By Raven N. Garza
AUSTIN, Tx.—After spending the majority of her life trying to fit in with society’s beauty standards and perception of “normalcy,” Michelle Faraco decided it was time to tell the world about what she had been covering up. Now, she has a social movement called Moon Child, named after her astrological sign’s (Cancer) ruling planet, dedicated to empowering thousands to feel good about themselves.
Faraco has alopecia, a common autoimmune skin disease that affects 6.8 million people in the U.S.. Since she was about 8-years-old, Faraco became accustomed to wearing wigs as a way to hide her true self, but that completely changed when she decided to say bye-bye to her hairpiece for good.
“I was finally living in this confident, courageous new way and really embracing my most authentic self,” Faraco shared.
It took her some time to feel confident about this non-traditional path and whether it would be valuable to other people. On top of that, she didn’t know much about the logistics of being a professional speaker. This situation, although challenging, opened up many learning opportunities, according to Faraco.
If you peek into her Instagram profile, you’ll find an expansive collection of encouraging —not to mention very aesthetically pleasing— posts and over 10,000 dedicated followers who resonate with her message. You might find it hard to believe that at the start of her journey as an empowerment speaker, one of Faraco’s biggest challenges was believing in herself.
“You always have to believe in yourself, but with speaking it’s crucial that you believe in your story and what your message is to the world,” she explained.
New York-born and Caracas-Venezuela raised, Faraco spent over seven years as a client service team lead for ad agencies. Now, she’s focused on being an empowerment speaker and social entrepreneur who helps people take actionable steps towards self-acceptance.
To her, living baldly (or boldly) means showing up and challenging the world’s standards instead of yourself every day.
During her presentations, Faraco asks her listeners to think about what their “wig” is— that one overwhelming thing that prevents people from fully embracing themselves. For some, it’s an insecurity about their weight. For others, it’s the anxiety of coming out to their friends and family.
Although she successfully removed her wig, both literally and figuratively, Faraco also finds it important to establish routines that ground her as a person, especially as an entrepreneur.
“My gratitude journal is my number one hook to reality and a way to stay within myself,” Faraco shared. “In entrepreneurship, you’re going to grow a lot as a professional, but you’re also going to grow so much as a person.”
On the days when she’s feeling overwhelmed or not at her best, Faraco likes to give herself space and permission to feel those emotions.
“I don’t think emotions are good or bad,” she said. “They’re just messages, and you need to take that time to really listen to them.”
She also likes to spend time in nature, which gives her a lot of inspiration. Seeing the moon, stars, and trees helps her feel connected to her surroundings. Faraco’s greatest achievement so far isn’t her successful career or massive following —it’s being a mother. She proudly talked about being a mom and what a life-changing experience it has been.
“That was my number one dream,” she stated. “Everything started opening up for me when I gave birth, I found myself.”
Her goal for the future is to keep growing so that her message can continue to inspire more people, especially young students in middle school and high school.
“I’m convinced that we need to be talking about self-love, personal growth, acceptance, and emotional intelligence early on in schools,” Faraco said. “It needs to be right up there with subjects like math, literature, and geography.”
By raising a generation of kids who love and accept themselves, she believes it would lead to more acceptance in our society and allow folks to show up as their most authentic selves.
There are many discussions to explore when it comes to self-love, but the one takeaway Faraco wants her audience to gain, is this:
“The courage to accept ourselves is what’s going to give us the freedom to be who we’re really meant to be. That’s how you tap into your full potential.”
Featured image courtesy of Michelle Faraco.
About the writer:
Raven Garza is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin with a bachelor’s in English Literature and is now the Content Marketing Manager at Popspots. She has a background in the entertainment industry, tech startups, and art history. Garza is fond of covering live music, Latinx life and culture, and LGBTQ+ topics. Her works have been published in Austin Startups, Do512, Front Row Center, and Latinitas Magazine. To de-stress, she enjoys crowd surfing at punk shows around town.
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