I thought I’d write a post on something very close to my heart; the importance of promoting a more inclusive and diverse definition of beauty. Growing up in London in the 90s and 00s was fantastic for so many reasons. On the street, beauty and fashion trends embraced the vibrant and diverse population that made up London. Unfortunately, this wasn’t always reflected in the traditional world of fashion and beauty media and advertising. All is not lost though. In the digital age and world of social media, the story is far more positive and inclusive. Bloggers and social media trendsetters are redefining tired old definitions of beauty. In this post, we celebrate some of the leading advocates of diversity and how they are changing opinions about, age, gender, race, body positivity and everything in between!
Whilst thin and prepubescent bodies are still the preferred choice for the runway and print media world, social media is giving a platform for celebrating more diverse body shapes. Women like the social media stars below are taking to platforms like Instagram to showcase clothes and beauty products on beautiful women of all sizes.
DENISE BIDOT (@DENISEBIDOT)
This model, former makeup artist and single mom launched a website and movement with the slogan “There Is No Wrong Way to Be a Woman”. Since then she’s managed to inspire women to love and celebrate their individuality. Check out her Instagram feed for empowering quotes and beautiful fashion shoots free of digital retouching.
TESS HOLLIDAY (@TESSHOLLIDAY)
#tbt to shooting my book cover @hisvintagetouch snapped this photo before I got on set & after he made my hair into these epic waves Can you guys believe that my book will be out in less than a month?! To preorder your copy & see my book tour schedule, click the link in my bio I’m gonna go cry now bc I’m so so grateful/freaking out/ etc etccccc. I love you guys!! #notsosubtletess #effyourbeautystandards
She started a body-positive movement with the hashtag #effyourbeautystandards. Since then she’s bolstered that sentiment by becoming the world’s first size-22 supermodel and appeared on the cover of People magazine as well as Time magazine’s list of the 30 Most Influential People on the Internet. Check out her Instagram feed for gorgeous lingerie, fashion and lifestyle photos.
It is no secret that the world of beauty and skincare has traditionally been quite lacking in diversity. Traditional magazines and other forms of advertising have till recently heavily featured white models largely from western European backgrounds. This lack of diversity has meant poor representation of other ethnicities. The explosion of social media has been incredibly positive for making beauty more accessible and inclusive. Whether its different ethnicities, religions or cultures, social media icons from a variety of backgrounds have enabled a more diverse and welcoming interpretation of beauty.
HUDA KATTAN (@HUDABEAUTY)
This shot took forever bc of the wind! @browning_hill #HudaBeautyDesertDusk #HudaBeautySeptember18
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One of the most influential women on the internet, this cross-cultural beauty icon was born to Iraqi-American Muslim parents in Tennessee. Huda turned her back on a career in finance to pursue a career as a makeup artist which she then grew into an international cosmetic brand. Check out her Instagram and Youtube for high femme makeup tutorials suited to all skin tones, types and ages.
MICHELLE PHAN (@MICHELLEPHAN)
This Vietnamese-American entrepreneur was one of the first Youtube stars. She introduced the concept of easy to follow makeup tutorials to a diverse audience. Having used the platform or 10 years, she’s pretty honest about her inspiration and beauty evolution. Despite taking a break from social media (after 10 years!), she’s now back with the rebirth of her cosmetics line. Check out her Instagram for art, high fashion and makeup.
HALIMA ADEN (@KINGLIMAA)
One of the most coveted runway and cover girls is Somali-American Muslim model Halima Aden. She smashed stereotypes when as a teenager, she competed in the Miss Minnesota USA pageant in a headscarf and burkini. Since then she has walked in fashion weeks around the globe and has featured on countless magazine covers. Through Instagram, she shows that high fashion and beauty can engage a far wider audience.
Until recently there has been a very rigid gender split when it comes to men in makeup. Traditionally, drag acts… (men wearing makeup but presenting as women), whilst “metrosexual” trend was “man makeup” that was sold and packaged as separate to woman makeup. Pioneers of the new man makeup trend, also known as the “Beauty boys”, have shattered these tired old classifications. Now, there is no gender segregation when it comes to makeup. It’s just makeup. Whether worn by a man or a woman. At a time when we as a society are hopefully becoming more relaxed towards matters of gender identity, these men are doing far more than just wearing makeup. They are providing a platform for all of us to challenge our preconceptions about gender identity.
MANNY GUTIERREZ (@MANNYMUA733)
I was busy thinkin bout boys – Eyes – #morphebrushes 35O palette with #doseofcolors #DESIXKATY Noli eyeshadow on the lid Brows – #anastasiabeverlyhills dark brown brow wiz with clear brow gel Lips – #charlottetilbury kim k lipstick with @desiperkins and @lustrelux over the top gloss on top Lashes – #lilylashes Miami use code mannymua to save some coin! Face – #hourglass vanish stick foundation with #benefitcosmetics hoola bronzer Brushes used – #morphe brushes as always! Use code MANNYMUA to save money!
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With over 3 million followers on Youtube and Instagram, Manny puts his makeup artist expertise into providing ultra-glam makeup looks and tutorials. His fun and witty social media presence on social media promote a genderless definition of beauty. His honesty about grappling with his sexuality during childhood is also inspiring. Hence, this social media icon represents multiple intersecting strands of diversity.
JAMES CHARLES (@JAMESCHARLES)
when you wake up too late to see the eclipse so you recreate it on your face ____ #smashbox studio skin foundation #morphebrushes 35B palette (code JAMES for 10% off) #makeupforever flash palette #jeffreestarcosmetics weirdo liquid lipstick #anastasiabeverlyhills aurora glow kit
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The first beauty boy to become the face of a makeup brand (Covergirl). James shares his beauty tips and tutorials with his followers on Youtube and Instagram. This 18-year-old makeup artist’s take on editorial makeup is both polished and fun.
Social media is no longer the natural habitat for millennials. However, older women are using social media to smash one of the most ingrained prejudices in beauty; age. With skincare and beauty tutorials aimed at older women, they’ve celebrated and empowered this demographic. Furthermore, they’ve also vanquished the myth that beauty is limited to youth.
This self-described makeup loving grandma has thousands of followers on Instagram and Youtube. Her videos and posts skincare, makeup, fashion and hair tutorials for older women. Although, you can happily enjoy and make use of them at any age.
LILY SEYMOUR (@GODDESSLILY)
Lilly’s delivers fun, fierce and fabulous beauty to over 50’s women on social media. Her YouTube channel delivers makeup, skincare, exercise and lifestyle tutorials and advice to her >17K subscribers.
There are many things that are brilliant about growing up in the social media age and I personally think increasing diversity and inclusivity in beauty is one of these. Check out these fantastic social media stars who are breaking racial, age, gender and many other boundaries of our traditional perceptions of beauty. Also don’t forget to explore the rest of our blog for skincare and beauty tips, hacks and advise.