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Not All Superheroes Wear Capes. Some Wear Red Lipstick.

Joyce “JoJo” Arias | Photo courtesy Kris Williams of Kris Will Photography

I believe all women are superheroes. Growing up as a first-generation Salvadoran American, my roots and culture run deep in my blood, and from a young age, I saw how beautiful and diverse the world truly is. The truth is that most of us don’t fit the traditional American or European standard of beauty. Not meeting societal and cultural norms could make you feel
like an outsider. Luckily for me, my mother taught me that I was not born to fit in. I have moved through the world by standing out.

Society may call our natural bodies imperfect, but I believe those “imperfections” are what make us beautiful and unique. Who came up with this idea that as women we should aim to be in a world where “one size fits all”? In 2021, the true definition of what it means to be a woman is precisely how each one of us decides to define it.

We come in too many shapes, sizes and skin tones to try to fit into a box, and I refuse to embrace unrealistic beauty standards. My stretch marks, curves and full lips make me the woman I am today, and I absolutely love her. When I started my beauty brand SOLSIS Beauty, my driving factor was representation and empowerment for all women, but especially women of color. No matter where we come from, through our connections, we enter an unspoken sisterhood, regardless of how we identify.

Every time I wear red lipstick, my mother reminds me that my grandfather would say, “You always remember a lady with red lips.” I use that image to remind me that color adds a piece of unforgettableness to my presence. As the leading protagonists in our lives, we are choosing the way we tell our stories. The same way an artist has tools to paint what he or she is feeling in the moment is how I try to encourage women to be the artist of their own lives. We are creators in our own right, taking time to choose how we will decide to paint our masterpiece and pursue our dreams. Sometimes the tools we prefer to start our masterpieces come in makeup brushes, pigments and lip colors. Each time we stand in front of our mirror, we embrace our inner artist and choose how we wish to express ourselves and show up in the world.

By embracing tools that come in the form of makeup, I believe we can tap into our superpowers. Sometimes this action could mean grabbing your red Mamacita lipstick, pulling your hair back and putting on your favorite pair of gold hoop earrings to let the world know you are a force to be reckoned with and that you are here to make a statement.

Makeup doesn’t hide our scars; it accentuates the beauty that makes us all our own everyday masterpiece. My vision is to empower women by creating a safe space to express themselves authentically through makeup. I hope that everyone who comes in contact with SOLSIS Beauty knows that not all superheroes wear capes. Some wear red lipstick.

Joyce “JoJo” Arias is founder and owner of SOLSIS Beauty (solsisbeauty.com), a vegan and cruelty-free beauty brand based in Baltimore.

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