Colourism and The Politics of Beauty with Zinnia Kumar
Heal Thy Skin Podcast with Dermhealth.co
Beauty and Fashion Industry is more diverse than ever. But is it diverse enough? In an era of makeup collections with 40 foundation colours and more spokesmodels of colour than ever before, diversity at the beauty counter would seem to be accepted, even celebrated. Yet if you ask influential makeup artists, hairstylists, fashion models and photographers about it, the answer is more likely: It’s a start.
Once upon a time, society considered that it knew what was beautiful: young, white, straight, cis, thin, symmetrical, Eurocentric and stereotypically feminine – plus long, golden hair, if at all possible, although exceptions might be made for the occasional raven-haired temptress. The principal elements were fairly constant and all of us got the message, measuring ourselves as lucky or lacking according to society’s stringent conditions. Blonde hair and blue eyes – tick; fat, frizzy-haired and freckled – could try harder.
Beauty was expensive, exacting and exclusive, leaving a select few basking in the sun, the rest of us out in the cold. There’s no doubt that diversity and inclusion have been a hot topic in the beauty world for the last few years.
And in this week’s podcast episode, Marni will be speaking with Zinnia Kumar, Australian fashion model, colourism activist and published scientist in human evolutionary biology and ecology.
Zinnia was born and raised in Sydney, Australia to Indian parents. In 2019, Zinnia was named by Vogue India in the top 50 Most Influential Global Indians list and is a recipient of the Rotary Youth Leadership Award. She is an established Fashion Model having featured in Vogue (India & UK), Elle (UK), Harpers Bazaar (UK & India), Wonderland, Paper Magazine, Tank Magazine, Imprint and many more major fashion brands commercially.
Zinnia’s personal breadth of expertise ranges from Inclusivity, Sustainability, Fashion & Media, Empowerment, Industrial/Organisational & business psychology, education and decolonizing & deconstructing beauty and racial identities and dogma. With particular interest in combining Human Evolutionary Biology and sustainability with consumer/marketing and business psychology to create tangible quantifiable change. Zinnia has had a long term commitment & passion for empowerment, authentic representation, deconstructing beauty ideals and stigmatising narratives.
As a Beauty Activist Zinnia uses her platform to speak, write and educate people on topics such as Colorism, Challenging and Deconstructing Beauty Ideals, Increasing Authentic Ethnic Representation & Environmental Conservation & Sustainability.
Join us as Zinnia talks about diversity, inclusion, colourism and beauty more than skin deep.