Redefining Beauty Standards And Learning Self Love

BY Jennifer Coleman
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Hi, my name is Jen, and I am a photographer, skincare and beauty blogger. I have been obsessed with beauty since I was about 10 years old. One important topic near to my heart that I wanted to talk about is the evolution of beauty and skincare industry. I think we still have a ways to go, however over the last 10 years I have noticed that the industry has become more inclusive towards Asian Americans and POC. For someone who is not a POC, it may be hard to understand why this is so important. I am a first generation Fillipino American. I grew up in a blue collar predominantly caucasian neighborhood. I didn’t realize until I was older just how much this affected my perception of my own standard of beauty. Growing up, I didn’t embrace my darker skin tone, the shape of my eyes, or the color of my hair because I was surrounded by people that didn’t look like me. I struggled with this up until college where I finally was immersed in a more diverse environment where I experienced being around more POC, and people that looked like me.

Fast forward to after college where I started to take skincare very seriously. I have suffered from acne since I was a teenager. Over these years I was in and out of my dermatologist’s office and treated with so many prescription acne treatments, retin-a, clindamycin, t-stat, prescription strength benzoyl peroxide, you name it. I’m not sure why I gravitated towards a Japanese skincare brand when I started taking skincare very seriously. This brand is now carried at all major department stores. My aunt told me that back in the 1960s, this same brand was sold in the Philippines through direct selling door to door. Over the last 10 years, I have watched the beauty industry evolve and become much more inclusive. Many Asian brands have become widely available at Sephora and Ulta. In my mind, this is huge. K-Beauty has exploded, and Asian brands have become largely embraced.  

You might ask why this is important to a person like me. It makes me feel proud, it makes me feel beautiful to see ads and beauty experts that look like me. I feel much more represented now, and I am no longer a novelty or something foreign. I can’t tell you how good it makes me feel to use products that were designed with my skin complexion in mind.  It is so important that everyone feels represented in an industry that is so visually driven as beauty standards are set by what we see. I look in the mirror these days and love every inch of what I see, a complete 180 from the 10-year-old girl who once wished I looked more like how everyone around me looked. I have a strong feeling that this will continue to expand which makes me excited, optimistic, and proud of my cultural background.

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