Beauty

Inside the Beauty Industry's Inclusive Transformation

By Jen Hussein and Andrew Gonzalez

The beauty community has experienced a significant revolution in recent years, discarding its traditionally exclusive and judgmental roots to become an open-armed, international industry that embraces all different types of sizes, skin tones, and gender representations. Beauty has become a new way to not just reinvent, but reshape our entire appearance. It's much more than makeup and face creams — it's total freedom of expression.

One person at the forefront of the beauty industry is YouTube sensation Gigi Gorgeous. Coming out a total of three times (first as gay, then as transgender, then, gay again), the beauty vlogger and global celebrity is unapologetically transforming into the truest form of herself, and she has an immense fan base that is more than inspired to unpack their own identity because of her. Youtube shows viewers a peek into one's everyday life behind closed doors, and while some vloggers try to create an online fairytale, Gorgeous is one of the few that lay everything out.

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"I love a transformation of somebody coming into themselves and being authentic," Gorgeous told PAPER at Beautycon 2018. "I've made so many coming out videos, and I've been so raw online that I just love seeing that in other people. I love it when I see somebody being raw and transforming into their authentic self, because it's rare and really special to see."

Gorgeous is not the only one that can vouch for using beauty as a vehicle for transformation. Zanna Roberts-Rassi, co-founder of MILK Makeup and Beauty Editor of Marie Claire, has had her eye on the fashion and beauty worlds for years, and as a judge on Lifetime's latest reality competition series, Glam Masters, she has witnessed more physical transformations than we can count.

"I can get all spiritual about it but at the end of the day, there is nothing like an incredible 180-ing of someone's look," Roberts-Rassi told PAPER. "Like going from long blonde hair to a short black crop, and changing up your makeup. That's fun."

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Rassi's brand has gone through its own evolution, as well. The brain behind the cosmetics brand realized that what you put onto your body has just as much importance as what you put in it, which is why it is now officially 100 percent vegan. The green trend in beauty is steadily growing, and it's admirable to see such a large, cult-favorite brand reform itself for the sake of our planet, and health.

Equally as exciting is the shift in the community toward a more body inclusive environment. A never-ending list of designers like New York-based Chromat are beginning to broaden their size ranges, and the once bone-thin women is now tossed away. One pioneer in body confidence that has definitely taken notice of this shift is Orange is the New Black actress and model, Danielle Brooks, whose impact we can only hope lingers for years to come.

"People are being able to be themselves, and they're seeing the beauty in themselves, because the media is starting to do a better job at including more people into the conversation, which is helping the world redefine beauty," Brooks said.

While there is much more work to be done before we declare the beauty world as fully inclusive, it's clear that it's headed in the right direction. Throughout the past decade alone, we've see a major shift from tall, white, cisgender women ruling the industry to people of all stripes openly embracing who they are and what they want to represent — proving that rocking our true selves is the best transformation anyone can hope for.

Image via Getty

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