My Gender, My Skin
Diversity is beautiful, that's why this Pride month we’re exploring what it means to be non-binary and celebrating gender diversity in all its forms.
At Paula’s Choice, we believe that everyone has a right to feel good in their own skin, regardless of their sexuality – or gender identity. This Pride month, we’re not only celebrating the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual (LGBTQIA+) community but also embracing gender inclusivity in all its forms. Gender identity is different to sexuality – it’s a core part of how we perceive ourselves and it may be the same or different to the sex we were assigned at birth. Using a person’s correct pronouns creates a more inclusive environment, allowing them to express themselves freely and affirm their gender identity.
Our community is a safe, inclusive place where we celebrate our differences and support each other as we explore our true identities. By showing respect and acceptance for one another – without labels – we encourage everyone to be their authentic selves, because true beauty is living in our truth.
This year at Paula’s Choice we’re prouder than ever to support Pride 2022 by donating $10,000 to ILGA World, a worldwide federation of over 1700 organisations in 160 countries dedicated to achieving equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex people across the globe. ILGA World’s mission is to help fight for those who face discrimination on the grounds of their sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics.
Our diverse community inspires us every day with their journeys to self-acceptance and love. We recently caught up with four friends across Europe, to learn more about their personal stories and find out what gender identity means to them. We hope their authenticity and fearlessness inspires you to embrace who you truly are!
German LGBTQIA+ educational content creator Dimi expresses his creativity, individuality and queerness in Berlin, educating his followers online about all things LGBTQIA+
“You, me, all of us identify as one, none or more gender identities. So, we are all connected to this topic. It’s on us to break the gender norms and to represent our diversity everyday. Why do we separate clothing in stores in male and female sections? Why don’t we have more unisex bathrooms? And why do people need to pay more at the haircut salon based on their gender?
Gen Z is working harder and more than it ever has been done I feel like for socio-political issues - like for the LGBTQIA+ Community and for other minorities. Witnessing this passion of making a change makes me proud of our youth and the change we all can make together.”
Social account (Instagram), @zaddyza1n
British South Asian non-binary makeup artist and beauty influencer Zain Shah combines their creativity with social activism to fight gender stereotypes and promote queer inclusivity within the beauty industry.
“I identify as non-binary. Simply put, a non-binary person is someone who does not identify exclusively as a man or woman.
I’ve always felt different for as long as I can remember. Growing up, I struggled to fit comfortably within society's expectations surrounding gender. I had an elaborate skincare routine and would shop in the women’s section for clothing as a teenager. But it wasn’t until my 20’s that I discovered my love for makeup. It was a process learning to accept myself but eventually I was able to go public with my gender identity.”
Dutch creator, artist and queer activist Pascal de Vormer constantly questions the norm in their work and is not limited by traditional notions of gender.
“Gender identity isn’t what’s in your pants but what’s between your ears. Gender goes beyond the binary between man and woman. It’s fluid.
In the western culture one often seems to exclude the other. If you're not a man, you're a woman, but it's not always like that. Manhood and womanhood should not be defined in opposition. Being a man is much more than just not being a woman and vice versa.
Think of it like two stars in a galaxy. We wouldn't say that there's only two stars. I love the sentence: “Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus”, which concludes that all the other planets are reserved for us, queer people. “
Social account (Instagram), @enricascielzo
Italian Enrica Scielzo is the first transsexual fashion and beauty blogger in the world, who uses her skills as a makeup artist and image consultant to transform how people see and feel about themselves.
“My name is Enrica. I am a transgender girl. She/her if you prefer, thank you very much.
I fought for it and I care about it.
For me, gender is, in fact, mostly relevant to our language. It’s not always necessary, but sometimes you just feel the need to understand what we’re talking about. Especially in my language - Italian - we have a very clear, strict difference between feminine and masculine.
Most of our adjectives are either one or the other. For example, we don’t say “tired”, which is a neutral word that can work both for a man and a woman. We say “stanco” which is masculine or “stanca” which is feminine. Our language forces us to choose every day, every sentence, every word if we are feminine or masculine.
Our language should permit us to express ourselves freely and entirely. That is something we should really pay attention to and work on, to let young people manifest their true identity in the most suitable way. The world is not hetero. It is heterogeneous.”
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