Tell me about yourself.
Elizabeth: My name is Elizabeth. I am a Nigerian American, college student. I am a beauty fanatic inside and out! I love learning about why people do the things they do. Culture and religion define who I am and keep me grounded. Both of my parents are immigrants so I work hard to make them proud which is why I chose to study medicine, but when I got to college I experienced so many things that I never knew about. I am the 5th of 6 children so I learned from my siblings' experiences. I realized I did not have a passion for medicine late into my junior year because I worked on the executive board of my sorority. Senior year, I switched my major to business and began my search for a career that would allow me to use my skills as a liaison.
What is your side hustle?
Elizabeth: I ran track for 3 years in college. I am also a Youtuber. I’ve set goals and created strategies for the first half 2018 so I can take my channel to the next level. I work at a hotel and do event planning on the side as well.
What are your beauty struggles?
Elizabeth: Acne has always been hard for me to deal with. My acne got so bad my mom took me to the doctor. I got prescribed medicine and it worked for a while, but my freshman year of college it came back with a vengeance. I started a Youtube channel and sometimes I get embarrassed doing skin care videos because I feel like I have to live up to this unrealistic expectation of beauty. It is so hard to find natural skin care products that help with acne and scarring on both my face and my body. I also struggled with my body image as a young kid. I have an outie belly button and always felt subconscious about it. A doctor once told me that I should have surgery to make my belly button look more "normal". As an athlete, I was always toned, but not voluptuous like the girls on social media.
What does beauty mean to you?
Elizabeth: I believe we should redefine what beauty means altogether. Beauty is skin deep. Beauty is your vibe and personality. It is the way you carry yourself and how you project yourself to the world. Beauty is being able to go against the grain and find yourself. Beauty is not just Eurocentric. Beauty is a big nose, dark skin, and full lips. Some of these features are only viewed as beautiful on lighter skinned women and that is ridiculous. Kids are committing suicide because they are being bullied for their skin color and appearance. We need to show the younger generation that beauty comes in all shapes, sizes, and colors. I did a video on my Youtube channel about this topic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQhHd04jAkQ
Do you think beauty is political for women of color?
Elizabeth: YES! It is very political. Black profesionaly such as lawyers and doctors are mistaken for assitants and janitors because of the color of their skin. They are disrespected and ignored because they are people of color. Our skin color does not make us uneducated or less than. Women of color are not shown in a positive light. Even though Oprah Winfrey and Michelle Obama are change makers, people try to downplay them because they are black women. Female athletes like Gabby Douglas and Simon Biles are scrutinized because their hair is not "laid" enough. Our appearance brings preconceived impressions about us.
What is your self-care routine?
Elizabeth: I try to minimize the amount of makeup I wear because I love the feeling of a fresh face. I love skincare. I have a meticulous routine...One for the daytime and one for night time. I love listening to music especially Afrobeats! My favorite song right now is Pour Me Water by Mr. Eazi.
As a woman of color, what do you want the beauty industry to know?
Elizabeth: I want the beauty industry to know that they need to do more to provide products to women of color specifically. People of color come in so many shades and variations. Sometimes, women of color in the middle of the spectrum can't even find shades because of the undertones of the product. I also want them to know that diversity is a good thing. They should promote diversity in body types, skin types (not just girls with clear skin), shades, and ethnicities. Beauty is not one size fits all.
Keep up with Elizabeth on her journey:
LinkedIn: Elizabeth Osondu
Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPDRLPKrFAvWaZ0pEfqNUtg