When it comes to making doors open, it probably doesn’t hurt to have the face of a Parisian runway model.
With a resume packed with high-end modeling and acting gigs, August McLaughlin could have kick-backed with her super-modely self and rested on easy street.
Instead, she chose to use her talent, smarts, and optimistic voice, to dedicate her life to something much deeper. August spends her days speaking out on behalf of others. For that, my friend wins my accolades as a thoroughly lovely, Kiss-Ass Woman.
August, now a nationally recognized health and sexuality writer, with work appearing in DAME Magazine, the Huffington Post (how stinkin’cool is that?!) and more, has a mission in this life.
While recovering from a severe eating disorder, August realized that a lack of sexual empowerment played a significant role in her long-held body image issues. She then began noticing that she was far from a sole case. She had her “ah ha” moment. August made the decision to completely change her career path from one of projecting air-brushed perfectionism, to inspiring women to embrace their real-life bodies, sexuality and selves, and to live passion-infused lives.
A Minnesota native, August told me, “Sex ed is severely limited in our culture and sexuality in general remains taboo—especially for women. All of this contributes to problems that run rampant in women’s lives: depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, high levels of stress, and more.
When I started writing about female sexuality (I say “female” because I include girls; we’re sexual beings from the get-go), there were many terms for male sexual pleasure in my slang dictionary, but zero for women’s. Zilch. Not a one. Yet there are countless demeaning sexual terms related to us (“slut” being one of the worst).”
She wrote and published her first novel, In Her Shadow, a psych thriller novel loosely based on her experience with anorexia. Then she started her own radio show and gave it a name that’s hard to ignore.
“I trademarked Girl Boner®, a term and concept I’d been curious about since grade school, because I believe language holds power. But for me, it’s far more than a term, blog and podcast. It’s part of a cultural shift. A movement. When women are empowered sexually, we all benefit—men included.”
Her show covers all sorts of topics related to women’s sexuality and she often invites guest-experts to come in-studio to share their knowledge. On one of my personal favorite shows, August discussed how the way a man treats you in bed is indicative of how he will treat you in a relationship. It seemed so obvious once she pointed it out, and yet it was such a profound observation for me. Looking back on my own relationships, I could see she was completely right on. What an insightful gift to pass onto our sisters, daughters, and girlfriends.
But here’s what I find most inspiring about August. It’s her supreme belief in the power of goodness and hard work. “I have so much work to do and growth to gain, but I’m incredibly happy. When we do work that fulfills us emotionally (which, for me, has to feel impactful), our whole worlds open up, … we uplift others in countless meaningful ways. I’m savoring the heck out of this ride.”
I love the idea that being a better, happier person, in and of itself, is a positive for everyone around us. That’s a goal worth striving for.
Thank you for reading! Holly Kammier is a former journalist who has worked everywhere from CNN in Washington, D.C. and KCOP-TV in Los Angeles, to the NBC affiliate in small-town Medford, Oregon. The blogger and UCLA honors graduate is the author of the memoir, Could Have Been Holly Wood. Kingston Court, is her debut novel. A California native and mother of two, Holly currently splits her time between San Diego, California and Henderson, Nevada. Co-creator of Acorn Author Services & Publishing, she is available for speaking engagements and content editing. www.hkammier.com