Diverse Partners & Contributors
Diverse Partners & Contributors
12 min listen
Intro [00:00:03] Welcome to a fresh take, where we welcome experts from all backgrounds to have mindful conversations around relevant topics, all timed perfectly to your masking experience, sit back, apply your favorite mask and Press play.
Moderator: Laurel [00:00:39] Hi, I'm Laurel from the storytelling team today on a fresh take, we welcome your Mira, who's going to talk with us about diversity in the beauty industry and how it is represented in marketing. Hi, Mira.
Guest: Mira [00:00:49] Hi. Thank you for having me today.
Moderator: Laurel [00:00:52] Welcome. Thank you so much for taking the time to talk about this important fun, serious topic. As you know, we've worked together before on the Sugar Caramel Girl New York Limitation Club, which was so much fun,
Guest: Mira [00:01:06] honestly, my favorite project I've ever done. I cried actual tears the first time I saw the box and Sephora.
Moderator: Laurel [00:01:15] Yeah, I mean, it was such a fun partnership. And we know that you're a tattoo artist. Can you tell us a bit more about yourself?
Guest: Mira [00:01:22] I am a tattoo artist. I am a mom. I'm an illustrator. I work as a model sometimes. I also exist a bit in the activisms fear of disability because I am a left below knee amputee and have dealt with chronic nerve issues for most of my life. I used to avoid calling myself an amputee and avoid calling myself disabled. But I think it's really important because our listeners can't see me that they know the lens in which everything we talk about is coming from.
Moderator: Laurel [00:01:54] Yeah, absolutely. How did it come about, you being proud to identify that way? If you didn't always
Guest: Mira [00:02:02] it just kind of happened over time. I think that the beauty industry's massive transformation that it's been undergoing over the last maybe 15 years has definitely helped me come to terms with that language. Social media has helped me come to terms with that language and also all things like getting older, growing into myself, and just starting to be a bit more confident with what I have to say and helping people understand where it's coming from.
Moderator: Laurel [00:02:32] That's beautiful and so inspiring. So first was founded 30 years ago, and the beauty industry looks really different than it does today. So growing up, did you feel as though you were represented?
Guest: Mira [00:02:54] So I grew up in the 90s and I don't know. How old are you?
Moderator: Laurel [ [00:02:59] Twenty eight.
Guest: Mira [00:03:00] You're 20. OK, so I'm twenty nine. So I think we grew up in a really, really similar time. That really is actually the reason why people our age feel so inspired to celebrate diversity, because I think there was truly a lack thereof. I think a lot about how Hilary Duff and Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen and Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan and all of these women that were seen and very much allowed to be seen and not heard and very much kind of forced into a monolith of body type and race and level of ability. And I think now it's so important for us to feel like the women that we're celebrating in pop and beauty and fashion are not only able to be vocal about what's in their spirit and who they are, but allowed to be so diverse in body type and culture and even level of ability is something that we're still really not quite there with yet. But I think our approach to get there,
Moderator: Laurel [ [00:04:08] I think to being a mixed race person, this idea of representation wasn't even something I was thinking about watching Lizzie McGuire growing up, and I didn't even realize how important that is and something that I
Guest: Mira [00:04:20] needed. Yeah, I mean, I can really relate to you. And I know that you and I have spoken about this in the past where I am Afro Latino and white. And like growing up, I never really felt like I fit in with Latin communities. I never really felt like I fit in with white communities. And then I never saw anyone with two different like with biracial families in media at all. And I felt like an alien. And I'm sure that's how so many kids growing up in interracial households feel. So representation is so important. Representation in media is great, representation in the boardroom is even more important, and representation in major decision making, not only for companies and brands, but also, you know, politically.
Moderator: Laurel [ [00:05:25] I think this idea of representation, it's it's crazy how that can become so internalized, too, if you don't see yourself being represented, your identity is kind of lost in the sea of what you see out in the world. And I think for me, this breaking down of who I am and my race and where do I fall between being both Asian and white, and am I enough of either or not enough of the other and breaking down this internalized racism?
Guest: Mira [00:05:54] I think representation actually becomes so important because it sets people like you free and on a journey, but also it helps all people to see people of difference that are different from you in a multitude of ways, reminds us to be compassionate with each other and with ourselves. And I think it's so important that able bodied people are in a position to visibly see visibly disabled and and visibly disabled people. It's really important that, like non LGBTQ people are following LGBTQ people on Instagram so that they can understand why these things are so important to them. If you live in a bubble where everyone looks like you, then you don't really have anything pushing you to reach outside and see what our brothers and sisters are calling for and needing. We don't even know these problems exist.
Moderator: Laurel [ [00:06:54] Yeah, absolutely. Have to diversify even just who you're following within the beauty industry and just within all social media and online and in your life, too.
Guest: Mira [00:07:03] I'm so happy to hear that because one of my great missions in life is to get people to diversify their field. There should be girls on your feet that look like you. There should be girls on your feet that look different from you. There should be people on your field that you would never consider like you, that you follow long enough to find out they're just like you.
Moderator: Laurel [ [00:07:34] When was a time when you noticed a shift in the evolution of diversity in the beauty industry?
Guest: Mira [00:07:40] I remember being a teenager and having a copy of Teen Vogue, which I was really obsessed with, and they had an article about a size 12 model closing out a Dolce Gabbana show. And before then, I'd really never even occurred to me that a world in which women of size 12 would be on the runway. I guess my imagination didn't stretch that far. And in this moment, I really felt like anything was possible and I was going to go for it with my career in fashion and exist in fashion in a really big way, and that we could do it. And I think that's like I think a lot about like our imaginations get opened up with representation because I didn't I thought the way the world ended there,
Moderator: Laurel [ [00:08:27] you have representation come to this whole realm of possibilities. And it's such a small thing.
Guest: Mira [00:08:34] I wasn't even plus size at the time, but it was like, oh, no, anything can happen. There are no rules anymore. And it felt kind of rock and roll, you know.
Moderator: Laurel [ [00:08:43] Yeah. Yeah, totally. Which is crazy too, because it's not like we don't see those people outside in the real world. But for some reason when we see them in an industry, it's like it's the platform, it's that inspiration. It's that the level above.
Guest: Mira [00:08:58] Absolutely. I mean, I was like 12 years old or 14 years old somewhere around there. And my mother was a size 12 and my teachers were a size 12. And I was surrounded by beautiful, fashionable women that were size 12. But I did not think it was going to ever happen in a way where a supermodel could be a size 12. And now, you know, we have beautiful size 50 in size 18, size twenty four models existing in vogue. And I think that's really cool.
Moderator: Laurel [ [00:09:41] Like adding another layer to it, you're a mom and you're raising a daughter. So where do you hope to see the future of diversity in the beauty industry go for her and for future generations?
Guest: Mira [00:09:51] I mean, I love the world that my daughter is growing up in. I feel so honored that Margo gets to grow up in a world where the women that she knows of as supermodels are are just incredibly diverse. But I obviously know there's a lot of work to do. I hope that when my daughter is growing in beauty, she can always feel like she can find herself and always be reminded that it's just it's just a body and that she can, like, exist as so much more than beauty. I love this movement towards self care. I love the movement toward ritual. I think that using your beauty as a path toward meditation and a path towards internal peace and a path towards kindness is so important. You know, I. Have grown so much in the way that I use beauty products and the more that they are centered around my personal experience and less around covering something, fixing something, adjusting something, looking appropriate for others, the more I can help others and keep the door open behind me.
Moderator: Laurel [ [00:11:38] Well, thank you so much for your time today, Mirror. You have such great perspectives on these topics and I really enjoyed our conversation, as always.
Guest: Mira [00:11:45] Oh, thank you so much for talking with me and having me here and letting me rant to you. I really appreciate it. And let's all grow and beauty together.
Outro [00:12:08] Thanks for listening to a fresh take and indulging in some feel good beauty for the skin and mind.