Quanita Adams on the infinity of beauty
She’s talented, passionate and 100% comfortable in her own skin. The actress Quanita Adams is celebrating every aspect of womanhood this Women’s Month. She also shares her thoughts and feeling around beauty with us.
What does beauty mean to you?
Beauty means many things to me. It’s mainly about how one feels. It’s about a confidence, a self assuredness that can come from many places, from oneself or one’s environment. For many women, it can come from their attire, how they dress, their identities, and how they feel in the world, and how the world sees them in return. I think we should have as many ideas of beauty as there are people in the world, for everyone on this entire planet holds in them their own kernel of beauty. I don’t think it’s one thing. It’s an infinity of things.
What makes you feel beautiful?
Oh my word, so many things. I mean – I won’t lie – when I feel I look good, with my clothes, hair, makeup and skin just right, and those things are working together, it puts a swing in my step and makes me hold my head a little higher. Then yes, of course I feel beautiful. But also, when people whom I love look at me with love, then I feel at my most beautiful. Things that make me laugh, that bring me joy, that light me from the inside, these things all make me feel beautiful.
How do you spoil yourself?
I spoil myself by treating myself, my body, to lekker things. I’m a sucker for nice products, particularly for my hair and skin. And as an African I have so many natural resources at my disposal to keep me fresh and glowing. Also, there are so many incredible local brands that source indigenous, natural ingredients for their products and who have created some amazing products for our skins, our hair and our beauty in general. Also, I buy shoes.
Who is the most beautiful woman to you, and why?
It sounds cliched perhaps, but my mom is exquisite! She’s a woman in her mid-60s and she has a youthfulness and a gorgeousness that floors me. In fact, I come from a family of many women and all of them are insanely beautiful… it’s like a novel, I promise you! These impossibly beautiful women, they seem to just keep coming. But also, a woman who is clearly aligned with her ideas of what she thinks, is beautiful. I often encounter women in the street who look amazing just being themselves. I make a point of saying, “you look beautiful”. To honour the moment, to just reach out and say, “hey, I see you, and yes my dear, you do look amazing”! And these are not models either, they can be anyone, but sometimes you can just tell that a woman is totally into herself, she’s in her body, owning her look and it’s wonderful! Also in Cape Town, seriously, there’s something about the women here, as tough and complicated and crazy and unpredictable and fierce and wonderfully mad as we are, there’s a beauty here, in all shapes and shades.
If you could give your 18-year old self beauty advice, what would it be?
Dear 18-year old, Quanita. Relax, fool, you’re not fat! One day you’re gonna laugh at the time you wasted stressing. Keep doing that thing with your hair. Never mind what people shout at you in the road. One day people will love you for what your hair represents, and in fact you will make it possible to have other younger skinny supermodel versions of yourself earn money in commercials cos of that big hair! Way to start a trend, young one! Also, keep just washing your face with water, and putting rosewater and witch hazel on, like your mom. You’ll thank me when you’re 40 and don’t have any wrinkles. Oh ja, sunblock. These few freckles that have started sprouting on your face are going to mutiny soon and explode over your face. Take care, put the sunblock on.
What’s the most important thing you have come to understand about beauty in the last ten years?
Ignore the hype. Find what works for you. Then find the company that does it locally. Support local, buy local, use local. Stick to the basics. Listen to what your mother and her mother told you. There’s wisdom there. It’s about finding ways of combining old-school wisdom with what we have at our disposal now.
What about womanhood will you be celebrating this Women’s Month?
I will celebrate every aspect of womanhood! In a country where it’s not always easy for every woman to celebrate and be celebrated in return, I will try to spend the month conscious of my privilege, and vigilant to check it. I will try to use what I have to try and make a small difference for someone who might not have. I think it’s important that we support each other. In whatever way is necessary.