Friday, June 1, 2012

This Week's Inspirational Pop Culture Moment: Ken Paves

Photo by Matt Dames/The Style Network

Each week we take a look around our pop culture world and try to find one moment that stood out as the most inspiring. It might be a celebrity who is doing charitable things, a TV shows that inspires us to be better or a philosophy that we should all strive to live by. Here is this week's most inspiring pop culture moment.

This past week Ken Paves helped to incite a Fashion Mob. The celebrity hairstylist joined So You Think You Can Dance host Cat Deeley, supermodel Selita Ebanks and fashion guru Jeannie Mai to pick everyday women for makeovers during a massive open call and day long audition process. While some might look at this as a frivolous TV stunt, the impetuous for the Style Network show and the results are actually quite inspiring.

Paves is known for his impeccable styling ability and his friendships with big name stars like Jessica Simpson. But not many people are aware of his altruistic side. Each year he hosts an event called Makeover Madness, which benefits Padres Contra el Cancer. The “quasi carnival” is a day of painting, chalk drawings and wig making for the children of Latin families struggling with cancer.

When Paves mentioned the event to television producer Ellen Rakieten, she thought it would make a great show. She had wanted to do something with Paves since she first brought him on to The Oprah Winfrey Show years earlier. And this seemed like the perfect fit.

From that conversation came the concept of Fashion Mob. Paves was no stranger to transformational TV. Over the years he’s lent his talents to The Biggest Loser and The X Factor and gone in search of the meaning of physical attractiveness on Jessica Simpson: The Price of Beauty.

Not surprisingly when it came to choosing candidates from all the hopefuls who showed up for Fashion Mob, Paves picked women who needed it — not just aesthetically but emotionally as well. In a recent exclusive interview he talked about one person who touched his heart the most.

He recounted, “There’s a woman on the show that was dealing with cancer and in an interesting situation where it left her skin as if she was wearing a badge that showed what happened. But she chose to wear that badge with courage to tell her story.”

For years Paves says he’s been giving “a free lift to women anywhere in the world in medical need.” That generosity of spirit carried over to the show.

He turned to his friend Sarah Lucero, International Creative Director for Stila cosmetics and a cancer survivor herself, for help. Paves explained, “The moment I knew that we were going to work with this woman, I brought Sarah in. Sarah and I worked together many times. We were already using her make-up artists. And I asked her to personally come in and do this because I’ve never gone through this type of a situation. In order to really speak to someone and be heard, and resonate with them, you have to speak the same language or have walked the same walk and they did.”

The result was a beautiful transformation both inside and out. Paves reflected on the experience, “For me there were these amazing moments where you saw them off to the side, which I know we capture. And they’re just holding hands and they’re bonding.”

To learn more about Ken Paves, visit his website.

For related stories check out: 

Jane Lynch Finally Gets Her Due

Jane Lynch Discusses Christopher Guest

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