Let's talk about the Oscars
There is nothing more important to write about today that none other than my favorite night of the year, THE OSCARS!!!! As you can tell by some of my previous posts, I’m a bit of a movie fan. Movies have been such a wonderful part of my life since I was a kid. I grew up connected to the stories portrayed on film so much that as a young French Canadian girl, I attribute my development of understanding the English language mostly to not having every VHS available in French translation growing up. I watched movies for much more than their scripts. It wasn’t until this past Sunday’s Oscars that I heard the perfect quote about why movies have had such an incredible impact on me. This quote, by Roger Ebert, goes a little something like this;
“The purpose of civilization is to be able to empathize with other people and for me, the movies are like a machine that helps you generate empathy...It lets you understand a little more about different hope, aspirations, dreams, and fears.”
But something this year at the Oscars felt a little different than previous years. If you paid close attention you may have noticed some slight and some major shifts in narratives. Just like many of you, I have sort of grown accustomed to the call for action but intense lack of follow through from most people who hold authority or positions of power. The greatest hope I’ve felt for our country recently was when teenage students decided to take matters into their own hands when it comes to shifting the conversation on school shootings. Sick of the constant “thoughts and prayers” tweets that indicate only a numbness to the endless shootings in our country, these kids have broken the ground on how to make some powerful movement with education, grace, and empathy. I noticed that the conversations at the Oscars on Sunday had also shifted over towards topics we can all get on board with. Equality, inclusion, the right to stand up to evil, etc. All of this was addressed with class and I want to talk about my top moments.
It is without a doubt that Frances McDormand’s speech is the top story of the Oscars. Finally, for once, we are not ranking women for their ability to fit into an expensive dress during this celebration of cinematic talent, but rather we are taking this opportunity to celebrate the trailblazers who are opening the doors to future generations of every woman. To include the follow female nominees and winners of every category in a standing ovation is not only the most beautiful thing I’ve witnessed at this annual ceremony, it’s definitely something that reminds us that there is room for all of us to succeed. As women, we are thought to compete, compare, and fear that only one of us can get the part. This declaration of success amongst all was the tear-jerking moment we need as a reminder that if we lift each other up and share our success, there will be no more room for feeling less than. All women are deserving, and capable, of living their dreams. Period. And because Frances McDormand is such a superwoman she left us googling the meaning of the term “inclusion rider”...
Which leads me to my second favorite part of the night. What’s an inclusion rider? Well, apparently it is one of the most googled phrases as of Sunday and the definition is basically an added component to an actor’s contract that ensures gender and racial equality on set. This declaration got me thinking of all the industries that I would love to add in such a clause. Mine included. In the beauty industry, we ostracize so many, whether it’s the marketing to a single and very specific gender or the lack of diversity in formulations to address the needs of different skin tones. We've made some progress with makeup brands like Cover Girl including a diverse group of people as their spokespeople (like this boy for example), Jecca for being the first vegan makeup specifically created for trans people, and the queen herself Rhianna for creating the most successful color match foundation that all shades have found success in. An inclusion rider can only help enhance any industry and shatter the glass ceiling of possibility for our future.
For me, the roundup moment that touched me the most was when Lupita Nyong’o and Kumail Nanjiani came out to present. These two phenomenal and multi-talented humans took the most thoughtful approach towards the DACA conversation. Both of these immigrants shared a hopeful message for the Dreamers that dreams can really come true one day. As an immigrant myself, I find that my lack of roots in America often drives me harder than those who have everything handed to them. My drive is knowing that opportunity has to be created and it's not ever going to be easy. What keeps me going is that I want to encourage the younger generations in my family and potential future children that just because the path is not paved yet, that doesn’t mean you can’t explore the endless possibilities of what your heart is capable of. My struggles are minuscule compared to the other immigrants who fight for their lives to enter this country in hopes of achieving what I am striving for every day. Knowing that the industry of storytelling has success stories such as Lupita’s and Kumail’s really touches me to hope they inspire more Dreamers to dream big in generations to come.
So here we are, beginning of March in what feels like one of the most groundbreaking years yet. We have the expanders to help us reach for our potential, we now see change happening in our industries, we hope that corruption will finally meet it’s doom day soon - what are you going to contribute? I know this isn’t about skin, or self-care, or any of the topics I usually utilize this platform on, but the truth is that this very business, the one who has led me into your inbox or insta feed today, is also based on empathy. I feel when my clients come in hopeless not only about their skin, or their sense of direction. I feel when my community feels speechless in their ability to communicate their truth. I feel it all and if I can inspire any of you by holding a mirror to your magic I’m going to do it in any way that I can. I hope you this inspires you to keep searching for more because you deserve it.
Thanks again for reading...xo - Hayley