FREE SHIPPING ON ORDERS OVER $40 USD
Minori

My Cart (0 items)

Subtotal$
Shipping & taxes calculated at checkout
Total (USD)$
Beauty,Community | 06/28/2021

Moving Past Unidimensional Beauty: A Conversation With Ryan Jule Cruz

By Leahnora Azad
Minori - Bloc Post

Born and raised in Saudi Arabia, and now based in the Philippines, Ryan Jule Cruz, our skincare "Jewel" is an academic and content creator at the vanguard of challenging rigid beauty norms and systemic injustices through open dialogues and mindful practice of self-love. We unpack the aesthetics of beauty with Ryan and his journey of radical self-definition, reimagining beauty that celebrates differences.

Jule recalls witnessing early in his childhood the power societal beauty standards have over our lives. From watching skin whitening commercials as a child to witnessing the influence of marketing suggestions within his family, Jule found himself asking at an early age "is something wrong with me if I do not fit these standards?" From what we expect of each other as a community to what we ultimately expect from ourselves, Jule reflects on the overarching influence Beauty has over our lives:

"The world reinforces the notion that beauty is one-dimensional to a large extent. Witnessing social stratifications, discriminatory experiences, and racial biases within our global culture, I felt a deep sense of ostracism."

Leahnora Azad: When have you recognized this ostracism in your life?

Ryan Jule Cruz: Seeing people with my skin tone or darker use skin whitening agents triggered self-questioning at a young age. From beauty commercials to the standards and values communicated in my community and family, there are times I didn't feel a part of my community because I've witnessed how one would be devalued and not respected due to their appearance alone. And then came acne... With all these first-hand experiences, I quickly came to understand the power aesthetics have in our lives, as it truly influences our perception of the world around us as well as our self-worth.

LA: You mention the power of aesthetics and beauty, what does this mean to you?

RJC: Visual allure evokes aesthetic responses. Unless you put forth an augmented self-image that satisfies the social construct of beauty, you are denied respect and value by the world around you.

'Aesthetics' is derived from the Greek word ‘aesthesis’ which means perception or sensation.

Jule breaks down the cycle of "self-augmentation" where we ceaselessly evaluate and attempt to change the surface of our being, nitpicking exterior qualities more than we appreciate intrinsic realms of beauty.

RJC: It is essential to emphasize a dialogue on beauty that is far greater than what our vision allows us to see.

LA: That is interesting, envisioning beauty beyond what our senses tell us. What does this look like in practice for you?

RJC: Coming to an understanding where it is recognized we are all human and deserving of love regardless of the ever-changing states of our appearance. For me, loving myself regardless of the state of my skin was a catalyst for deeper self-love in other areas of my life. Knowing that these are just states affirms that I can shift my attention to what is more productive and enriching to my life.

LA: As a Filipino blogger, how has your engagement with the digital beauty community shifted your ideas of beauty and representation when we consider how often we are exchanging cross-cultural ideas and our most intimate moments on these platforms?

RJC: My frames of reference evolved as I became more involved in the beauty space of Instagram. Having cultivated good relationships with creators, forces of ingenuity, angels of divinity, brought about a deepened knowledge and widened the spectrum of beauty for me. By simply witnessing so many people across the globe celebrating their individuality, I realized representation and inclusivity are much deeper than imagery in marketing. It goes beyond being seen but felt. The more we engage with folks across the globe, the more we expand inside. Suddenly our preconceived understandings of what beauty is collapse as we learn we have a lot more in common than we think.

LA: Your thoughts speak to the effects of globalization. Does this exchange in traditions, values, and culture on the web shift what consumers should expect from beauty marketing strategies, especially in the context of representation and inclusivity since those are pillars consumers are asking brands to consider now more than ever?

RJC: My frames of reference evolved as I became more involved in the beauty space of Instagram. Having cultivated good relationships with creators, forces of ingenuity, angels of divinity, brought about a deepened knowledge and widened the spectrum of beauty for me. By simply witnessing so many people across the globe celebrating their individuality, I realized representation and inclusivity are much deeper than imagery in marketing. It goes beyond being seen but felt. The more we engage with folks across the globe, the more we expand inside. Suddenly our preconception of what beauty is collapse as we learn we have a lot more in common than we think.

LA: Your thoughts speak to the effects of globalization. Does this exchange in traditions, values, and culture on the web shift what consumers should expect from beauty marketing strategies, especially in the context of representation and inclusivity since those are pillars consumers are asking brands to consider now more than ever?

RJC: I think so. Online businesses and brands have the benefit of reaching and speaking to a global audience. We shouldn't just see the benefits of selling ideas to more people, but use this advantage to understand audiences much deeper and compassionately. We are no longer speaking to a demographic we prefer. Our online presence and communication on these platforms shift our perception and preconceptions of life itself. We come to find that some of our personalized patterns and paradigms might not be useful to us when we remove geographic and mental borders. There is immense value in learning from others, by seeing an expansion of practiced self-care in different forms, we increase the potential to redefine ourselves and our world views.

LA: It is interesting how your online engagement has led to so much inner expansion. What did this expansion look like on a more personal level?

RJC: By witnessing an ever-growing array of self-love and expression through these digital spaces, I was inspired to remove myself from the rigid standards of my upbringing. I decided I am going to be my own standard of beauty. The diverse faces of beauty and global cultures resonated with the most humane aspect of myself that is borderless. Just as I began to accept the state of my skin is ever-changing, I welcome the same transience with my existence. As I reflected upon myself to identify what sets me apart from the rest, it began to sink in that I am what constitutes beauty and sublime – this very thought drew on a profound impact on my mental health and self-perception. That is to say, I began asking myself “how can I enjoy the works of myself, where my intrinsic and extrinsic nature have equal value”? Over time, the desire to be liked and other forms of outer confirmation fell into decline. 

LA: The removal of geographic and mental borders as a catalyst of shared learning and extended compassion. That is beautiful. What then does the future of beauty look like to you?

RJC: The future of beauty recognizes our humanity in its simplistic foundation. I see us appreciating beauty in changing states which flows and allows acceptance of new ideas. As a global community, we can learn from each other. With meaningful engagement and compassion, we expand the concept of beauty beyond what we see alone.

 

Leahnora Azad is a Creative Writer, Photographer, and Academic whose works are centered on sociological insights and intuitive spontaneity. Her creative process is centered, expanding cross-cultural perspectives and social psychology with an artistic eye. She spends her time indulging in matters of the mind and spirit. When she is not reading, she is taking photos or playing with her lovely pets! You can explore her visions here, she shares the unraveling of metaphysical imagination, and world curiosities. 

Drop here!
Tags: 
  • Beauty
  • , Community

FOLLOW US @MINORIBEAUTY

instagram
Instagram - Post 1
Instagram - Post 2
Instagram - Post 3
Instagram - Post 4