Goal to empower hundreds of Nevis women

By Dave Kaiser

Robin Roberts, host of the Good Morning America (GMA) television show and Petula Skeete, her four-time Emmy Award-winning personal hair stylist, will for the first time, appear together for the “#beautyFULL You Women’s Conference” on July 3 at the Four Season’s Resort on Nevis. The event culminates elaborate planning by Skeete, also known as “Hairstylist to the Stars,” to return to her Nevisian roots and empower hundreds of local women to recognize their individuality.

The conference will feature a fashion show, cocktails and presentations by Skeete and members of the GMA ‘Glamour Brigade’ that maintain Robert’s fresh look before and during The Today Show.

Roberts will deliver the keynote address to launch the day-long event.

“It is my honour to deliver the keynote address at the #beautyFULL You Women’s Conference in Nevis,” Roberts said. “The conference’s message of inclusive beauty and its celebration of individuality are welcome and needed. I look forward to sharing the stage with my dear friend Petula and helping her kick off a conversation about what’s #beautyFULL that will continue well past the day of the event crossing many international borders.”

New memoir describes Roberts’ ordeal

Robert’s mother used to tell her, “Everybody’s got something.” Robert’s something was myelodysplastic syndrome or MDS, a rare blood disorder. A breast cancer survivor, Roberts underwent a bone marrow transplant in September 2012 to treat MDS, receiving donor cells from her sister, Sally Ann, and candidly documented her journey.

Now, in a new memoir, Everybody’s Got Something,” published this week,  she describes her battle and incredible support system — including her family, friends, and girlfriend, Amber, who helped her get through it all, from the shock of the diagnosis through each milestone in her recovery.

Skeets Journey Began in Nevis

“I picked Nevis as the first place to launch my campaign because it’s where I began my journey to find what is #beautyFULL to me,” Skeete explains. “Now I am an accomplished hairstylist working in television and it is my duty to tell women to embrace what makes them different and celebrate the things that others may describe as ‘imperfections’ as they might just be your plus.”

“It took me a long time to realize that it’s the things that I have tried to hide from the world that actually made me different and beautiful,” Skeete continued. “Now, I want to share this with every woman on the planet and make sure they feel as #beautyFULL as I do.”

After leaving Nevis, it took Skeete a long time to discover her individual beauty. She describes the conference as, part of a mission “to inspire and empower women everywhere to find beauty in their individuality and celebrate their differences.”

“I was inspired to start #beautyFULL You to discuss the scars that I carried for the first 20 years of my life, wondering what true beauty is,” Skeete said. She is anxious and hopeful that this experience will encourage women like her to feel liberated from mainstream concepts of beauty and self-image.

“Most of all, this event will seek to unleash their inner beauty and help them realize the only person who can validate you is you,” Skeete added.

Her goal is to empower women on a local level, encourage them to share their stories and spark a global conversation about inclusive beauty.

‘Beauty Brigade’ Presentation

Skeete will appear with “Beauty Brigade,” team members assigned to prepare Roberts before each show and maintain her fresh appearance throughout the show. Team members will provide insight about what it is like to be assigned to prepare television personalities like Roberts overcome the challenges of being on-camera and under harsh lighting.

GMA Glamour Brigade team members will provide behind-the-scenes commentary about their activities. Presentations will be given by Skeete, makeup artist Elena George, and wardrobe stylist Di’Andre Tristan. They will reveal tips and secrets to show audience members how to choose their makeup and clothes to look as if their appearance was prepared by a professional makeup team.

The team will describe how attendees can release their inner beauty and do make-up makeovers. Experts will discuss: wardrobe and hair-styling tips and tutorials; and discuss show how to carry out effective makeup techniques.

Skeete opening Nevis salon

At the same time, Skeete announced plans to open and operate a hairstyling salon on Nevis at the Four Season’s Resort. It will cater to the public and to celebrity clients that visit the island for vacation. Skeete plans to model the Nevis salon after her Royal Mountain Salon on West 23rd Street in Manhattan, New York.

Sponsoring breast cancer effort

As a secondary mission, the conference aims to bring attention to the importance of breast exams and mammograms for the early detection and prevention of breast cancer.

Skeete is personally dedicated to helping Caribbean women who have been affected by mastectomies to be fitted with bras and prosthesis as part of their journey to feel whole again. It is her personal mission to ensure that help is given to every Nevisian woman who needs prosthesis.

“It is with great pride and admiration that we welcome Petula home and embrace #beautyFULL You to the Federation of St. Kitts-Nevis and more importantly Nevis,” said the Hon. Mark Brantley, Minister of Tourism for Nevis. “It will be an incredibly beneficial and visionary beauty event that we sincerely hope will be repeated annually. From her longstanding work with local cancer patients to the launch of this conference, Petula has never forgotten her roots, has always given back and is a source of pride to us all.”

The conference is being supported by IT Cosmetics, CŌTZ® – Mineral Sunscreens; The Four Seasons Resort Nevis; HEX Performance-Detergent Designed For Today’s Laundry’ and the Nevis Board of Tourism.

Registration is now open for the conference, which will be hosted by Four Seasons Resort Nevis and held on July 3, 2016. Information is available at www.beautyFULLconference.com. Tickets can be purchased locally at Glitz and Glam Boutique in Charlestown, Nevis, for 135 E.C ($60 U.S.) or by calling 869-667-7142.