BEING A L’OREAL PARIS SPOKESPERSON
1. You are the new face of L’Oreal Paris, how does that make you feel?
I feel so honored! It is still hard to believe! It has been a dream forever. As a French model I’m thrilled to be the new face of such an iconic brand from my home country.
2. What does the iconic tagline – Because I’m Worth It – mean to you?
I think we all have a tendency to forget that we are all special and unique and that is the beauty of it. “Because I’m worth it”, “Paree que je le vaux bien”, it is about embracing who you are and the diversity around you. I’m worth it but also we are all worth it. It is this deep sense of self-esteem that makes us beautiful.
3. Do you have any memories of it prior to joining the family?
I cannot really remember the first time I heard this tagline because I feel like I have been seeing the commercial on TV and using L’Oreal Paris products forever. The tagline is definitely something that always inspired me, and that I told myself many times while going through difficult times or when I doubted myself.
4. Now you are becoming a member of the L’Oreal Paris family, how does your perception change on the brand?
The feeling I have always had about L’Oreal Paris growing up is this big sisterhood where everyone is welcome and included. That is exactly how I feel right now and I feel really blessed.
5. Which women inspire and empower you the most? And within the L’Oreal Paris Spokespeople?
Michelle Obama is definitely my inspiration. She has done so much and is still doing so much to empower young girls through education.
Viola Davis is my celebrity crush. It is an honor to be a spokesperson at the same time as her. She is one of the greatest actresses of our time!
6. What helped shape your own sense of worth?
My mom taught me to be independent, and disciplined. She always told me that I could have anything with hard work. She raised me to always be kind. I think doing your best in whatever you do and treating yourself and others with respect is what makes you worth it.
7. How do you boost your self-confidence?
I do a thing where I surround myself with uplifting and motivating words on post-its! Just looking at them gives me a boost of self-confidence. I also read a lot of books on self confidence and motivation. I am obsessed with Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now, The Four Agreements from Don Miguel Ruiz, and Deepak Chopra’s The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success.
8. What causes are you most passionate about?
I have always been very passionate about advocating for survivors of domestic violence. I work with Solidarite Femmes, which provides resources to help women get out of toxic relationships. I think this issue affects us all and I hope we all can open more conversation around it.
9. What personal and professional achievements are you most proud of?
I am proud to be here as a spokesperson for L’Oreal Paris and of course of the many steps it took to get here. But whatever I have achieved it’s never on my own, it’s always team work, so I think of it as our achievement with my team.
10. Have you ever felt pressured to conform to a mainstream definition of “pretty”?
When I was younger in high school, I was too tall and too skinny compared to the others. So yes, I really wanted to fit in. Then I realized that there is not one definition of beauty. For me, diversity is what is beautiful and that is what we should embrace. Owning our differences and turn them into strengths, because that is exactly what they are.
11. You are from a multicultural family, how did this help shape who you have become?
As a biracial woman, I had that time in my life when I did not know where I belong. I thought I had to pick a side, when the reality was that I am both and I have come to embrace it fully now. That is my strength, my beauty, my power. I was born in France from an Italian dad and a Congolese mom and I am so proud of it. I grew up with both cultures and I know now that this diversity is what makes us rich.
12. What is your life motto?
If you can be anything, be kind.
13. Tell us something no one could guess about you.
Definitely my post-its. I have a full wall in my apartment covered with uplifting quotes from the Bible, books I have read or any other quote that inspires me.
14. What makes you feel beautiful?
Beautiful from the outside? Obviously when I have a good glam team working 2 hours on me, but really what makes me feel like a beautiful person is when I feel like I’m doing the right thing. When I’m actually doing something great not just for myself but for others.
15. What role do beauty products and self-care play in your life?
Self-care is everything, it makes me feel confident. We call it “se chouchouter” [to pamper yourself] in French. That is when you are in front of your mirror using the product you love and taking care of yourself, it just feels great! And we deserve it!
16. What part of your beauty routine is a non-negotiable?
Before I go to bed, I HAVE to prepare my skin by removing my make-up and putting on moisturizer or a mask. And then sleep is definitely non-negotiable for me.
17. How is your daily beauty routine different than your red carpet beauty routine?
For the red carpet I don’t hydrate my skin as much because I don’t want to look shiny or too oily in the press photos. It’s my little trick.
18. What are your favorite L’Oreal Paris products?
To be honest I have always been scared when it comes to coloring my hair but “Casting Creme Gloss” is my favorite product. My hair look so much healthier and so glossy. I am obsessed with it!
I also think that the worst fashion faux pas would be to not have the perfect shade of foundation and as a biracial woman I always struggles to find it. “Skin Paradise” is my favorite because it gives you full coverage, but with a really natural effect. There are also enough shades to please everyone and that is very important.
19. Do you consider yourself a feminist?
This is a question that I do not really understand sometimes because everyone should be a feminist, including men. Feminism is simply recognizing that women and men are equal and should have the same rights. I think we will keep asking this question until we no longer have to keep fighting for the equality we should already have.
20. What are your dreams and aspirations for your generation and the younger ones?
I already see a generation more aware about the problems that society is facing and willing to fight for their future. I see more people standing up for what really matters and that is beautiful. I encourage us all to educate ourselves, and try to do better every day. I really hope that we will learn and grow from our mistakes and that we will be the generation that actually finds solutions and continues to fight for what is right.
21. Working as a model, how do you combat stereotypes in the fashion industry?
For me the best way to combat stereotype is to help others acknowledge that those stereotypes actually exist. I then use my own experiences to demonstrate how untrue they can be.
22. What can we do to empower more women?
I think the most important is to start to empower girls from a young age through education, and then by lifting up one another as women, and supporting each other as we grow together. Empowering women also means providing more opportunities and access for women. At the same time, it is important to create communities that help women grow, both personally and professionally.
23. As a role model, what do you want to convey to the world?
I am a model, but before that I am a woman. I have been working with Solidarite Femmes since 2018, an NGO that fights to eliminate violence against women, especially domestic violence. If there is one thing I would like to say to the world, it is that just because abuse happens in a private sphere does not mean it is private. We should all be concerned and help each other.
I would say to the younger generation that as you are getting into your first relationships you should learn how to identify a healthy relationship from a toxic one, and know that if it does not feel right to you it means it’s not.
24. How has your commitment with ··solidarite Femmes” changed the way you see women empowerement?
What really affected me the most was learning about the numbers of victims of domestic violence and feminicide (women killed by their partner or ex-partner). By educating myself on this issue I also learned that violence against women touches all society no matter the cultural background, origins, social status, and that it is the result of inequality between men and women.
Empowerment is so important during the process of helping women leave a toxic relationship and it is the key to knowing your worth. Solidarite Femmes helps women in that direction by assuring them that they are not alone and by giving them access to a safe haven, legal help, and assistance towards leaving the abuser and having the life they deserve. Again, empowerment starts by having access and opportunities to become the independent and strong women we were born to be.
25. L’Oreal Paris and IPSOS did an international survey and found out that 78% of women have experienced sexual harassment in public spaces. That is 4 in every 5 women. Are you surprised by these numbers?
To be honest, I am not even surprised by that statistic. The shocking factor is that it has become so common that it is no longer a taboo and it is normalized by many people. We hear so many concerning stories all around the world that I realize that the only way to eliminate it is to educate ourselves and others as much as possible, and to continue these conversations to break stigmas. I am glad L’Oreal Paris is leading the way in doing research and bringing more awareness on this issue to the world.
26. Do you think that we could significantly reduce street harassment and violence against women by empowering women at a young age?
I do think that empowering women and educating both men and women at a young age is the way to eliminate any type of violence. We have to learn to live and respect one another and I think this issue should be taught in school, alongside education against bullying and racism.
27.On March 8th – International Women’s Day – L’Oreal Paris launched a training program called Stand Up to help people fight against street harassment when witnessing it. Do you feel it is important to support this cause?
Absolutely, because we are not talking only to the women being victimized but also to everyone else. It is only when we tackle the problem together that we can make a significant change worldwide. This issue affects the well-being of a whole society and everyone should be concerned, including companies like L’Oreal Paris, the government and each and every citizen.
28. How concerned do you feel by climate change?
What happened with the Amazon forest and Australia really touched me more that I could imagine. Everyone should be concerned, it is our responsibility, our planet is our home and we have to preserve it for the future generations.
29. What are your commitments/daily actions to help preventing global warming?
I recycle as much as I can, buy vintage and I’m trying to be more responsible with plastic use as I am more and more aware of its negative impact.
30. What is your perception of France in terms of beauty and style?
I am French so to me French beauty is about being chic and effortless. It is an allure, being confident and embracing who you are.
31. What is your best memory in Paris?
Even though I am French I come from the south of France, and did not grow up spending a lot of time in Paris. I would say my first Paris Fashion Week is my best memory in Paris! I was only 18 and just left my home to become a model. I really remember being very excited about shows and walking for the best designers. I loved it, and I still do!
32. Use three words to describe the Parisian woman?
Chic, effortless and confident.