Posted on June 26 2017
Our Hawaii Based Honeys may recognize today’s feature female, a Maui Mama who has been everywhere from next you in barre class to representing Hawaii on a National platform. We could really go on and on about how multi-faceted she is (for starters: black belt in karate). Malika Dudley is likely most well known for her television appearances as a prior TV weather anchor with KGMB9 News, and currently the Chief Meteorologist for Pacific Media Group, but her beginnings began in humble Hilo.
“My parents laid roots in the small plantation town of Papaikou on the Hamakua coast. I walked to school every day from our house since it was right down the street. I would wait until the warning bell rang and would run down to homeroom in the five minutes allowed before you were marked late.” Malika attended Kalanianaole Elementatry and Intermediate School and Hilo High School. Growing up, she struggled with bullying because of her light skin and suffered from periods of depression and a negative self image as a result. She described having severe acne and unkempt curly hair. Looking at the pictures she's shared with me, I can't help but find her very naturally pretty. But as every woman knows, its how you feel that makes the biggest impact on the way you carry yourself through the day to day.
“I felt ugly, I wanted to be SHORT, and dark, and have straight hair, and clear skin- I was none of these things. Boys didn’t like me… at that age, that’s all that matters. It was tough. But nothing other teens don’t deal with. When I was in high school we answered some questions about ourselves in a ‘proust writing’ and sealed it to be opened a few years later. I opened it a decade later and cried to read just how insecure, depressed and warped my image of myself was at that age.”
Despite the social pressures, Malika applied herself to academics and graduated as a Valedictorian in 2000. She pursued multiple Ivy League schools, but to her surprise, faced repeated rejection. She was ultimately offered a full ride scholarship from University of Hawaii Manoa, which she accepted, “I’m the oldest of four and my parents still had three kids to put through college. I felt so ‘grown up’ making a decision like that at that age... though it kind of broke my heart that I wasn’t ‘spreading my wings’ on the mainland. In hindsight it was the best thing that ever happened to me. I wouldn’t be where I am today if I had not chosen to stay in Hawaii 17 years ago.”
It was in college that she began to emerge from her insecurities through self reflection. This personal growth continued and by the time she ran for Miss Hawaii in 2005, she had clearly become a beacon of confidence.
“BUT,” she says, “It wasn’t until I became a mother that I truly, fully, embraced my body.”
Witnessing the magic of transformation that takes place in pregnancy, post partum and throughout motherhood forever altered the amount of respect she gave to her own physical form. “First of all, I honor my body more. The greater purpose my body served runs circles around me every day… they love me unconditionally and don’t care what I look like. When I was pregnant, it felt like an out-of-body experience, I allowed my body to do what it had to do. If that meant gaining 40 lbs with each pregnancy, then so be it! The post partum days were the worst—as far as self-image – but, I just kept myself busy with the newborn and that helped. After each birth, I gave my body the time to heal (6-8 weeks) before jumping back into an exercise routine. I’m not very good at motivating myself so I gave myself a goal each time.”
And clearly this mama of two looks fantastic.
Malika juggles her busy work life with being a stay at home mom with four year old Jackson and one year old Waipuna. She has a love for the ocean, “the one constant in my life,” being raised by a father whose an oceanographer and growing to enjoy tandem surfing, canoe surfing, stand up paddle boarding, hydrofoiling and many other water sports. She crossed the Molokai channel twice on a stand up paddle board-obviously a black belt in ocean skills.
Although motherhood has taken her out of her love affair with the ocean, she has found new joy in sharing the ocean with her children, “It makes my heart smile that something I love to do so much – they have a fondness for too.”
Lately though, Malika’s training has been focused on the barre method, a passion which has been shared by many of our previous featured females. “Pure Barre Maui is the absolute best thing I’ve found to get fit. I’ve never been this toned in my life… it’s amazing. The best part is that it’s a commitment of just one hour … Even in class, it’s an out of body experience… it’s a mental exercise may be even more than its physical. It’s all about believing YOU CAN. Not giving up. Pushing past your limits. And the payoff is such an amazing feeling of accomplishment – after every single class. It’s an analogy for life – maybe that’s why I love it so much.”
Normal for Malika, is not quite normal. From a day consumed with housework and errands to a day and night of work in hair and makeup, shooting on location and being so frequently in the public eye. The need for confidence and self-discipline amplified by her personal experiences. At the end of the day, she is a woman and mother, like myself, like many of us. She is capable of so much, as are we.
If you didn't know Malika before, we hope you enjoyed getting to know her a little here. Thank you Malika for being so forthright and gracious with sharing and being such a fantastic customer.