Photography courtesy of Revlon

We Talked to Revlon’s New A-List Ambassadors About Diversity and Inclusivity

Ashley Graham, Adwoa Aboah, Imaan Hammam and Raquel Zimmermann front the new Live Boldly campaign.

When Revlon announced its new brand ambassadors, Ashley Graham, Adwoa Aboah, Imaan Hammam and Raquel Zimmermann, the brand was not only celebrating a diverse cast of women, but also making a significant impact by casting Graham and making her the first plus-sized model of her generation to front a massive beauty campaign.

We got a peek at what the brand has planned during the Live Boldly campaign launch party in New York City a couple of weeks ago.

Before the party, we caught up with the four new spokesmodels to talk about what diversity means to them, and how they think the beauty industry is stepping up to a new, diverse norm.

Ashley Graham

What role does makeup play in today’s feminist landscape?
AG: Makeup can make you feel great and can also be something that’s just fun to play with. I’m not a girl who feels like she has to wear makeup every single day. I sometimes leave my house “booty-face,” as I like to say. That’s nothing but a bit of moisturizer. But I’ll tell you this, I love putting on makeup and transforming and I think that’s it’s a lot about fantasy.

Why do you think it took the industry so long to cast a plus-sized model in a beauty campaign?
AG: Dammit, that’s the question! [Laughs] I don’t know. Lipstick has no size. Forever I’ve been told ‘You’re only plus-sized from the neck down’ and I never understood why people would say that to me. First of all, it’s so divisive. Why are we putting women in a category?

What’s the boldest thing you’ve ever done?
AG: Oh man, I’ve done so many bold things. I don’t know. Write a tell-all book.

What can other brands learn from Revlon?
AG: It’s literally just about diversity and inclusion. It’s not one token. It’s not about a [diversity] theme.

Adwoa Aboah

What role does makeup play in today’s feminist, political landscape?
I label myself a feminist and I think the beauty of feminism and the shape that it’s formed is that there are no constraints on being a particular type of woman. And I think makeup fits under that. Why can’t we use makeup to make ourselves feel better? Why can’t we put on a show for ourselves? We always advocate doing things for oneself, like self-care, and makeup is one of those things. There’s nothing I love more than getting dressed up but I definitely do it for myself.

What does the diversity movement in the industry mean to you and at what point do you think it’ll have succeeded?
We’re still working. We definitely are not there. Something like what Revlon is doing, taking on all us women to be ambassadors, that’s been a massive move forward in terms of representing different types of beauty in one amazing campaign. I think that the industry has to carry on celebrating women who represent lots of different things. Sometimes the fashion industry gets [obsessed with] being trend-setters, and with things being so constant and so quick. But diversity is here to stay and has to be worked on constantly. Because if you’re not thinking of the youth and the next generation, you might as well not do anything you’re doing.

Imaan Hammam

What place does makeup have in today’s feminist landscape?
IH: I think this is definitely a moment for makeup. I have a little sister who is 16 and her life is makeup. Makeup gives you confidence.

What’s the boldest thing you’ve ever done?
IH: I’ve been living my life very boldly. I grew up in Amsterdam and started modelling when I was 13 and I’ve been supporting my family since then. I took the opportunity to move to New York to really build something so my family could be proud. That’s living boldly for me.

What does the diversity movement mean to you and at what point will it have succeeded?
IH: It’s happening. If we look at this Revlon campaign, it’s all about being strong together.

Raquel Zimmermann

What role does makeup play in today’s feminist landscape?
RZ: I think that it’s a very interesting time now, when women all over the world are stepping forward and expressing themselves. Being a powerful women doesn’t mean you lose your femininity. Women can be feminine and wear makeup and look pretty but be powerful at the same time.

What’s the boldest thing you’ve ever done?
RZ: I’ve recently been surfing bigger waves in Hawaii. Whether it’s physically or mentally, I always like to set goals for myself. I’m always finding new things to do.

What can other brands learn from Revlon?
RZ: I love that Revlon is using a diverse cast of girls. We’re from different countries and have different opinions. It’s the celebration of diversity. We don’t all have to have the same views, but we all come together. As women, we respect each other.