I just finished reading Brazilian Sexy: Secrets to Living a Gorgeous and Confident Life by Janea Padilha with Martha Frankel. I'm so influenced by this book that whenever I encounter an issue I'm going to ask myself WWBWD? What Would a Brazilian Woman Do? First of all, Janea Padilha is one of the J Sisters of the J Sisters Salon in Manhattan that was made famous when Gwyneth Paltrow said their Brazilian Bikini Wax changed her life. Janea is more than a waxer but a therapist. This book isn't exactly Proust. It's small and can be read over a few days but for a small book it does pack some big lessons about life:

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  • Make everyone around you feel good. Don't just flirt with the men but make the women around you feel good. I guess this is how those devastatingly beautiful Brazilian supermodels actually have girlfriends. They don't use their beauty as a weapon. Making everyone around you feel good is beautiful.
  • Make the best of what you have. Janea didn't have new shoes to go to THEE party of the season so she dyed her favorite white shoes red. She exuded confidence and was the belle of the ball in those "new" shoes.
  • Don't talk badly about yourself or others. Janea's own mom had 14 pregnancies and never talked badly about her body. There was no "Does this make me look fat?" conversation. She never nagged or asked Janea's father, "Am I pretty?" Thus she always kept her handsome husband by not needing his constant validation.
  • Cry it out. Brazilians are not ashamed of their emotions. Janea gets upset when she hears American moms telling their kids to stop crying. This advice goes for adults too, better to get it out than suppress it. Don't try to "out-spiritualize" as so many self-helpers do. Even wonder why you can't wish emotions away with positive thinking. You have to let it run its course.
  • Be flexible. This book taught me the Brazilian saying, "You cannot dance rock n'roll to a samba song." Meaning if you dance to the right song, your life will be easier.
  • Learn to be happy alone. Like many of us Janea hasn't met her soulmate yet. As a young woman she was in an unhappy marriage and learned that it is better to be alone than to be alone in a relationship. What makes her different is that she is not waiting but living her life and that's the Brazilian Way.

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