The founder of the television show Dream Big Hannah Viviers and I sat down recently to talk about her much anticipated event, The Beautiful Series Event.
She says: “The event is all about empowering YOU, the remarkable woman, to own your beauty and by so doing enjoy the fullness of your power and purpose. This movement began from our desire to see women break free of the lies of the enemy! And, walk in the greatness God uniquely designed each of us with.”
She shared with me stories from her past where she remembers always loving making people look beautiful. One particular story that stood out for her is when she was in college.
She said: “I was in college and I remember visiting with my aunt and my uncle. My cousin, who was in her teens, in high school at the time, she would love me to just put on some of my foundation on her and some of my powder. One day her friend came over and my cousin says ‘Oh do her makeup, do her makeup’, so I did her makeup — foundation, powder, lipstick, eyelash and the whole thing — and this girl looked at the mirror and said ‘I am beautiful’ and for me that was so powerful in the sense that I don’t think that makeup is what makes a woman beautiful — especially now that I have a daughter it is so important for me to get that message across to her.
“Makeup and clothes do not make you beautiful. You have to recognise that you are beautiful, and so for me in that moment, this teenage girl who said to herself ‘I am beautiful’, that was a powerful thing because I think from what I saw — what I realised of her — she hadn’t realised this about herself, and all of a sudden she is looking at herself and sees that she is beautiful.”
Hannah has been a television anchor for many years, interviewing some of the most respected names in business. She says with all the fulfilment doing what she loved brought her, it was not enough. She didn’t understand why she felt an emptiness inside. Her marriage was better than it had ever been. God had just blessed her with her second child, but yet she felt there was something more.
“A couple of years ago I was doing what I’d always wanted to do with Dream Big, a TV show that I created and at that time we were airing the episodes online. I would contact people with inspiring stories and ask them about their lives — they mostly were triumph over tragedy stories.
“Prior to that I was a business anchor. While I would do all these stories on how successful companies were, it was always interesting to me how successful companies are built by someone. What separates a successful person who also has dreams but does not really make it? There has to be something, and so that was really my thing. I really wanted to speak to people who had made it. I wanted to find out how.
“How do you make it? I think if we could all make it, if everybody could everybody would.
“From interviewing remarkable people who had multimillion companies to others who were starting out everyone had incredible and powerful stories of how they got there.
“While I enjoyed it there was always this feeling that something was missing, and so I started to pray about it and to ask God ‘What do you really want me to do with my life’ I really felt the Father was saying ‘I want you to remind women how beautiful they are’. For a long time I have wanted to do makeovers. There was something about it. I didn’t know what it was because even for Dream Big I would do the make-up.”
She decided to do one story for Dream Big where she would do a makeover.
“The first person we did a makeover with was my friend, Antoinette, which was good because she was comfortable with me. I didn’t know where to start, so I just said to her ‘Let’s start with your clothes. Bring your clothes over to my house and we’ll start from there.’ She came to my house and as we where checking what would work with what piece of clothing, my hands were on her, and she says she couldn’t do it. However, the first time I asked her about a makeover she was really excited.”
Antoinette told her of her rape ordeal when she was just a teenager and the fact that since then, for 20 years she hated it when people touched her. Her friend shared how even her children could not touch her.
She said that for a long time she never had mirrors in her house. On hearing this, Hannah felt that she could not continue exposing her friend through all of that. She felt that it was her fault for bringing up such pain and hurt for her friend. It was Hannah’s husband who said: “You do the makeover on the outside and God will do the makeover on the inside.”
Antoinette changed her mind, however, and allowed Hannah to go ahead with the makeover. What Hannah’s husband said would prove prophetic as God transformed her friend’s life. As Hannah guided her friend with the outside makeover, God was healing the hurt and the pain on the inside.
Hannah said: “The things that happened to Antoinette were supernatural. She is a single mom raising two girls — this is a woman who put a ceiling on her own career so she could be there for her children, so she just pours out. By the end of that one month she had lost four dress sizes. We have never talked about weight.
“The first thing is that she started to connect with herself because she said before the rape she had loved jewellery and looking nice and clothes. She loved fashion. She used to love running and so she started doing that.
“Because of the makeover she was getting her life back …instead of a makeover she was having a ‘lifeover!!!!”
Hannah opened up to me about her own struggles with beauty, self-esteem and feeling inadequate.
“I felt I had failed on so many levels — being a mom I could not breast feed my baby, I was failing at business. I had depression. I felt so exhausted, depleted. When I shared this with my mom she said, ‘A lot of the time before you feel things in the physical they happened in the spirit a long time ago. What you are going through has probably been going through a long time and now you are beginning to feel it. I know you are busy but you need to spend time with God and then you need to look nice go and get your hair done. You need to look after yourself.’
“I was in a depression where nothing mattered. I took baby steps and decided ‘I will not give up on me.’ Life is always there but when you give up on yourself it changes everything. I took my mother’s advice and began to put on a little bit of makeup, a lipstick here, a foundation. The more I did this the more I felt myseLf coming back.
“Remembering my beauty caused me to remember my dreams. This is who I was, what I wanted to do and that desire to fulfil my purpose came back. The physical is what led to the deeper work on the inside. You ask yourself, ‘Why do I look the way I look. Why did I let myself go?’ ”
“For Antoinette it was rape, for me it was failure after failure in my business. All the things that come against us in this life are used by the enemy to do two things — to separate us from God and to separate us from our purpose. If a rape happens or something that changes a person, who they are becomes lost in that process. Who they are becomes stripped in that process. This violation becomes their identity. It’s a lie. You are ugly. What did you do to deserve that? You must have done something to deserve that. If you hear it enough you believe it.
“Our strength as believers comes from knowing who we are in Christ. If you don’t know who you are in Him, if you don’t know how much He loves you, and if you do not believe that what He did for you is complete, you suffer. You are righteous. If you don’t get that you are righteous [in Christ], not as a result of an act that you do, because then you will always be working towards it. When I do something that is absolutely horrible, that is not my identity. There might be consequences but that is not my identity.
“The Beautiful Series event is reclaiming our beauty power and purpose. A lot of women are not fulfilling their potential on this Earth because they believe a lie. They believe a lie that was done to them. I believe with all my heart that God wants to strip women away of that and say ‘This is how beautiful you are.’”
One woman who has benefitted from The Beautiful Series is Antoinette, Hannah’s friend. She said after the makeover: “I just really felt that this makeover is part of my restoration process — a journey that I have been on. The makeover for me is not just about the physical appearance. It changed, but it is definitely emotional and spiritual as well.”
And that is Hannah’s heart — to carry out the assignment God gave her, to remind women how beautiful they are, and as she reminds women of the beauty on the outside the Father will do the deeper work of healing the hurts and the pains brought about by years of lies from the enemy.
What The Beautiful Series event is all about:
Every woman is beautiful. Some however, have gone through various things that have resulted in them forgetting how spectacularly beautiful they are.
A hard life! Poverty! Loss! Abuse! Failure! Rejection! Neglect! Divorce! Rape!
There are so many things — yet they all used by the enemy for one purpose and one purpose only. To cripple us so that no matter how we try, we’re stuck. Unable to live our lives to the full. Unable to break through.
The assaults come to kill the beauty in each one of us. To cause us to think less of ourselves than the amazing people we were created to be. To rob us of our worth and instead replace it with something so far from beautiful we no longer know who we are. And yet, despite all that, the message to us is: Thou art all fair my love, there is no spot in thee” – Song of Solomon 4:7
If you’re ready to shake off the lies and walk in the beauty that you truly are then go to The Beautiful Series event. Invite your girlfriends, sisters, moms — even colleagues.
When: October 1, 2016, 11am-2pm
Where: 3 Cedar Road, Bryanston (Sandton)
Tickets: R150 per person
You can also visit Hannah’s Viviers website http://www.hannahviviers.com to fInd out more.