LIFESTYLE | Before We Get Back Into It...Reflections on This Past Week

It feels strange to be back in this space, just casually talking about a sheet mask or some other beauty product I've been loving, but personally I got to feel and reflect on a lot of things that I haven't let myself do before. Honestly, I never thought I would get involved in a Black Lives Matter movement or donate to organizations that seek to eliminate police brutality and improve black communities in the US. I never thought I would make a list of books and documentaries that will help me better understand the relationship between black and white people in America. Most importantly, I never thought I would address that uncomfortably tight feeling I would get in my chest everytime I saw someone black wrongfully convicted, murdered or jailed because of the colour of their skin. I realize now that that was my conscience telling me how wrong this was and that it was more than OK to talk about it. In fact, I should have been talking about it a long time ago, but growing up in an Asian household, racism is something we never discussed at home. We never talked about how someone who is white or brown or black should be treated the same because it was almost just a given that everyone was human and the only time something needed to be addressed was if someone was being mean which, from my memory, was a mix of everyone. While this somewhat apathetic view of skin colour meant we didn't necessarily discriminate, it also meant that we didn't concern ourselves with racial injustice or feel motivated to understand it let alone speak up and come to someone's defense publicly.

As a child of immigrants, my parents were probably far too focused on making sure we fit in and there wasn't too much focus on who didn't. There weren't that many ethnicities where I grew up with my friends being mostly white with a sprinkling of Asian who were growing up "banana" like me. I honestly never felt different from my peers because I spoke English and other than the strange Asian lunches or snacks I brought to school that may have garnered some comments, I have felt very lucky in how others have perceived me. After all, I'm a sweet small Asian girl. I'm "obviously" good at math, quiet, look younger than I am and played the piano at some point. I'm only a threat in a classroom or in a work setting. I could never imagine what it would be like to live the life of a black woman or man and constantly have to fight against negative preconceptions based on the single physical attribute of skin colour.

Though I will never be as loud as others and the beauty content will come back because it makes me happy, I don't plan on letting the #BlackLivesMatter movement fall to the wayside. I want this to become a part my narrative and though my content will still be beauty, there will be more black-owned/BIPOC brands featured here on Cosmetic Proof. I even went through some of my stash and I had brands in there I had purchased that were black-owned that I didn't really think about at the time because I purely saw them as good makeup products that I just had to have. I've always just judged products and people on their results and actions which I see now is not enough.

I plan on donating and supporting more organizations from now on that educate others like me who are trying to navigate this space in a sensitive way and are active in their communities. I have a list of organizations to research and help and it was part of my 2020 resolutions to give my money to one charity each month instead of spending it on beauty products. I had to skip April because I was on EI and it just wasn't a great time to spend money, but for May I ended up donating to Reclaim the Block and I am deciding between a couple of organizations in Canada and the US led by BIPOC who aim to educate, end police brutality and build towards a better future.

Though I know money isn't the answer to everything, it's something I feel I can contribute at this time in my life and if I can give it to people who know what they are doing and can do more with it than I ever could, more power to them. Though we will mostly be back to our regularly scheduled programming, I hope we don't stop sharing, talking, crying and shouting about what we have seen, learned and realized this week. Maybe it was being in Quarantine and spending time with myself, but even now that I am back at work, I cannot stop thinking about what has been happening so I will do my best to make sure my content and my daily life reflects the changes I am trying to make in how I think about racism and being pro-active about it. I feel somber and upset, but also hopeful that change will come as we all wake up and realize how much MORE we could have been doing.

How have you been feeling these last 2 weeks?

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