The latest Sephora Canada initiative is truly something special: standing fearlessly together, a group of inspiring collaborators are celebrating their differences and sharing their personal journeys in the new We Belong to Something Beautiful campaign, with an aim to highlight that there is no singular expression of beauty. Each collaborator has a video in which they speak their truth on the importance of inclusion and the struggles they have faced coming from marginalized communities and here at Vita Daily, we seized the opportunity to interview each participant to discuss what it means to be advocates within their communities, the importance of speaking their truth and why they chose to be a part of Sephora Canada’s We Belong to Something Beautiful Campaign. —Noa Nichol
Q&A With Tika
As a Black, Queer-identifying plus-sized woman in the music industry, Tika has fought stereotypes against what society has deemed her “imperfections and/or flaws”. Her goal is to empower female artists and creators.
Hi Tika! Please tell us a little bit about yourself to start :)
Well, I’m a singer/songwriter/DJ/model/actress and currently I’m training to add film composing to my repertoire. I’m a bit of a loner but I have moments where I love to be around people. I have a lot of love in my heart and I’m passionate about music, music therapy and healing and sometimes I love to talk to various people about their backgrounds, upbringing, who they are and where they come from.
How did your involvement with Sephora Canada's We Belong To Something Beautiful campaign come about, and how did you feel when you discovered you were going to be a part of it? Did you celebrate?!
I had been a part of their last campaign last year which was such a blessing and they literally asked me to be a part of it this year as well. When they messaged me, I was truly honoured but also stunned. I celebrated quietly with some close friends and said a prayer and gave thanks privately.
What was your connection to Sephora before this campaign? For instance, did you shop there often?
You know it’s funny, in my teens I was the girl who would call up her girlfriends and do all their makeup before we went to the club. There’s always been an obsession with nurturing others by doing makeup so I was always in Sephora trying different things. It’s really ironic that the lens has turned on me.
What does being part of this campaign, that celebrates the diversity and belonging of all Canadians and highlights that there is no singular expression of beauty, mean to you?
Visibility, diversity and representation are so important. It’s the world we live in and people need to see themselves to know that they matter. I talk about this often but being a fat, Black, Queer womxn is not usually celebrated and I found in society that I was normally overlooked, diminished, silenced, type-casted, stigmatized or just treated poorly overall. The campaign means so much to me because it makes me feel that despite the fact that mainstream media continues to perpetuate this rhetoric that to be beautiful you need to be white, skinny and free of life of living; with Sephora I feel celebrated and encouraged to be myself. As a person, I’ve always been non-conformist and I’ve always had a mind of my own. So, I feel blessed to be celebrated by a brand that encouraged me to be myself. It’s also a blessing to see little Black girls feeling themselves for a change. I’m truly honoured.
What do beauty, diversity, and inclusion mean to you?
Beauty is accepting yourself in your skin at all times. Diversity is understanding that each respective individual has their own unique set of needs, views and differences and those are to be celebrated rather than ignored. Inclusion is ensuring that all people regardless of colour, creed, class, their abilities or disabilities have a right to be accepted and respected as valuable members within their own respective communities. Our differences connect us and help us to understand each other better; which thus helps us to understand ourselves.
What is your style/beauty mantra/philosophy?
The only way out is inward. If you don’t feel beautiful, go inward and ask yourself why. I find it’s usually based on what we’ve seen in the media or the opinions of others. The inner reality creates the outer form. So the more that you focus on yourself and what you bring to the table, you can celebrate yourself rather than condemn yourself for not looking like anyone else. The world is intended to look different. That’s the point.
What would you say to other Canadians who may be struggling to fit in, feel included or simply feel comfortable/beautiful in their own bodies?
Sometimes you really aren’t intended to fit into something. That could be the universe asking you to look inside of yourself to see why you feel the need to be a part of something that doesn’t want you. Anything that doesn’t want to accept you for you who are, doesn’t deserve you. Maybe it’s up to you to be the change that you would like to see based on your own interpersonal experiences.
One last, light question: if you could only shop for/purchase one item from Sephora for the rest of your life, what would it be? (Or, if you were stuck on a desert island, what one Sephora product would you need to have with you?!)