Former Microsoft exec, author delves into female beauty — inside and out

It’s a well-known saying that, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”

It’s a well-known saying that, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”

And for Bruno Gralpois, the idiom became really clear with the arrival of his daughter. After she was born, the former Microsoft Corp. executive said, that was when he realized that there are so many things girls and women struggle with when it comes to their physical appearance.

“I felt that we lost sight of what real beauty is,” he said about his realization.

Gralpois, who worked as an executive at Visa after leaving Microsoft, said society has an unhealthy standard of what beauty is and he wants people to look at it in a more balanced way.

It was with this goal that he wrote his latest book, “Magnifique Inside & Out.” According to the synopsis on its website, the book “is a personal guide to understanding how beauty fits in our busy lives, building and strengthening core competencies and healthy habits, standing out in crowds and being your absolute best in every situation.”

In the book, Gralpois interviews former Miss USA winners, executives, published authors, field experts and more as he covers four topics: body (nutrition, exercise sleep, etc.), mind (communicating, listening and connecting), confidence building (how to lead and inspire) and projecting yourself (personal brand, creating a purpose and conveying that to the world).

As a man, Gralpois said in writing a book about female beauty, his opinion was actually welcomed into the conversation among those he spoke with during the process. He said men have been largely absent from the dialogue regarding female beauty and how they can help change things.

Gralpois — who also wrote “Agency Mania: Harnessing the Madness of Client/Agency Relationships For High-Impact Results” — is a native of France and grew up near Paris. According to the “Manifique” website, he was an adviser for two-time Academy Award-winning actress Emma Thompson. His “passion lies in protecting human rights and helping others realize their true potential,” the website reads.

Gralpois said his hope for “Magnifique” is for his daughter and other girls and women to feel beautiful no matter what. He said he wants them to think about themselves and others in a new way and come away from reading his book feeling hopeful.

In addition to the epiphany he had when his daughter was born, Gralpois said he had another eye-opening experience when he was asked to be a celebrity judge for a couple of Miss USA pageants. He admitted to having his own preconceived notions and ideas of what a pageant participant would be like, but when he met and got to know some of the young women, Gralpois saw how remarkable and inspiring they were. Some of the participants were entrepreneurs and owned their own companies. Others were excelling academically. And others still focused their energies on giving back to their local communities.

“I was just blown away,” he said about the young women.

Gralpois added that some of the women he met through the pageants overcame great adversity. For example, one participant had been legally blind since she was a child but instead of using her disability as an excuse, Gralpois said she used it as an advantage.

It was through these experiences that Gralpois came to the conclusion that society has been focusing on the wrong type of beauty. He said the media’s and advertisements’ focus on outer beauty have led to many girls and women with low self-esteem. Through writing “Magnifique” and looking at various study results, Gralpois has learned that most women do not find themselves beautiful, which he said is a “tragedy.”

“Magnifique” is now available in paperback as well as for Amazon Kindle readers. Gralpois said there will be a book-launching event beginning at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday at Hotel 1000 at 1000 First Ave. in Seattle. To learn more about the event, visit and click on the “RSVP Launch Event” link at the top of the page.