Watchuwassayin?! If you’re already part of the Muse Familia you know how it goes, for those of you that don’t, let me introduce you to beauty content creator Monica Veloz aka MonicaStyleMuse. We discussed social standards, mental growth, and being a woman of ambition who plans to change the industry, unapologetically. More like “new year, same me”, only better!
GK: You’re very proud and wholesome when it comes to educating others that you are in fact Afro-Latina, but not everyone in the community (or outside of it for that matter) have come to accept that. How do you think we can go about supporting each other for who we are rather than questioning or degrading others for their background?
MV: I think we can support each other by embracing one another and allowing people to step into who they are without the pressures of society. I mean who are we to judge someone on who they are?
GK: You don’t apologize for having a “loud” personality, and I love that! Was there ever a time when you felt embarrassed or almost uncomfortable with being yourself?
MV: Absolutely, I mean I felt embarrassed of my extra-ness especially on Youtube up until a few years ago. I literally grew my confidence on my channel the more I realized people enjoyed me simply being myself.
GK: Being that you are one of the few whom I’ve seen bring such awareness to the gap of being both Black and Hispanic, do you ever feel a weight or that people are depending on you to be that change? Are you ok with that?
MV: It’s interesting because I’ve been asked this question often and to be honest I don’t feel the pressure because I live my life for me, this is my truth and I owe responsibility to myself to live my truth. And if along the way I’m able to inspire others to embrace themselves, that’s even better.
GK: I think in order to maintain a clear vision and purpose to one’s work, there’s always a “why”. What is your why?
MV: My why, and it sounds a little cliché, is my mom. When I was in high school, I found out she had breast cancer and I felt I might be running out of time. I did whatever it took to be the best. I thought, my mom could leave this earth and I want to give her the life she deserves. And I won’t stop until the vision I see in my head is accomplished. I won’t treat myself if everyone around me isn’t doing well.
MV: I would say my mind. I literally overthink everything to the point that I want to definitely over come that. It’s been a huge obstacle but I’m very optimistic that I will over come this!
GK: I believe beauty starts within and it’s something that everyone learns on their own time. What’s your insight on being your own version of “beautiful”?
MV: One thing I can share is once you come to terms with who you are and you live your true authentic self, nothing is more beautiful and liberating than that.
GK: As being a woman, more specifically in this time and industry (social media, creative), what’s something that you want to make a statement of?
MV: It takes effort and sometimes no one might see it. For me, being a woman of color, I hold myself to a standard so high, hell, I don’t even know if I’ll ever reach it but I won’t stop. This is also my worst trait. As women, our sh*t has to be “better” than anyone, than guys, due to society’s pressure. That’s why I can’t be mediocre.
GK: Following my previous question, once you’re given the opportunity to be in that space, the industry, what’s next?
MV: Not just being in the room because you know there’s no one that looks like you, that’s not enough, but when you’re in that space, speak of it. Address that there’s no one that looks like you. Speak up and feel grateful that you’re given the opportunity. Think: How can I continue or add to the change we want to see?
GK: Vulnerability is one of those things I think most of us avoid because it brings out so much raw truth. What’s an honest piece of advice you can share with me when it comes to putting yourself out there? Being that your job is social media based and a portion of it (your life), thoughts, and work is shared with the world?
MV: One thing I can share is come face to face with your flaws and then once you’ve come to terms with those flaws, let the whole world know and BOOM nobody can ever come for you.
GK: What’s an important concept to keep in mind when it comes to being an influencer in the beauty space or overall?
MV: The people around you; we need to celebrate each other. It’s not normal to get endorsed, it’s not a thing and we need to celebrate that. As influencers we get so used to it that we need to remember to celebrate each other because there was a time where we would go to the store and purchase these products and now we are so fortunate to work with these brands. Let’s remember that! Not everyone has this opportunity!
Creative Director: @genesiskubilis