With her new book, The DivaGirl’s Guide To Style and Self-Respect, Cheryl Ann Wadlington uses her skills as a model, doyenne of style, and a motivator to help young women sparkle until they shine.
By Denise Clay
Reality television and it’s depiction of African American women inspires people to do many things.
Some scream. Others write letters. Others watch and laugh. Still others change the channel.
But a television landscape that has too many “Wives”, “Housewives” and “Love and Hip Hop” inspired Cheryl Ann Wadlington to use her talents as a model, an image consultant, and a motivator of young women to put together the ultimate how-to manual for young girls.
Wadlington, founder of Evoluer Image Consultants and creator of the non-profit Evoleur House personal development program, held a reception unveiling her new book: The DivaGirl’s Guide To Style and Self-Respect at the PECO Energy Building on Tuesday night.
Young girls, their parents, Sarah Dash of Labelle fame, and members of Wadlington’s glam squad and supporters sipped faux-tinis and dined on cupcakes and other treats in a pink-lined room as she signed copies of the book and invited you her glamorous and empowered world.
While reality television and the caricatures contained within it have been with us for awhile, it was seeing the girls of Evoluer House devouring copies of Karrine Stephens’ Confessions of a Video Vixen was the last straw.
“I decided that we must counteract this,” Wadlington said. “These girls need help. I decided to be a part of the change that I wanted to see. When I started Evoluer House in 2000, I wanted to empower girls. This is a part of that.”
The book, which was written by Wadlington and edited by former In Style magazine editor Sonya Beard, gives young girls a roadmap to help them do such things as find that first job, save their first paycheck, and have safe, healthy and age appropriate relationships with the opposite sex.
In addition to having your questions answered by such notables as former Surgeon General Dr. Jocelyn Elder, former Miss USA Kenya Moore, fashion stylist Debra Ginyard, makeup artist Anthony Jones, and skin care guru Millie Bell, the book allows young women space to write down their feelings on various topics.
“I wanted this to be a notebook,” Wadlington said. “I wanted this to basically serve as a road map for young girls. I want them to challenge themselves and to promote critical thinking.”
And with critical thinking, a girl becomes educated…
“When you educate a girl, she becomes more interested in her surroundings in general,” Wadlington said. “It’s the difference between ordinary and extraordinary.”
The DivaGirl’s Guide to Style and Self Respect is available at local bookstores including Barnes and Noble and Books-A-Million. It is also available as a book and ebook on Amazon.com.