MAC's unforgettable new makeup models have a beauty lesson for all of us.

And it has nothing to do with cosmetics.

The models in MAC Cosmetics' new fall collection might look a little bit different from the faces you're used to seeing on makeup ads.

That's because they're normal people, just like you and me.

This fall, MAC launched its MACnificent Me collection with a campaign meant to highlight the styles and voices of six amazing people.


Meet Luzmaria and Tresor, two of the line's models this season. All photos provided by MAC and used with permission.

Thousands of models entered the contest, hoping to be part of this campaign. They submitted a photo of themselves along with a mantra about what makes them "MACnificent" and unique.

Ultimately, six contestants were selected as finalists in the contest. They were flown to New York City for makeovers and photo shoots.

Who are these models?

Meet Luzmaria, a woman from Anaheim, California.

Wearing vampy purple lipstick, smoky eye shadow, and a blowout with some serious height, she has become one of the favorites of the campaign. Her headshot on Instagram got almost 42,000 likes and hundreds of supportive, encouraging comments.

Revealing the M•A•Cnificent makeover of Luzmaria, one of our incredible winners featured in our 2015 Fall Colour campaign! #MACnificentMe
A photo posted by M∙A∙C Cosmetics (@maccosmetics) on

In her contestant video, Luzmaria talks about how proud she is to be modeling for MAC — not just because it's an amazing opportunity, but also because she knows the campaign can empower other women who may not feel confident because of their weight.

"Some people just think because you're overweight, you don't have feelings," Luzmaria said, while tearing up in MAC's finalist video. "But with this I'm going to prove — look, I don't have a gorgeous body, I don't think I'm beautiful, but look at where I'm at. I don't need a gorgeous body. It was really the inside that counted. I don't need to be size 2, skinny — I'm here."

Hell. Yes. Luzmaria.

The campaign also features Trésor, a transgender woman from Canada.

Having the courage to experiment with cosmetics, which eventually developed into an intensive study of makeup artistry, helped Trésor as she came out as trans, she wrote in Teen Vogue.

Tresor at her New York photo shoot. Photo provided by MAC, used with permission.

“I had struggled with not feeling beautiful, and it's amazing to be sitting here, because it's an actual manifestation that I am beautiful, and I don't need to feel insecure, and I don't need to feel like there's no hope because there is," said Trésor, who wore a bright red lipstick that illuminated an incredible smile.

The campaign also features four other models: Ben and Ji Won...


... and Vanessa and Selena.

They're all equally stunning and fascinating. You can watch all of their videos and check out their photos on the MACnificent Me website.

Props to MAC for introducing us to these amazing beauties who shine from the inside out.

Family

Disney has come under fire for problematic portrayals of non-white and non-western cultures in many of its older movies. They aren't the only one, of course, but since their movies are an iconic part of most American kids' childhoods, Disney's messaging holds a lot of power.

Fortunately, that power can be used for good, and Disney can serve as an example to other companies if they learn from their mistakes, account for their misdeeds, and do the right thing going forward. Without getting too many hopes up, it appears that the entertainment giant may have actually done just that with the new Frozen II film.

According to NOW Toronto, the producers of Frozen II have entered into a contract with the Sámi people—the Indigenous people of the Scandinavian regions—to ensure that they portray the culture with respect.

RELATED: This fascinating comic explains why we shouldn't use some Native American designs.

Though there was not a direct portrayal of the Sámi in the first Frozen movie, the choral chant that opens the film was inspired by an ancient Sámi vocal tradition. In addition, the clothing worn by Kristoff closely resembled what a Sámi reindeer herder would wear. The inclusion of these elements of Sámi culture with no context or acknowledgement sparked conversations about cultural appropriation and erasure on social media.

Frozen II features Indigenous culture much more directly, and even addressed the issue of Indigenous erasure. Filmmakers Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck, along with producer Peter Del Vecho, consulted with experts on how to do that respectfully—the experts, of course, being the Sámi people themselves.

Sámi leaders met with Disney producer Peter Del Vecho in September 2019.Sámediggi Sametinget/Flickr

The Sámi parliaments of Norway, Sweden and Finland, and the non-governmental Saami Council reached out to the filmmakers when they found out their culture would be highlighted in the film. They formed a Sámi expert advisory group, called Verddet, to assist filmmakers in with how to accurately and respectfully portray Sámi culture, history, and society.

In a contract signed by Walt Disney Animation Studios and Sámi leaders, the Sámi stated their position that "their collective and individual culture, including aesthetic elements, music, language, stories, histories, and other traditional cultural expressions are property that belong to the Sámi," and "that to adequately respect the rights that the Sámi have to and in their culture, it is necessary to ensure sensitivity, allow for free, prior, and informed consent, and ensure that adequate benefit sharing is employed."

RELATED: This aboriginal Australian used kindness and tea to trump the racism he overheard.

Disney agreed to work with the advisory group, to produce a version of Frozen II in one Sámi language, as well as to "pursue cross-learning opportunities" and "arrange for contributions back to the Sámi society."

Anne Lájla Utsi, managing director at the International Sámi Film Institute, was part of the Verddet advisory group. She told NOW, "This is a good example of how a big, international company like Disney acknowledges the fact that we own our own culture and stories. It hasn't happened before."

"Disney's team really wanted to make it right," said Utsi. "They didn't want to make any mistakes or hurt anybody. We felt that they took it seriously. And the film shows that. We in Verddet are truly proud of this collaboration."

Sounds like you've done well this time, Disney. Let's hope such cultural sensitivity and collaboration continues, and that other filmmakers and production companies will follow suit.

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