Michaeline DeJoria, John Paul Mitchell Systems® Vice Chairman
As Vice Chairman of John Paul Mitchell Systems®, Michaeline steers the future development of the company's extensive portfolio of brands. At home, together with her husband, she steers the future in a different way╌teaching their young son and daughter the importance of feeling empowered and motivated to take care of their health and make good choices.
Q: Even though your daughter is still quite young, what would you tell her about living a healthier, happier and longer life?
A: We have always raised our children to know the value of themselves and their lives. To take care of your body and mind is huge╌it sets a domino effect for all other areas of your life. For example, how you respect others and your environment, how empowered and motivated you feel, how much gratitude you have for your health and your motivation to live life to the fullest and spread as much joy as you can for as long as you can. We have always, and will continue to, remind them of how wonderful and loved they are, and how grateful they should be for their strong bodies. It is a responsibility we all have to show our gratitude and take good care of those strong bodies!
Q: Are there ways that you're empowering your daughter to live proactively?
A: I give her the freedom to create ways to be proactive, which is key. She is surrounded by a lot of options, and we talk about what others are doing, or how cool it is that a song talks about being strong, or how a character in a movie never gave up. There are examples everywhere, and we lead by example as well. We ask her opinion; we ask for her ideas, and when she gives them we LISTEN. If she thinks we should have a drive to donate a particular item (no matter how random it may seem), we do it. If she wants to wear "boy" clothes all day because that’s her style right now, she does. If she wants to go on a hike or cook a healthy invention of a snack with me, we do it. We show that her voice creates action, which if you learn as a kid, will be your standard as an adult. Whether it’s helping someone, speaking up for what’s right or sharing a concern she has about a lump with her doctor"her voice has value, and she should expect nothing short of change when she sets out to get it.
Q: How will you educate your daughter about her risk factors for breast and ovarian cancer?
A: It’s tricky with children so young, but it is so important. We, unfortunately, know several people who have battled cancer, so it is not something our kids are unaware of. What we tell them is that cancer is a special kind of infection in your body, which your body cannot fix all by itself. You can sometimes fix it with extra help, and sometimes your body gets too tired trying to fix it so it decides not to live anymore. It is something that you should be aware of, but not scared of. You should feel powerful because you can keep your body healthy and strong, you can talk about things you notice like a bump or a yucky feeling somewhere, and you can test as you get older. We chose to empower them with tools to prevent and fight it, rather than making them feel like it is something scary that might happen to them (which would only make them worry and wait!).
Q: What three words come to mind when supporting your daughter about the importance of living well?
A: Respect, strength, love.