Good Light Founder David Yi on Inclusive Beauty and Cultural Appreciation

“Appreciate Korean cultures, stand with Koreans, and be an ally to us. As much as you love our beauty [rituals], You love our people even better. ”

The multi-talented journalist, brand founder and author David Yee is a beauty industry powerhouse. With over a decade of experience under his belt in the New York media space (where he has written for publications) WWD And Mashable), Yee, in 2016 launched its own all-inclusive beauty site, Very Good Light. Her latest ventures include a new genderless skincare brand called Good Light and an upcoming book Pretty girls (To be released on June 22).

Whipping up our series of brand founder interviews for the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, we collaborated with Yee to talk about the beauty of all things, in which she has launched not one but two all-inclusive beauty brands, and consumer How can one appreciate Korean beauty without fetishizing cultural practices and rituals.

How did you transition from journalism to product development?

“I’ve been a journalist for over a decade, mostly in the field of fashion and beauty, working for places like New York Daily News, WWD And Mashable. During the trip, I felt that the beauty spot was very beautiful. For example, why is Beauty Isle separated by gender binary when there are always, and always are, more manifestations of gender than either man or woman? It also felt like knowing in both corridors that it is not completely alien to someone like me – a consumer who has a beard, but likes to smack his face all at once. One segment is hyperfaminine while the other is hypermasculin, but I don’t think most consumers identify it either. This makes me think that there was scope for greater gender inclusion and for the beauty industry to really be a place for everyone. “

How did you first get into journalism?

“I started high school in my school newspaper, The Liver. I always wrote about Asian American issues or centered my experience around being Korean American, which did not go down well with my editors. I remember a white female editor telling me that she could no longer publish stories on Asians because she did not want to become an ‘Asian newspaper’. Xenophobia is real, Fox is. It made me realize that this person did not see Asians as Americans – and I had to fight for every single story I published. It was a tough fight but I am very grateful for these experiences that prepared me for the world of hardcore journalism in New York City. “

The democratization of beauty is a key pillar of your brands. Can you tell me why it is important to you?

“I grew up in Colorado Springs, as one of the only Asian Americans in a predominantly white city. I’ve always felt the other and as if I didn’t belong. There was also the perception that I was in my almond eyes, my jet black Hair was not beautiful because of me, or my golden skin. Because I soon faced racism, it was necessary for me to be a lawyer and activist at a young age – to fight for others as well as for my people. This early experience allowed me to feel a greater sense of empathy for others, and the main reason I became a journalist. I wanted to tell stories from all perspectives and highlight others’ stories and their voices to make them feel empowered. . “

What is it like launching a brand during an epidemic?

“It is both rewarding and challenging. I was also working on my first book, Pretty girls, Which is non-fiction and a deep dive into men’s history, Kajal-identified Fox and her relationship with beauty and power. I also worked on our campaign, Biden Beauty, which immediately went viral and raised funds for the DNC. I was so busy and distracted by productivity that I coped with my pain and suffering through suppressing it. Now I am decompressing, during this time also reflection and regeneration. And treatment – I am trying to heal.

You have said before that you have never been represented in the beauty community because you love sheet masks and makeup, but also can you elaborate on how to do facial hair and how Good Light addresses that duality The

“Achcha Prakash is a beauty brand which is all about taking out your good light from within yourself. First and foremost, it is about self-realization and love, self-worth and owning one’s own beauty. If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, then be with the beholder. You can set the tone only when it comes to power and agency. I hope that Good Light can become a safe place to explore you, your identity and your power. And we want to make products for everyone, no matter your gender identity, race, size, skin tone, skin texture, sexuality. “

What have so many Korean beauty rituals and practices been like to do to become a part of North American beauty? Does it bother you to hear that these practices are called “trends”?

“When I was younger, it bothered me that Americans would explore other cultures and label them as ‘trends’ as we were about to uncover them.” In fact, we have always been here. We have always tried. We have always been beautiful; It is just that others were slow to recognize the centuries of our prosperous descent. When I am about sharing all cultures, I am not meant to fetishize or objectify someone on the basis of their race or background. I think K-Beauty is democratic for all – it’s because Korean technology is the world’s best. But I am also appreciating cultures. Appreciate Korean cultures, stand with Koreans, and be our allies. As much as you love our beauty [rituals], You love our people even better.

If you were growing up in Colorado Springs, Good Light was around, so how did it change your beauty? What would a brand like yours mean?

“It would have been so variable. It would be everything. To feel that the world must have seen, heard and validated. Representation matters – and I still cling to very good light and good light in selfish times when I, too, need community. “

Growing up, what was your relationship with beauty?

“I grew up with a Korean mother and father who both emphasized beauty products. My father would dress himself by rubbing his pores with essays, toners and creams. My mother will do the same, engaging a youngster who is very important to me for sunscreen. I did not know it at the time, but now after reflection, I understand what his way of coping against American racism was and avoid difficulties. With every ditch of their holes, they were practicing self-love. Five minutes every morning and night was just a routine for them, where they can calm the world and be conscious, present and in the moment. “

What are your goals Good Light?

“My goal for Good Light is to continue the diversity, inclusiveness and understanding that we have so much work to do! I’m rolling up my sleeves daily and seeing how I can help. “

What do you want the brand to say to those who feel they do not belong?

“I hope Good Light portrays beauty beyond binary. There is so much power and beauty there. We – collectively, we all – are worthy and I hope this beauty brand shows that yes, a brand can give a damn! “

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