Why You Should Say "No" More Often (& Other Inspiring Advice)


Media personality Amanda de Cadanet knows a thing or two about living under the constant scrutiny of our cultural lens; below, she shares her secrets on keeping perspective in this week's "Shortlisted."

"I consider myself to be a relatively fearless woman."

So goes the opening line of photographer and media entrepreneur Amanda de Cadanet's new book, It's Messy: On Boys, Boobs, and Badass Women. And to be sure, even the briefest listing of de Cadanet's accomplishments back up that assertion:

At age 15, she was the host of a British TV show; soon after, her photography career took off and she went on to become the youngest woman ever to shoot a cover for Vogue. And at 19, she became a mother. Most recently, she founded the digital media company #Girlgaze, a platform dedicated to highlighting the work of young female photographers and directors around the world.

De Cadanet's book takes a deep dive into what it's like living, thriving and struggling through decades in a non-stop, oftentimes relentless industry; it's required her to be fearless, yes, but also vulnerable and susceptible to the impossible demands made on women striving to have a career, raise kids, and maintain some semblance of peace in their personal lives.

How does she do it? Well, it's messy, of course. Below, catch a few of de Cadanet's go-to's when it comes to relieving stress, unplugging, getting re-inspired, and feeling like herself amidst all the chaos. 


Power mantra: "Never take 'no' for an answer."

goop Revitalizing Day Moisturizer, $100

goop Revitalizing Day Moisturizer, $100

Skin saver: Biologique Recherche and goop Revitalizing Day Moisturizer

"I use products from a company called Biologique Recherche religiously, and that's pretty much it. I'll try to get a facial every month, too. I also love my goop Revitalizing Day Moisturizer!"


Can't-miss podcast: Call Your Girlfriend: A Podcast For Long-Distance Besties Everywhere and
On Being

"On Being with Krista Tippett it's one of the few podcasts that promotes real conversation, which I love."


Happy-place outfit:  A vintage chiffon dress and my Warby Parker x Amanda de Cadenet "Silvan" reading glasses in peony.

"Vintage dresses are my go-to. Not only do they suit my style and my figure, but I love vintage materials."


Currently reading + listening to: Boys in the Trees by Carly Simon  

"I try to wind down my work day with something inspiring and informative. I recently finished the Carly Simon's biography on her struggles with body image and anxiety—a battle she still struggles with to this day. I also loved Carrie Brownstein's autobiography Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl."


Productivity hack: Slack and Basecamp.


Audio book of #ItsMessy DONE !!!

A post shared by Amanda de Cadenet (@amandadecadenet) on

Most-opened app: Instagram

"I love to see people, places, friends and photography. Instagram has a perfect balance of all these different POVs and different experiences. What an interesting time we live in, where you can curate your life however you want to  and share it with strangers and friends alike all over the world."


Good hair secret-weapon: A loose braid post-wash.


Flats, sneakers or heels? 

"Obsessed with my APC wedge sandals at the moment  but also love my Tabitha Simmons high-heel boots."


Self-care method of choice: Meditation

"I meditate in the morning, before anyone is awake. It allows me to clear my mind, and to try and start the day openly and productively. Also, taking time alone without my devices and saying 'no' more often."

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Words: Deena Drewis
Photo: Courtesy/Composite