At one point in your life, you’ve probably said, “Growing up, I didn’t see girls like me in the pages of a magazine.” Like many women of color, I too came upon this realization as both a child and now as an adult. My eyes have seen numberless women with blonde hair, blue eyes, and a fair skin tone gracing magazine covers plenty of times, but the whole time I was thinking, “Where am I? What about us?” With the growth of social media, the discovery of YouTube, and the evolution of blogging, I was blessed to find women like me who I could relate to and resonate with—women of color. These are women who have and are continuously making such powerful moves in the beauty industry that I hear myself saying, “Yasss, girl!” whenever I see them break through society’s attempt at making everyone appear the same. These strong gals triumph over society’s stereotypes, “norms,” and obstacles by presenting themselves with inspirational talent that continuously makes me proud to not only be a woman, but a woman of color.
As these beauty bloggers and vloggers create content that moves through glass ceilings and paves new ways for upcoming content creators, young women and girls turn to them as role models, the type I turn to and wish I had more of each passing birthday. Today, they are the Jennifer Lopez, Halle Berry, Selena Gutierrez, and Salma Hayek I loved listening to and watching on TV on any given day. Now, in my 20’s, I have them and more to cheer on, support, and be the ever-growing fan of. Flip through our pages for women you, your friend, or daughter of your own may see yourself in.
Kathleen Fuentes, better known as Kathleenlights on YouTube, is a proud Cuban-American whose word I always trust (you can catch me laughing at every video she uploads). Having caught the hearts of three million+ subscribers on YouTube, she stays true to her authentic self no matter the amount of numbers that follow her internet name. Kathleen has collaborated with OFRA Cosmetics, ColourPop Cosmetics, and Makeup Geek, to name a few beauty brands that have represented this vivacious Latina who is always close to her roots.
For a girl who is as real as it gets, Weylie Hoang is there for you whenever you need someone to advise you on the next cruelty-free product to grab. A Chinese-American who goes by ilikeweylie on YouTube, Weylie had me loving her in no time with her carefree, humorous, and down-to-earth attitude that reminds you of a best friend you’ve known since childhood. I genuinely get excited for every YouTube video she posts, especially since she has been my cruelty-free inspiration. She’s worked with cruelty-free brands as well, including e.l.f Cosmetics, to promote content that she believes in, showing just how down to her word she is.
Zendaya is a biracial young woman who is creating a mogul empire right before our very eyes. From her days on Shake It Up! on Disney Channel and Dancing With The Stars to songs on the top music charts and turning heads like no tomorrow on red carpets, Zendaya takes the triple threat title to a whole new level. An actor, dancer, singer, and more, there is no limit to what she can make happen—it’s like magic. I’m incredibly eager to see her performance back on the big screen this Christmas in The Greatest Showman; as a sort of showwoman herself, I am sure her fans, me included, will be just as astonished as usual.
When the subject of curly hair presented itself to me when I began to embrace my natural curls, I was at a loss of women to look up to who had similar tendrils. Eventually, I was able to learn and understand my own locks, but now I am glad to have niathelight to look towards whenever I need curly fro inspo or advice and new products. A 20-year-old woman with Zimbabwean and English roots, she has created a world-shaking movement that has received the support from women of all curls globally. Co-creator of #GoWithTheFro, a movement created with @Laurenlewiss_ to empower naturally curly hair through adventurous events around the world, she is the type of woman I would love my own (future speaking) curly babes to look up to one day.
There are not enough words that can be strung together to represent the strength and empowerment that Grace Victory represents throughout the world of social media. She is a neverending force in standing up against society’s stereotypes, gender roles, ideals, and limiting perspectives. She’s an advocate for so many important topics, including body positivity. However, I like to think of her as an advocate for the truth, a representation of staying woke and showing others how to as well. She’s a biracial woman who perseveres through anything that presents itself. If you are ever in need of an inspirational word, Grace is right there to uplift you with a blog post, Twitter chat, and even her raw, honest book, No Filter.
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Women Of Color Making Beauty Moves: Featured image courtesy of Zendaya/Instagram