"TODAY Show" Style Editor Bobbie Thomas’ background in psychology, impeccable eye for style and genuine, infectious personality has taken her from counselor at a rape crisis center to the red carpet, promoting her message that “beauty truly comes from the strength within.” An inspiration to women everywhere, we took a minute to ask Bobbie a few fun questions: [Edited for space and clarity.]
Who is your style guru? My mom or women on the street who have the everyday responsibilities we all have – anyone I meet that the outside matches the inside. There’s something inspiring about what everyday women around you have to offer. It would be hard for me to be honest and say, "My style icon growing up was this [celebrity]." When I started in this business I was in the field of psychology. I just wanted to work with other women. I was a counselor at a rape trauma center – I was focused on the inside. And so, what I love most is when that inside is on the outside. When you can just see their personality right on them. And as a modern style guide – not an expert – I can’t do it without people sharing their information with me.
Where is the best place you’ve ever traveled? Professionally, I am blown away on a daily basis walking around [her current home] New York City. There is so much creativity and passion and drive jammed into this small little island of Manhattan that you can’t possibly understand in a lifetime just how much is all around you. Personally, I have a soft spot for Memphis – and that’s because of Miss Lynn, my Memphis Mama, who happens to be Justin Timberlake’s mom. She is like my escape when I want to shut my professional brain off. [Bobbie grew up in Los Angeles from junior high through college and was childhood friends with the Timberlakes.]
What motivates you? The true definition of style. I know that fashion and beauty surround my work most of the time, but so much of what I put into it almost has nothing to do with what’s on the runway or in the beauty aisle. It has more to do with self-expression. I love what I do – I don’t look at my job as a job. When work isn’t work, it’s really motivating. I feel like the luckiest girl on earth to be trusted by other women to share my information.
If you were stranded on a deserted island and could only take one beauty item, what would you take? GloMinerals. I don’t think I could live without my GloMinerals pressed powder. It’s my SPF and it makes me feel like my skin tone is even. I love it.
How many times have you been a bridesmaid? I am a professional bridesmaid! I probably could have given Katherine Heigl a run for her money in “27 Dresses.” But honestly, about eight to 10. And I’ve never caught the bouquet!
Of all the bridesmaids’ dresses you’ve worn, which one was your favorite? I love BCBG, and Max Azria and his wife, Lubov, are such generous and amazing people. They found the perfect dress for Giuliana [DePandi-Rancic’s] wedding in Italy. All the girls felt beautiful and airy.
What was the best wedding you’ve ever been to? What made it so special? The best weddings I’ve been to are where you really feel like you get to know the couple and the family. It’s not about how much you spend, what you’re eating, how big it is. It’s really about the connection between the couple and your audience, which is your family and friends. Getting married is about the fact that you’re standing up in front of everyone you care about, and you’re telling them, “This is it. This is my soul mate, and this is how important he is to me.” If you are going to do something, don’t just do it to impress people – do it because it has sentimental value. Find a way to convey your personalities through the details.
You’re giving your best friend a pep talk before she walks down the aisle. What do you say? Always love yourself as much as you love him.
You’re getting ready to go out with your girlfriends. What are you listening to? It depends. If I’ve had a stressful week, it might be Sade, Sarah McLachlan, Meshell Ndegeocello, Sting. On another note, Fergie, Justin … and I love finding new artists.
As a beautiful, successful, busy woman, how do you find balance in your life? If you were to ask me the one thing I would critique about myself it would probably be that! I am always in search of balance. Everybody is. When I was younger I focused a lot more on love, and I had a few bumps in the road. I felt like I had to focus on security within. Like many women who have been burned young in relationships, I think I found myself in fear of attaching. I wanted to do it all myself. And I have a lot of friends today that ask me to take a vacation or a couple days off, but even on my days off I’m [giving advice] because that makes me feel good. But I am eternally in search of balance, and I really, really hope that some day I might be surprised and find myself headed toward the aisle myself.