Connections in the entertainment and beauty worlds can feel flimsy or superficial. There’s a certain beauty standard that women, in particular, are shown from birth and if we don’t fit that mold it can feel both isolating and damaging to our self-worth. Priyanka Chopra Jonas is determined to shatter the status quo. With her latest venture, as an ambassador for Obagi Skin Care’s SKINCLUSION initiative–Priyanka Chopra Jonas is done just talking about buzzwords and diversity measures. She’s ready to do the work.
On a sunny spring day in New York City, I sat down to chat with Chopra Jonas about Obagi’s SKINCLUSION and her stunning career that has crossed barriers in both India and the United States. It should have been intimidating to speak to one of the most well-known movie stars on the planet–but Chopra Jonas immediately made me feel at ease. Just days after the Met Gala, she sat poised and smiling in all white. Before the cameras began rolling, we spoke openly about our the origins of our names, mine–from the Yoruba tribe in Nigeria that was bestowed onto me a few weeks after my birth from my Lagos-born father and hers, deeply rooted in her South Asian roots. It’s stories like these that connect us all–making our differences feel much smaller then they might appear at first. Over the course of its 30-year legacy in the beauty industry, inclusion and connection have been at the core of Obagi skin care–which is why Chopra Jonas was so thrilled about connecting with the brand. The Quantico alum uncovered a beauty industry secret that has been affecting her skin care regimen for as long as she can remember.
There is a spectrum called the Fitzpatrick spectrum which has reduced all of the skin tones into numbers, one through six. I’m a four. Most skin care products that you find on the market have done clinical research only on types one, two and three. I’ve spent so much money on high-end amazing products, which I now realize weren’t even tested on me. My skin has more melanin, it’s going to react very differently to the sun than someone else’s will. Why isn’t the beauty industry being called out? What I love about this campaign is that Obagi has been testing its products on all six skin types from its inception. So if they can do it, why isn’t the beauty industry doing it? It’s not just the optics but actually making the change on the ground.
As far as inclusion and diversity are concerned for the Cowboy Ninja Viking star, it goes well beyond beauty and entertainment to who we are at the core of our humanity. For Chopra Jonas, it’s not just about improving the world as we know it today, but also creating a better society for the generations that will follow us.
We are seeing diversity because we are seeing billboards with many different kinds of people. But, are we really diverse? Are we just talking about it? Those are the questions we really need to think about. Of course, the lack of diversity creates a lack of opportunity for people. If you think about working backward, the lack of opportunity creates divides. I’m talking about diversity as a whole, not just race or color but religion, [women], opinions, any different thought, we’re afraid of it, and it creates divisions. Lack of opportunity also affects us socially and economically. So, diversity is not just the name of the game or the check in the box, it is the way we need to lead our lives so that our children aren’t even thinking or talking about it.
Watch STYLECASTER’s complete interview with Priyanka Chopra Jonas to find out more about her thoughts on inclusion and how you can get involved with Obagi’s SKINCLUSION initiative.