Jennifer Norman, Founder of The Human Beauty Movement

I was recently asked to contemplate a question about racism: “In light of recent hate crimes and violent events in our country targeting Asian American communities, what should the beauty industry do now and going forward to show support for Asian Americans and to combat racism against them?”

As background, a spree of hate crimes has escalated against Asian Americans due to the opinion that Chinese people are responsible for the onset of the COVID pandemic. The latest Pew Research poll taken in July 2020 found 73% of American respondents have negative attitudes toward China, and 78% of respondents put…

Photo by mentatdgt from Pexels

There’s never been a better time to stop and think about how we can do better and be better as a people, as a society, and as collective members of this beautiful planet we inhabit together. Why? Because the need for social and environmental sustainability has never been more urgent, including members in the beauty community.

In school, we all learned about Charles Darwin and the ‘survival of the fittest’ theory of evolution. Many entrepreneurs and companies ascribe to that basis of corporate natural selection, doing everything they can to prove their ‘fitness,’ striving to beat the competition and grow…

Five multiethnic women lounging on a couch
Five multiethnic women lounging on a couch
Photo Credit: Retha Ferguson, pexels

A glimpse behind the curtain of selling beauty by the decade.

Beauty Marketing, Y2K Style

When I started working in the beauty business, it was around the year 2000. At that time, it was understood that beauty’s ideal age was 25 years old. If a model was younger, she was made up to look older, about 25. If a person reading the magazine was older, then she wanted to look like she was 25. At 25, a person was fertile, skin was plump, there was a confidence of moving past the teen years, but not a desperation associated with the notion of turning 30. At 25, chances are you didn’t have graying roots or nasolabial…

Nineteen selfies of the author with filters. One without.

Keeping Up Appearances

It’s pretty addictive to take filtered selfies, especially when there are now so many to choose from. There are now countless filters across Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok that can instantly erase blemishes, widen eyes, lengthen lashes, puff up lips, thin out noses, lift cheekbones and illuminate skin. Some filters are obviously just for fun and entertainment, others are so subtle that they’re clearly intended for stealth physical augmentation. Apps like FaceTune, BeautyPlus, YouCam and Perfect365 have hundreds of thousands of downloads each, evidence of our widespread obsession with these weapons of mass perfection. …

This is Jaleesa
This is Jaleesa

When we think of wellness, we often think of our physical health. But wellness expands beyond our bodies to encompass the mind, the spirit, and other facets of well-being. Wellness is a lifelong pursuit that is unique to each and every individual. Just as there is no person on earth that is perfect, there is no person on earth who has achieved perfect wellness. Instead, wellness is a journey. It’s an everyday, mindful approach towards overall health grounded in the desire for self-improvement. …

Photo by Margot RICHARD on Unsplash

When my son was very young, he was quite contrarian. “Time to eat dinner.” Boy flings food on the floor. “Time to put your socks on.” Boy tosses socks across the room. “Time for a bath.” Boy streaks bare ass naked out the door. My child’s rebellious nature was funny at first…then it became aggravating…until it became predictable. Soon I developed a command-alt syntax knowing he’d do the opposite of what I asked. “Don’t eat that.” Boy stuffs food into face. “Leave your socks off.” Boy pulls socks on and crosses ankles to prevent removal. “No bath tonight”. …

Photo by Christopher Campbell on Unsplash

As a young girl, I would get my hair pulled and brushed so hard that I cried. ‘You have to suffer to be beautiful,’ was the explanation. Really? To look presentable to others, the belief ingrained into my head as a girl was that I had to suffer.

And suffer I did.

I suffered with insecurity and self-loathing. I suffered through calorie-counting and bulimia. I suffered from anxiety and depression. Ever the perfectionist, I was my own worst enemy. Almost every day, as if it was important, I’d pray to God to make me beautiful. …

Jennifer Norman

Jennifer Norman is the Founder of The Human Beauty Movement and Humanist Beauty. She is also an award-winning author of SuperCaptainBraveMan children’s books.

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