“As a child I went to an elementary school where the students were predominantly white, like I could count all of the people of color with 2 hands. I remember thinking, “why does my school get to have a gymnastics class apart from regular gym class, and a drama class when all of the other schools I attended before with predominantly African American students didn’t have that at all.” I didn’t really understand why things were the way they were just because the people lived in different neighborhoods, but I began to understand as I grew older.”
“I struggled with my mental health as a child a lot. It was in regards to my own body. I always felt fat, and believed no one would like me or date me because of it. It was only in my 20s that I let that belief go, and then I discovered anxiety about other issues. But the main struggles in my life were always about my sense of unlovability. I just didn’t feel worthy of connection or love and if I don’t keep on top of that, it comes up in my life today.”
Stress is often expressed and reflected through statements such as “I feel tense”, “I’m worried,” or “I’m restless”; It manifests itself physically in the body from acne breakouts and psoriasis (red, itchy, scaly patches) to neck and chest pain. When you feel stressed, this immediately arouses the brain which then triggers hyperactivity in the amygdala, which subsequently triggers a stress response in your entire being.
“There’s no reason why the conversations around motherhood shouldn’t speak to the totality of who a woman is. We have to stop telling women that when they become mothers they must become martyrs. No one EVER asks a man how he is going to have a family and hold down a job. No one ever tells a man that he must give up the parts of himself that make him human, that give him life. But we always tell women that she can’t both work and raise kids or that she must give up her dreams, whatever they may be. It’s time we stop that.”
How do you think the historical legacy of the Christian church has contributed to the current mental health stigma that exists in the faith community?
“Lack of knowledge perpetuates stigma. In the past, people didn’t know much about mental illness and have done horrible things to others for the sake of “curing” them of their ailments. Today, those who are not open to talking about mental illness still see those who suffer from it as people who have little to no faith. In reality, there is more that comes to play here. People can have faith and still feel depressed.”
According to Nielsen data, racial and ethnic minority groups in the U.S. are quickly outpacing whites. Black women spend nearly nine times more than their Caucasian counterparts on hair and beauty. Hispanics, driven by a strong culture of Latino beauty influence, are a growing ‘foundation’ for beauty sales and are more likely to spend on hair care and cosmetic products than the general market. Asian- Americans spend 70% more than the average share of the U.S. population on skincare products, and are more likely to spend on premium brand name products and drive beauty sales through high use of mobile and social media usage. When brands fail to offer diverse product offerings targeting the needs of different ethnicities or feature models representing their true end customers, it’s bad for their image as well as for their bottom line. Increased representation in the beauty industry needs to be more proactive, and not merely reactive to broader market trends if sustainable change is to come about.