Should Beauty Icons All Be Thin & Blonde? Episode 29 with Hannah Padilla


There is often a lack of representation and diversity in the beauty industry, and while things have improved, more can be done to create inclusive spaces. Hannah Padilla, a graphic designer who Erin met on Instagram, is today’s guest, and she joins us to talk about a range of topics around beauty and inclusivity. 

We kick off the show by hearing about Hannah’s experience growing up as Filipino and Indian and how the ubiquity of whiteness being perceived as beautiful contributed to her low self-worth. Without any role models that looked like her, it was hard for Hannah to see herself as beautiful both in terms of white and Asian beauty standards. Despite feeling like an outsider, Hannah turned things around and realized that she didn’t have to be white to be beautiful.  We also touch on whitewashing in the green beauty space.  

We also hear about her struggles with lupus and how makeup played a role in helping her regain confidence while working on her health as lupus played a huge role in Hannah's life - inclusive of speech therapy due to seizures and losing her hair.

Our email this week (33:08) is about where to put highlighter on your face. No matter how many YouTube videos you may have watched, this is probably still very confusing. Tune in to find the best places to put your highlighter to shimmer and shine.  

Call Outs from the Episode: 

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Who Hannah looked up to as beautiful and the lack of representation in the beauty industry.
  • Hannah’s struggles with body image and what contributed to these difficulties.
  • Whiteness as the default beauty standard – How this can be isolating.
  • The turning point in Hannah’s life and how she worked on her self-worth.
  • Hannah’s experience living with lupus, her journey to recovery, and what she has learned.
  • What it was like for Hannah to lose her hair because of lupus.
  • The difficulty Hannah faced when she gained weight because of her lupus medication.
  • How makeup helped Hannah cope with lupus and her journey to green beauty.
  • Whitewashing in green and clean beauty and the lack of representation in the space.
  • Colorism in different communities and Hannah’s experience with this.
  • The brashness Hannah has seen around talking about weight gain in her Filipino community.
  • What Hannah would tell her 18-year-old self about beauty, appearance, and self-worth.
  • The secret to applying highlighter to get the best out of the product.


 “I just felt like not only could I not meet the default standard of white beauty, but I also felt like I didn’t meet the Asian beauty standards.”— @im_hannaheunice [0:10:10]

 “Makeup was a way for me to cope with the issues I have with lupus.”— @im_hannaheunice [0:22:31]

 “You have to find your worth not just in your looks, but also in your intelligence, having a kind heart, your talents and abilities, how you treat others too.”— @im_hannaheunice [0:32:11]

Come have fun with us!
Our private Facebook Group: Erin’s Faces Green Beauty Gathering
Instagram: @erinsfaces

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