Maybelline's First Taiwanese Global Spokesmodel Hopes Role Can Open Doors for Diversity
I-Hua Wu, the first Taiwanese model to represent the cosmetics brand, is using her new platform for good.
When Maybelline announced its newest global spokesmodel this week on Instagram, model I-Hua Wu, she immediately was recognized as the first Asian face to represent the beauty juggernaut on a worldwide scale. Beyond that distinction, she’s also the first Taiwanese model to sign with the brand, something she tells Pret-a-Reporter is “a great honor.”
Other diverse faces of Maybelline include Jourdan Dunn and Tanzanian model Herieth Paul (Gigi Hadid and Christy Turlington are other spokesmodels), but Wu, who got her start after a modeling competition in China, undoubtedly will represent essentially all of her continent. Asked if she feels a responsibility in this role, she says, "I do feel like Asians are still underrepresented in the mainstream fashion and beauty world, and I hope my role as Maybelline’s first global Taiwanese face can open up new opportunities for us."
That said, as far as the issues of diversity and whitewashing in the entertainment and fashion industry, Wu admits, “This situation does exist, but I believe it’s still dependent on market demand. I don’t think I’ve personally experienced any discrimination, but I know it exists in this business. I just hope in the future we see more Asian faces appear in the spotlight.”
Hers — which is kept so pristine by a combination of Laneige Water Sleeping Mask ($24) and La Roche-Posay Hydraphase Intense Riche ($36) before makeup, followed by SK-II Facial Treatment Essence ($165) — will undoubtedly be center-stage now. The new spokesmodel also loves Maybelline’s Baby Lips Lip Balm ($4.49), Dream Pure BB Cream ($9) and The Rock Nudes Palette ($10).
But for Wu, this new role goes beyond cosmetics: “I love [Maybelline’s] platform of empowering women. I am also excited to use this platform to show the beauty of Taiwanese models. This opportunity will also allow me to shed light and raise awareness of the problems surrounding stray animals.” Beauty with a conscience.