issue three : fear thy neighbour
We interview Lauren as part of our "Melanin" beauty series.
What is your ethnicity?
Mixed. I am white, black, native Indian and Caribbean (St Lucian).
What culture do you identify most with?
Do you still practice any of the traditional practices of your heritage at home? If so, what are they?
I grew up using all-natural products and still sway that way whenever possible.
DO YOU KNOW ANY TRADITIONAL BEAUTY PRACTICES FROM YOUR CULTURE? COULD YOU SHARE SOME WITH US?
Women tend to steam their hair to add moisture, they use hot oil treatments to deep condition and they also tend to braid their hair to stop breakage and to grow there haircut out. Skin wise, it's always been good food, sun, water and natural products. Women rarely wear makeup in my country.
What is the most frustrating thing about being a model and having your makeup done?
The most frustrating part is not getting the base colour right as my skin has many tones to it. With hair, they use water base rather than oil based products then want to apply heat which damages our hair and causes instant breakage.
What has been the best part of being part of this beauty project for you?
Being a part of a project about cultural diversity is important as the world has many cultures and I, being a part of it, shows that being brown skinned doesn't mean we are all in one bracket. That's just stereotyping. I embrace my cultures and heritage and consider myself blessed to have the privilege to experience both.
IF THERE WAS ONE THING YOU COULD MAKE OTHERS UNDERSTAND ABOUT YOUR CULTURE, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
In our culture we are very religious (Catholic). We attend church every Sunday, eat fish every Sunday with family whom all cook and bring something to one family members house, giving and sharing what we have.
Culture doesn't define who you are but acknowledging and accepting your cultural heritage can help shape you and make you a better person. It helps with self growth.