and supporting a great designer, Hudson Jeans, who supports this organization that's  dear to my heart.

Getting ready for the 12th Annual Step Up Inspiration Awards – and supporting a great designer, Hudson Jeans, who supports this organization that’s dear to my heart.

Today is one of the many days that I’m feeling miiiiiighty grateful. The reason? I am so privileged to be the “Voice of God” for the 12th annual Step Up Inspiration Awards tomorrow, June 5th, 2015,  at the Beverly Hilton, presented by Hudson Jeans.

What’s the “Voice of God”? Well, it’s basically the announcer. But, doesn’t “Voice of God” sound waaaay cooler? Don’t give me the credit. Step Up wrote it right into the script! As you know, Step Up is one of my FAVORITE organizations and when they asked me to be a part of their annual awards show, I was ecstatic! There’s more about Step Up – and the Inspiration Awards – below.

But first, can we just talk for a minute about Hudson Jeans? I mean, how much do we loooove them? And not just because they fit like a glove, fit all sorts of sizes and body types, and feel delicious on our bodies, but also because they’re a huge sponsor of my beloved Step Up.

So much so, that Hudson Jeans CEO, Peter Kim, is their 2015 Inspiration Awards Honoree, along with actress Elizabeth Banks. Peter is being honored as Step Up’s Corporate Honoree because as a successful entrepreneur and philanthropist, he continues to use his resources to raise awareness and funding for nonprofits and various programs in the Los Angeles area. An added bonus? He loves some adventure, this guy! Just like the adventure that so many girls seek out each year, when they head off to college or to a new city. He’s our kind of people, y’all.

Well, since Hudson Jeans is a proud sponsor of Step Up, am a very proud wearer of Hudson. Here are two of my Hudson picks for Summer, that I am loving. And I mean, looooooving!!!

1) Caught rehearsing at the Beverly Hilton on Thursday in my Skylar Relax Slim Straights – Smoke & Mirrors by Hudson Jeans ($220): The perfect boyfriend jean, that can turn into girlfriend jeans real fast, that’s how cute and versatile they are!

photo 1

Who? Me? Rehearsing as "The Voice of God"poolside  at the Beverly Hilton, yesterday.

Who? Me? Rehearsing as “The Voice of God”poolside at the Beverly Hilton, yesterday.

2) All I wanted in my teens was to look like Cindy Crawford. It’s ALL I WANTED. I wanted her beauty mark (which I kind of got, although it was a little up and to the left), prayed for her height of 5’9″ (which I got and totally believe that I manifested), and worked my little butt off to attempt to have her body (by watching – and exercising to – that Cindy Crawford workout video every day after school).

 

Well, I never got her body, exactly, but y’all…I finally manifested those jean cutoffs that she wore in that video, that I’ve been craving since 1992!

I finally got my beloved Cindy Crawford workout video cutoffs! It only took 23 years. Thanks, Hudson, for making this happen!

I finally got my beloved Cindy Crawford workout video cutoffs! It only took 23 years. Thanks, Hudson, for making this happen!

Thank you, Hudson, for making my dream come true with your Tori Slouch Short by Hudson Jeans ($165), which can be worn low on the hips for some Cindy-circa-1992 attitude, or high on the waist, all high-rise style, while seriously flattering any body type.

 

Feeling a little like Cindy, I won't lie

Feeling a little like Cindy, I won’t lie

I finally feel like Cindy Crawford; although, I doubt that I’ll be doing squats and pushups in these beauties!

Hats off to Hudson!

Hats off to Hudson!

And, what is Step Up?

Mission

Step Up propels girls from under-resourced communities to fulfill their potential by empowering them to become
confident, college-bound, career-focused,
and ready to join the next generation of professional women.

wwa-vision

Vision

Step Up believes all girls should have the opportunity to fulfill their potential.

wwa-values

Values

Step Up is a special place where we all propel the fulfillment of potential. We take pride in our core values from which we develop our culture, our brand, and our impact strategies.

You can buy your tickets here!

Hope to see y’all there tomorrow!

I‘ll be the voice of God you’re hearing.

Tee-hee.

 

xoxo,
Dawn