the voice and vision of a new generation
Image credit: Haus Laboratories

Lady Gaga's new beauty brand is teaching me how to embrace my inner beauty

August 5, 2019

Fitted in latex and leather, a diverse cast of models pose, strut, and stomp across the set as electronic music blasts in the background. “At Haus Laboratories we say beauty is how you see yourself.” These words echo in the background of the video as non-binary and gender fluid models are showcased, adorned with newly designed beauty products. I’d expect nothing less than this type of 'Born This Way' realness from Lady Gaga’s new beauty brand launch, Haus Laboratories.

Lady Gaga has always been a fierce role model for me and many others. Through her music, Gaga has helped me embrace my inner beauty, even through the most troubling times. With the launch of her new beauty brand, she is bringing her ideals of love, acceptance, and inclusion to the forefront. 

Shortly after posting the launch video, Gaga took to Instagram to reveal what it means for her to release this new beauty brand by sharing, “When I was young, I never felt beautiful. As I struggled to find a sense of both inner and outer beauty, I discovered the power of makeup.” 

Her post really connected with me. Growing up, I struggled to find the beauty in myself. Before I came out, I felt alienated from other kids because I was afraid of what they would think of me. In ninth grade, I started high school and found Lady Gaga. She talked about her bisexuality openly and unapologetically which was something I hadn’t ever witnessed in my life. As she released more albums and continuted to be outspoken for the LGBTQ community, I felt more and more empowered by her words. Gaga embraces everything about herself and the people around her. She sees the beauty in people even when they’re struggling to find it themselves.

The struggle of finding a sense of inner and outer beauty is something many LGBTQ individuals face everyday. For gender fluid and non-binary individuals, it is especially rare to find representation and affirmation in the media. To counteract a portion of that erasure, Gaga uses her beauty brand to create empowering representations for LGBTQ people by including gender fluid and non-binary models such as Jake and Joseph Dupont. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Jake & Joseph Dupont (@theduponttwins) on

During the creation of this campaign, several of the models expressed feeling like friends and family because Gaga encouraged them to be authentic to themselves above anything else. From the makeup looks to the fashion choices, each of the models had a say in how they looked and acted. The confidence and beauty displayed through the representations they created gives younger LGBTQ people like me models to look up to in an increasingly difficult time. 

The brand’s slogan, “fight for your life,” is something that these models and the communities they represent can relate to. Trans, non-binary, and gender non-conforming individuals quite literally have to fight for their lives because they are attacked and murdered at alarming rates. In 2019 alone, more than 11 trans people of color have been taken from our community due to prejudice and hate in the United States. These abhorrent murders should remind us that we must fight to protect the lives of the most vulnerable members of our community. In addition to representation, protecting the livelihood of trans, non-binary, and gender non-conforming people requires non-discrimination policies such as The Equality Act.

Always a fierce advocate, Lady Gaga reminds me time and time again to love myself. From telling the Academy Awards that gendered categories should be gone, to delivering a moving speech at World Pride, to Haus Laboratories’ efforts at inclusion, Gaga is setting a precedent for future creators in the beauty industry to embrace queer people with love, through inclusion, and by promoting diversity.

Federico Yñiguez is a GLAAD Campus Ambassador and sophomore at California State University, Long Beach studying graphic design. He is a proud member of his university's Queers and Allies club.

the voice and vision of a new generation