Beyond skin deep

TV fashion model judge Nigel Barker says he looks beyond the surface to find real beauty. He will appear at Laguna Beach books Sept. 18.

September 09, 2010|By Ashley Breeding,
  • Nigel Barker will sign his new book at Laguna Beach Books.
Nigel Barker will sign his new book at Laguna Beach Books. (Coastline Pilot )

As a fashion photographer who is now embarking on his 14th season as a judge on the primetime series "America's Next Top Model," a reality show in which aspiring young models compete to launch a career in the modeling industry, Nigel Barker's idea of beauty may appear only skin-deep.

Barker will make a special appearance at 5 p.m. Sept.18 at Laguna Beach Books, 1200 S. Coast Hwy., where he will sign copies and discuss topics from his new book, "Nigel Barker's Beauty Equation."

In the book, the former model turned photographer and filmmaker rejects many Western ideals and says that true beauty undoubtedly begins on the inside, as he aims to help women uncover a better and more beautiful version of themselves by examining 10 key elements that he devised throughout years of shooting various subjects.

"Behind the lens, I was always looking for what it is that makes a photo so captivating and memorable," Barker said. "Over time, I realized it's not a stunning façade, but a 'smile' with the eyes, natural warmth and allure about a person that achieve this. When you feel beautiful, you look beautiful."


And "feeling" beautiful, Barker says, stems from something much deeper than our outward appearance. In the book, he lists attributes including compassion, spontaneity, honesty and humor as the essential elements to achieving overall beauty.

Comprised of personal anecdotes and photographs, words of wisdom from inspirational people Barker has met (or studied) along the way and advice from celebrities and fashion, beauty and health experts, each chapter illustrates the essence of these attributes and provides the reader with tools to attain them.

In this "workbook" of sorts, Barker also presents women with challenges such as identifying our best traits, tackling self-defeatist demons and tapping into special talents that serve to enhance our own beauty and help make the world a beautiful place.

The challenges conclude with a self-portrait or video, to document personal transformation throughout this introspective journey. Women can keep journeys private, or share them and inspire others through the book's interactive website,

Conveying the importance of also looking our best to make a good impression, the pages are also filled with an array of beauty and fashion tips from how to play up your prettiest features, embrace the locks you were born with, and look your best in photos.

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