A Los Angeles Feminist Treasure: Mira Joleigh

In feminist circles on Twitter, she’s known as that fearless bald chick, but Los Angeles boss babe, life coach and makeup artist Mira Joleigh is so much more than that.

Not many people can say they’ve walked across 30 feet of hot coals, gone skydiving the same day they proposed to their wife and left their corporate desk job to become an exotic dancer. Then, go on to become a successful business owner, life coach and makeup artist. For Mira Joleigh, these facts are just a part of her journey. If Beyoncé was right when she sang that a diva is a female version of a hustla’ then there’s something to be said about Joleigh as a diva. Joleigh is the founder of digital lady squad #Ambitionista, a popular online platform for women in their 20s and 30’s to connect and lift each other up. 

Each Monday, Mira hosts #Ambitionista Twitter chats, an hour-long online group hang where women offer advice, network, and take time out of their week to mentally unwind with like-minded ladies. Following the Twitter chats, participants are encouraged and invited to join the movement in a closed Facebook group called #Ambitionista Success Club. Here women help each other, network and share advice. If there is such thing as a femme-positive lady mafia, I think I may have found it here. 

“I’ve learned that people we admire the most are usually the people we see ourselves in,” says Joleigh. “I tweeted this out earlier today; in an alternate universe I was the love-child of RuPaul and Annie Lennox, but in this universe I am just going to have to be a fangirl.”

In 2014, inspired by fierce femmes such as Amber Rose and Demi Moore, Mira shaved her head, felt liberated, and began posting to social media that #BaldIsBeautiful. Her close friend and former client Alexandra Muller attests to this being one of the most defining Mira moments within her friendship. “It was like this milestone in her life that symbolized her stepping into her own skin and bones. After that, I watched her flourish and grow in career opportunities and in her personal life. It was like she was finally fully herself and began attracting all the right opportunities in life. If that doesn’t scream “INSPIRING!” I don’t know what does. Seriously, how many long haired people have the ovaries to shave their heads? I don’t,” Muller enthused. 

Mira exudes new-wave Beyoncé era feminism and intersectionality that previous models of feminism rejected. “Our generation is starting to define what feminism means to us, and how it’s differentiated from the previous waves,” Joleigh explains, and goes on to insist that feminism means “recognizing that gender is on spectrum, that people who are labeled female at birth tend to be treated differently than people who were labeled male at birth, and that masculine qualities are valued in ways that feminine qualities aren’t. It’s not feminism unless it’s intersectional, so that takes into account all identities including race, sexuality, culture, ability, etc.”

Vulnerability is largely a part of her identity, and as a life coach Mira accepts this and uses it to her advantage. “I don’t have it all figured out – no one does,” says Joleigh, in regards to a common life coach misconception that their lives must be perfect in order to coach others. “This keeps me on my toes, I’m always growing because I want to be the best guide and mentor that I can for my clients.” 

Joleigh prides herself on conquering fear-inducing challenges. She came out of the closet as a lesbian at age 17 in small town Georgia and describes that as a scary time that changed her forever. When asked about this time, she swallowed hard, sighed and reflected, “My own happiness was more important than what other people thought, and once I really got this, I could apply it to so many other aspects of my life.” In regards to her other fear-induced challenges she’s proud of: she’s shaved her head, held a tarantula, gone cage diving with great white sharks, climbed to the top of Machu Picchu and danced naked in front of thousands of strangers. After listing her triumphs, Joleigh states, “I’ve learned that fear is mostly in your head and nothing is ever as scary as we make it out to be.”

When living in Georgia began to feel oppressive and stagnant for Mira, she decided to up and move across the country to Portland, Oregon. As a child of a military family, she was accustomed to moving around a lot and became conditioned to feel as though places and people were temporary. This mindset challenged her ability to bond socially and clouded her view of sisterhood. 

It wasn’t until she was working weekends in a strip club dressing room in Portland where she first felt the bonds of sisterhood, working alongside other empowered dancers. Having always admired strong sexy women, she found working at the strip club to be personally empowering. “The way I see it; I’m going to be ogled at by disrespectful men in public anyway, I might as well be in control of the situation and profit from it,” says Joleigh, whose first introduction to the adult industry was when she discovered an alternative modeling website, Suicide Girls. 

As a dancer, profit is exactly what she did. It started as a fun way for Mira to make extra money on the weekends, but the pace convinced her to leave her desk job behind and plan to use her new funds to start her own life coaching business. A few months later, she learned that most of her coworkers at her old job were laid off in the recession. Mira felt fortunate to be dancing in a seemingly recession-proof source of income. Her love of dancing and comfort with her own body took control of a male-gaze oriented tradition and turned it on it’s head. 

Fast forward seven years… now, as a life coach and beauty ambassador for LimeLight by Alcone, Joleigh headed into 2017 with the knowledge this is her year to hit the six figure mark as a business owner. Mira’s life-coaching business combined with her social media presence has given her perfect positioning to combine her passion for helping people with her passion for beauty. Mira now uses Facebook Live to broadcast motivational webinars as well as makeup tutorials where she applies all of the products she promotes. 

Former coaching client of hers, Alexandra Muller reiterated, “Mira is one of the most inspiring individuals I’ve ever encountered in my life. She’s one of the very few people on this planet that makes everybody feel safe to just be who they are and really inspires people to be the best version of themselves.” 

From a corporate desk job, to exotic dancing, to coaching millennial women through life, to makeup artistry, Mira Joleigh is headed nowhere but up, supported by the strength of all the empowered ladies she has left in her wake. 

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