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The Face of Black Excellence

Love Yourself and You’ll Have This Face Too.

The life of Mrs. Zoe Dadson is comprised of intersecting points. She wears several different hats, as the mother of an expat family, a corporate executive in a foreign country and a budding entrepreneur who is now putting a different face on the beauty industry. This is all too necessary in Asia.

Zoe is originally from Ghana. Her roots as a well-educated professional show clearly when she speaks. Zoe carries herself with a grace and a dignity which, taken all together make her the ideal representative for educated women from Ghana and from the African continent. She previously lived in Indonesia and now Malaysia as an executive for an oil and gas company.

Due to her education, how well she adapts to new surroundings, making the jump from Africa to Asia was seamless…almost! Although Zoe is very personable, living abroad as a black woman has presented its share of challenges. In our interview, we discussed some of the differences between living in Indonesia and living in Malaysia.

As we have all seen, there is often a negative stigma attached to blackness when you live in Asia. Although, Malaysians are more respectful-from what I’ve seen-than Indonesians, facing this stigma on a regular basis is demoralizing. That demoralized feeling is compounded when you come from a place where there is no racism.

It was a brave thing for Zoe to discuss this with us. Talking about racism is always difficult or at least awkward. It is even more difficult to speak of how racism impacts our lives personally. Speaking on this topic can make anyone feel vulnerable or inadequate to cope with life’s challenges.

There is also an admission in this, that being black makes someone different or other and always in a negative way. Having these conversations, grudgingly, is a part of our lives. It is crucial for us, especially in Asia, to define racism, point out the ways in which it appears and outline strategies to combat racism, for us and for those who come after us.

With the discrimination that black people definitely face in Asia, many of us get a break from the racism that abounds. Some of us come from the ‘beautiful countries.’ Those being the US or Canada or some parts of Europe. Many of us, like Zoe, came to Asia with tremendous assistance from her company. They helped her settle into her new life.

For so many black people living in Asia, they come with their dreams and ambitions and not so much support from anyone or any group. These black people face the brunt of the discrimination in Asian societies. Not enough light is shed on these situations and they need to be addressed.

That was the tragic part of the interview. The exciting part of the interview was Zoe talking about her line of beauty care products. Zoe Dadson does not live in Korea but she follows Korean beauty trends closely. She imports her line of skin care products from Korea. Are we witnessing a trend? I definitely see a connection between the Korean beauty industry and the trust that black women place in these products.

The vision that Zoe is bringing to the market draws on a few different but inter-related ideas. In Korea, beauty and skin care are world-renowned because they embody parts of the Korean culture. Korean culture already places strong emphasis on self-care. Your duty to yourself is to uplift your physical appearance.

Laviel Beauty, as Zoe’s company is called, addresses many of the concerns unique to black skin care. Chief among these is hyper-pigmentation. With the right strategies, black people can eliminate the problems unique to our skin and display our skin’s natural and radiant glow.

It is Zoe’s mission to do away with the idea that you shouldn’t love your skin or see your skin as beautiful, if your skin is not white. Zoe illustrates her own mission. She is a living reminder that refinement and femininity come in all skin tones and you will especially find this encased in blackness.

What do you think?

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