My New Feminine Manifesto – Sexy Isn’t Sustainable

By Dr. Brittany Barreto

The odds were stacked against me, but I refused to let my tumultuous upbringing define my brain’s curiosity to understand myself and humans on a deeper level. I am the first to go to college in my family and I can attribute this milestone to knowing at a young age that I am here on this earth to do something important.

What that was, I wasn’t completely sure, but an 8th grade class in cellular biology let me know that science would be a part of my success story and contribution to social impact.

Throughout my journey, my something important gut feeling fueled my curiosity, an experience that was just as much beautiful as it was brutal.

What was so tough about it?

My beauty was constantly encouraged, while my brain was rarely a topic of discussion. Yet, I wanted to know more, I had an insatiable appetite to learn about science. I didn’t care as much about the color of my lipstick as I did what it was it really made of!?

During my curious pursuit as a young woman, I often wondered why aren’t beauty and brains mutually exclusive?

As an adult, I pondered if I would have to forfeit my outgoing personality, red lipstick, and nail color to be a respected scientist? My answer was unequivocally: Heck no!

This perspective gave me the edge I needed when I finally did figure out what my something important was.

I set out to raise more than a million dollars in investment while still finishing my doctorate in molecular and human genetics to make my idea come to life. Building my business in Houston, my first round of investors were the good ‘ol boys of Texas that assumed I was someone’s secretary instead of the CEO. Cash follows value and I knew what I was creating was worth pursuing, and the pay off isn’t that my company is now evaluated at $6M, what I put in the bank is that when the feminine leads, doors AND hearts open.

The new feminine is going for it, all of it. I obtained my doctorate and oversubscribed on my investments because, why not?

When my pantsuit didn’t get their attention, I grabbed my red lipstick and lab coat and raised $1.275M. I didn’t want to be acknowledged in my industry for my outfit or makeup, but it was the secret weapon I needed for my voice to break bias and build the dream.

The new feminine is the boss babe. So, put on your skirts, pants and lab coats, because it is our time to define what feminine means and feels like to each of us. Like my career in science, I would choose to be successful because that makes me feel sexy.

We keep ourselves from excelling when the standards of society infiltrate how we think we should look, act, or speak – as women and men. This work to me is just as important as what I do day-to-day at Pheramor. Every woman I mentor and every man that I interact with is introduced to my curious manner of adjusting what we see as feminine, and how masculinity is not lost.

My unique background of a dismantled childhood, excelling in science, entrepreneurial ambition, and consistent layer of red lipstick allowed me to connect with many different people from diverse walks of life. They identified with me in their own way. Worldly and intellectual, my red lipstick draws them in, but then I enjoy steering the conversation from fun to a deeper more meaningful place.

As a geneticist I know this, our identity is just as much written in our DNA as it is in our choice of the perspective we invest in and embody. DNA does not discriminate, it’s your own voice that holds you back and defines you to be feminine by being dainty, bottled up, flawless, pretty, and predictable.

The new feminine manifesto is…

Brains + Beauty.

Ambition is sexy.
Set ambitious goals that make others doubt you (i.e. the level of ambition that men are encouraged to pursue).

Be unapologetically yourself and own your voice.
The new feminine is the divine hybrid of female beauty and style combined with the grit and hustle of what is traditionally seen as a masculine trait.

It’s 2019 and the feminine has evolved and it is divine!
Write your own feminine manifesto because sexy isn’t sustainable.

Disrupting the dating industry by championing human connection, Dr. Brittany Barreto has a vision to open doors and hearts through science as the co-founder and CEO of Pheramor, a DNA-based dating app. It was during her college career that she first thought of the idea of sequencing attraction genes to help singles find true love, an idea she shared with a professor who shrugged it off and didn’t encourage her to follow her vision for a company that is valued at $6M today. Her tenacity for the idea that would become Pheramor didn’t dissipate as she continued to study Molecular and Human Genetics at Baylor College of Medicine and shortly after raised over $1M to launch the app, now downloaded in every state. Dr. Barreto gained the illustrious Top 100 Young Executives in America by The Business Journal, HYPE Impact winner, Women to Watch Award, VCIC’s Startup of the Year, InnoStar’s Best in Show, and Startup Grind’s Top 2 Startup of the year globally. As a conscious leader, Brittany makes time to mentor founders of new startups and hosts entrepreneur dinner parties at her apartment in Houston, where she resides with her rescue dog, Trypsin.

One Comment

  1. Really enjoyed this! So glad Dr. Barreto stuck with it and saw her vision realized. Congratulations on the success!

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