In honor of the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising and WorldPride, official sponsor of 2019 World pride Unilever is working with organizations and influencers within the LGBTQ+ community to launch the “United We Stand” campaign, which went live on May 29 with a video introducing the faces of the meaningful project.
“If we don’t take care of our own, then who’s going to do it?” Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt star Tituss Burgess says in the video. And that’s exactly what he and the other five stars of this campaign are doing by sharing their stories and messages. He’s joined by FOX Star actress Amiyah Scott, New Orleans-bred Bounce musician Big Freedia, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina star Lachlan Watson, 13 Reasons Why star Tommy Dorfman, and the first Black, trans, and disabled model to sign with Elite Model Management, Aaron Philip. In addition to the introductory clip, each star created a short video in which they promote their central message.
Through her involvement in the “United We Stand” campaign, Philip wants to tell that world that beauty isn’t binary, and “it will never conform.” We had the opportunity to chat with Philip about her beauty routine and what partnering with Unilever brand Dove and the Audre Lorde Project for this campaign means to her.
ALLURE: Can you tell me more about your involvement with Unilever and this anniversary film? Why did you want to get involved?
AARON PHILIP: “The concept is ‘beauty isn’t binary,’ and basically, this is a bunch of actors and musicians and models like myself coming together to be in this project that celebrates beauty for what it is, as us, as we are. And I think that’s such a core message. Dove is such a cool brand because [its] whole model is inclusion, including different gender and body types, people in general, races, skin tones — you know, they make stuff for everyone.
And I think that when it comes to beauty not being something that’s binary, it’s so crucial that you include people. Because when you include people, that just starts to raise visibility for people beyond what you’ve seen before. So, the point of people not being binary is definitely inclusion and just making sure that everyone feels visually represented in their own way. And I think that the casting is so special because it’s all of us just in our differences, coming together, loving each other, just being here for each other, and making space for each other. That’s the point. Dove is making space for people, for everyone.”
ALLURE: That’s awesome. Let’s chat about your beauty routine. What’s your all-time favourite makeup product or brand? And why?
AP: “To be so honest, I’m a very simple girl. I just love me a Mario Badescu lip balm, and I call it a day. I slap that on my eyebrows, so think of it as a gel. I put it on my lips, it’s clipped. I’m a really simple girl. I don’t wear too much makeup outside of a set because I want to preserve my skin, I guess. But I do a lot of hair care.”
ALLURE: Why did you bleach your hair? Do you have any plans to change the color?
AP: “I wanted to do blonde because, at the moment, I wanted to feel more feminine. I feel like blonde is a very… it’s kind of a staple statement to say, you know, ‘Blondes have more fun. Blonde is beautiful. Blonde is cool.’ And first of all, when it comes to skin tone, as a Black person, blonde in that contrast looks good all by itself. But as a Black woman, I wanted to feel seczy, and I feel like I had black hair for so long, I wanted to change it up and feel different. And with the change in my hair, I could change my style.
This ain’t my first time at the rodeo with blonde. I’ve been bleaching my hair since I was about 13 or 14. And now we’re here, where my hair is just vibrant blonde. I’m really feeling it. It makes me feel gorgeous. When it comes to hair care, you really have to take care of it, though, because I feel like it’s so easy for it to just break off. Even when I’m at my happy trip with hair mayonnaise and my bleach, it stays. And my hair stays. I got to plan the hair.”
ALLURE: As far as styling your hair goes, how do you like to style your hair when it’s short?
AP: “At this point, I love adventuring. So I love doing stuff that’s different all the time. This year alone, I’ve done at least 10 different hairstyles already, which is crazy to think about because I never used to do anything like this before. But I’m honestly living my best life and adventuring with my hair. I really love a little bit of everything — I love wigs, I love weaves, I love braids, I love twists, I love afro, I love curly hair. I’m honestly down for it all.”
ALLURE: Going back to makeup, are there any brands or products that you think are easier for people to use if they have limited mobility?
AP: “Dove is very accessible. They make something for everyone — it’s amazing. That’s the point of beauty not being binary: You have to make stuff for everyone. That’s gorgeous. I love Dove. It’s such a staple brand. I can’t imagine living a life where I don’t have a Dove product in my house. When I was growing up, Dove. Seriously though, when you think about it, that’s what you see when you enter like a Rite Aid or a Walgreens, everywhere.”
ALLURE: Do you have any special plans for Pride? Are there any cool beauty looks want to try?
AP: “I’m definitely going to go to the parade with my friends and have a good time. I really need to. As for beauty for Pride, rainbows are going to have to be in it. I’m probably going to do a fairy princess [look] for Pride. I’m going to have one of those hats that has the tiaras on them — it’s like a cowboy look.”
ALLURE: Yes, I’m here for the Yeehaw Agenda.
AP: “The Yeehaw Agenda, exactly.”
ALLURE: While the beauty industry is obviously changing a lot and getting better in some ways, what do you think are some areas that still need to be improved?
AP: “I feel they could improve everywhere, to be honest. I think there’s always room for both when it comes to beauty and accepting beauty. We should continue to make products that apply to all skin tones. Let’s try to make it as inclusive as possible.”
ALLURE: Is there anything else about your involvement in this video, or really anything else in general, that you want readers to know?
AP: “I’m just so happy to be here. It’s a message. As a young woman, and as a girl who wants to be seen for exactly who I am, this is the perfect campaign for me. I guess I really accept myself as Aaron Philip, the Black woman in a wheelchair who happens to be trans. When you type in my Google search, you all come up with a trans, disabled model. I get to be myself here.”
We can’t wait to see her Pride looks this year and what else she has in store for as her career continues to thrive.