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October 18, 2018

#80 | The Quest for Beauty: Exploring the World and Remembering What Matters with Sara Melotti

About This Episode

Warning: This episode has graphic descriptions of violent scenes.

What is beauty? What is the most beautiful thing in the world to you? What makes a woman beautiful? What makes a woman not beautiful? Do you feel beautiful?

“I am successful because I am living the life I want to live. I feel very aligned with what I was put on Earth to do.”

Sara Melotti had been working as a fashion photographer for 3 years when she realized the kind of images she was producing were contributing to very unrealistic standards of beauty that made countless women suffer. Sara didn’t want to be part of that machine anymore so she decided to put her skills to use and actively do something about the issue. In October 2015, Sara created The Quest for Beauty and she started traveling the world, photographing everyday women in their everyday lives to show that real beauty can be found in every woman no matter the age, size, bone structure, skin tone or background.

“Femininity is being yourself. It is a part of you that doesn’t have a shape or color, it is what it is.”

Join us for a powerful discussion on what it means to be beautiful, what it means to be a woman, and how we can all use our talents to help make the world a more welcoming, less violent place for beautiful women everywhere.

Sara’s travels have taken her all over the world, from New York to France to Cuba to India, and at every destination, she finds women and asks them the same questions about beauty. She has found that 99% of the answers have nothing to do with physical beauty, and everything to do with confidence, kindness, and empathy.

“It’s about truth, and when I find something that isn’t true, I need to write about it. I don’t care about the consequences. People should know the truth.”

In this episode, Sara will share her views on the dangers of the beauty standards created by social media and her experiences with being disgusted by her own body and overcoming her insecurities. She will also share how her work with NGOs, specifically her recent trip to India with Action Aid, has opened her eyes to the privilege of women in the West, and the work that needs to be done for women facing violence all over the world.

“No woman should look in the mirror and want to cry.”


Behind The Quest

Sara Melotti Online

Sara Melotti Photography on Facebook

Sara on Instagram

Tools & Resources Mentioned



  • Google Maps – Google Maps is a web mapping service developed by Google. It offers satellite imagery, street maps, 360° panoramic views of streets, real-time traffic conditions, and route planning for traveling by foot, car, bicycle, or public transportation.
  • Medium – Medium is an online publishing platform developed by Evan Williams, and launched in August 2012. Medium taps into the brains of the world’s most insightful writers, thinkers, and storytellers to bring you the smartest takes on topics that matter. So whatever your interest, you can always find fresh thinking and unique perspectives.

People/Blogs to Follow

  • Anthony Bourdain – Anthony Michael Bourdain was an American celebrity chef, author, travel documentarian, and television personality who starred in programs focusing on the exploration of international culture, cuisine, and the human condition. He was considered one of the most influential chefs in the world.
  • Russell Brand – Russell Edward Brand is an English comedian, actor, radio host, author, and activist. After beginning his career as a stand-up comedian and later becoming an MTV presenter, Brand first achieved renown in 2004 as the host of Big Brother’s Big Mouth, a Big Brother spin-off.
  • Neil Gaiman – Neil Richard MacKinnon Gaiman is an English author of short fiction, novels, comic books, graphic novels, audio theatre, and films. His works include the comic book series The Sandman and novels Stardust, American Gods, Coraline, and The Graveyard Book.
  • Elizabeth Gilbert – Elizabeth M. Gilbert is an American author, essayist, short story writer, biographer, novelist, and memoirist. She is best known for her 2006 memoir, Eat, Pray, Love, which as of December 2010 had spent 199 weeks on the New York Times Best Seller list, and which was also made into a film by the same name in 2010.
  • Tiziano Terzani – Tiziano Terzani was an Italian journalist and writer, best known for his extensive knowledge of 20th century East Asia and for being one of the very few western reporters to witness both the fall of Saigon to the hands of the Viet Cong and the fall of Phnom Penh at the hands of the Khmer Rouge in the mid-1970s.

Recommended Books

  • The End is My Beginning by Tiziano Terzani (Original Italian Version) – Tiziano Terzani, knowing he had reached the end of his career, talks to his son Folco about what his life was like and what life is: “If you understand something, you want to leave it there in a package,” he says. So, at Orsigna, under a tree a few steps from the gompa, his Tibetan style house, in a wonderful mood, he tells of a whole life spent traveling the world in search of the truth.
  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman – A brilliantly imaginative and poignant fairy tale from the modern master of wonder and terror, The Ocean at the End of the Lane is Neil Gaiman’s first new novel for adults since his #1 New York Times bestseller Anansi Boys. This bewitching and harrowing tale of mystery and survival, and memory and magic, makes the impossible all too real.

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