Redefining Beauty with Vicki

Redefining Beauty with Vicki

Before Vicki is an American...she is a proud Virgo Sun, Leo Moon, with a Pisces Rising - in other words, she's equal parts determined, talented, and delusional. Vicki is a proud Poblana whose day jobs involve helping people affected by the housing crisis and HIV.

How has your journey been in learning to love and embrace the skin you're in?

Honestly, my journey itself has been like my actual skin…imperfect, a lil rough around the edges, but always improving. I used to wear heavy makeup daily to help feminize my face, but the further along I got in my transition, the more I saw the women staring back at me in the mirror, and the less I felt a ~need~ to wear lots of makeup. Nowadays I’ll skip foundation altogether, simply use sunscreen, do my eyebrows, add some bronzer, lots of blush, some color corrector, mascara, and maybe some graphic liner if i’m feeling up for it. What I consider toned-down now might still be seen as extra to others but realizing that everyone is on their own journey has helped me find a good balance between self expression and acceptance.

What lessons have you learned about self-love that you wish you had known earlier?

I would give anything in the world for a chance to hug lil 12-year-old Vicki and tell her that she is very, very deserving of love. To tell her that her loneliness is only temporary, that she isn’t a burden, and that her sisters are doing the best they can to raise her. I wish I could go back and tell her that she isn’t going to get the love and affection she yearns for from people who sexualize and dehumanize her, that she needs to surround herself with people who love and accept her. I would also tell her that the reason she doesn't like her appearance is because she's actually a beautiful trans woman waiting to be let out.

Did you have any support networks or resources that played a significant role in your journey? If so, how did they contribute to your sense of self?

Honestly, I was very blessed to have amazing friends like Nikki from TDFLA, the LA ballroom community, and local queer organizations that put on events. These events made accepting myself that much easier by silencing the transphobic rhetoric the world tosses at us and replacing it with support and guidance. Without my friends and community, I wouldn't be the woman I am today. At a time when I was struggling with accepting my identity, my friends gently (and sometimes, aggressively) nudged me in the right direction towards my feminine self. They created a space for me to feel safe in and thus helped me explore a side I hadn’t delved into before.

How is the Transgender community redefining beauty standards?

To be trans is to defy, subvert, and rework expectations placed on us by the cishet world. We go against the grain and stand firmly in our truths, consequently, inspiring other people to do the same. Trans people live at the intersection of acceptance and change - a fascinating duality of modifying what we can and embracing what we cannot. We change the world by embodying the idea that beauty has no bounds or rules.

How can the Beauty Industry better address the needs of Trans individuals?

Besides individuals educating themselves more, the simplest way to help trans people would be to stop gendering certain products and instead place more emphasis on the purpose of said product. A much more direct and effective approach would be for the beauty industry to move past simply "supporting and accepting" trans people and start embracing us. Give us physical, tangible donations of products or even money; have your employees help out with, or even put on, trans-centered events; and personally, I think having makeup classes catered towards trans people could help ease dysphoria and help us feel more safe in our bodies.