This Green Beauty YouTuber Is Uplifting WOC Color, While Sharing Latina Pride
If you love the WOC in the green beauty space, then you've probably heard about Meli. Meli Gutierrez also know as @brownbunnymeli runs a vegan beauty and lifestyle YouTube Channel that highlights people of color owned brands and advocates to spread awareness in all things wellness!
Check out our interview with this culturally inclusive beauty and wellness influencer:
Tell us a little bit about your background:
A little bit about my background, I’m a second generation Mexican American Latina born and raised in San Diego! Im a part-time college student studying psychology, my day job is being caretaker for people with disabilities and my passion is to spread awareness on veganism, wellness and to advocate for people of color in every aspect of my life whether it be to support POC owned businesses, highlighting POC creators, artist and entrepreneurs or just existing as a brown and proud Latina wherever I go !
How do you define beauty?
Honestly, I’ve struggled to define beauty for a really long time and I have come SUCH A LONG WAY from a very toxic definition of beauty and it wasn’t until I unlearned this very toxic standard of beauty that I never fit into in the first place... where I finally began to define beauty in a way that was revolutionary to my self worth
This is how I define beauty... Beauty to me is embracing yourself inside and out. Beauty is looking inside of you and loving yourself, mentally, spiritually and physically.
Beauty is un-learning the standard of beauty that tells women everywhere that they need to look a certain way and fit into a certain mold in order to obtain that standard of beauty.
Beauty is un-learning colorism and loving the shade of brown that you are and standing up to ignorant and hurtful comments and being unapologetically brown and proud.
Beauty to me is celebrating our features that were past down from our ancestors and understanding your unique image is beautiful and what makes you, you is what beauty is !
How do you define sustainability?
Sustainability is being aware of the Impact that our choices have on our environment, our communities , our bodies & animals ! From learning to reduce , reuse & recycle to educating yourself on how every day choices like where we shop, what labels means, how animal agriculture effects our environment and even down to choosing to shop locally and helping our communities grow all connect with helping sustain our wellness and the wellness of our planet !
How long have you been a "green" beauty influencer and what are the differences you see from when you first started?
I’ve been aware and supporting the green Beauty movement for about a year and a half now! When I first started, I was shocked that I hadn’t heard of these brands in main stream media that cater to both Beauty and wellness and honestly amazed with how many green Beauty brands also advocate and strive to be eco conscious!
When I first started, I didn’t see a lot of representation in these wellness brands. It seemed like it wasn’t catered for me and for people who look like me and it was very frustrating because people of color also deserve to be included in better ingredients and wellness when it comes to their Beauty regiment. But thanks to social media I started looking for poc green Beauty bloggers and that’s where I finally was exposed to poc owned brands in the green Beauty space that cartered for wellness, the environment and was also diverse in their makeup and beauty.
Who are some of your favorite POC green beauty bloggers?
What does "representation" mean to you? What trends are you seeing in the industry today - in 2018?
Representation means to be included, featured , highlighted and even celebrated ! The biggest trend so far of 2018 I’ve seen is many brands trying to follow suit on what Fenty Beauty did, which was catering to diverse skin tones and have representation be front and center of their beauty launches !
YES TO DIVERSITY AND REPRESENTATION 2k18, Finally !
Here’s fenty ad, and wow we need more of this
What do you see as the greatest challenge for WOC? Latina women?
Being Latina and speaking on what I see in the latinx community, colorism and anti-blackness is a huge problem and not everyone calls it out ! It’s always been there from the telenovelas that we watch to the comments that our family members say about avoiding getting darker, to advice we get to marry light skin men in order to “better the race” and in general to all the Erasure of Afro- Latinx from the latinx narrative.
As a latinx community when need to call out this toxic, internalized racism and discriminatory behavior and I feel the more we identify these problems and call them out the more will we move on from this toxic and damaging culture.
A couple of my favorite Afro-latinx that are making waves and speaking out are
Amara la negra !
an artist that called out a music producer on love and hip hop and is just an amazing and beautiful artist ! Here’s a YouTube clip of who she is and what she represents!
In the Beauty community one of my favorites is Monica muse style !
Dominican beauty influencer that has a bilingual channel and speaks out of these problems as well! Here is a piece she did with the huffinting post !
What are you 3 favorite melanin owned sustainable beauty brands?
(Green Beauty For Us) which is a subscription box that is featuring all people of color owned brands in green beauty! so if you don’t know where to start I think this wellness box is perfect!
A latinx vegan organic green beauty brand that focuses on recycled packaging and Axiology donates a percentage of their annual profits to partners like Orangutan Foundation International and other humane societies. Every time you purchase a lipstick, you make a difference!
A black owned green beauty brand that is all inclusive in their beauty line ! They focus on being a sustainable brand from their product packaging, fair labor practices which include
using fair trade and organic ingredients whenever possible!