Liu Wen is gorgeous, respected, and pulling in huge paychecks, but she’s an important figure for Asian-American girls. She’s been breaking down race barriers for models since she became the face of Estée Lauder four years ago, and this new piece she’s written for Vogue is every bit as timely as we expected.
Liu opens up about her childhood, sharing that she wasn’t considered beautiful as a kid in southern China, and talks about her experiences working in the US. She understands that her big break in the industry wasn’t just a personal accomplishment, but that it stood for something way bigger than herself. In Liu’s words,
Overnight, the image of me as an independent, confident young woman was embraced as beautiful. And this development catalyzed a change in my own beauty ideals. The stereotypes of Asian women as submissive and dainty were fading. Instead, my fellow Asian models and I were more often depicted as adventurous, assertive, career-oriented women who always did our best despite the challenges we faced overseas. We might or might not possess physical features that fit traditional Asian views of beauty, but the fact that we represented modern ideas, combining the best of multiple cultures, became far more important.
Asian-American girls can see people like Liu Wen NOW celebrated for their beauty, minds, and power when role models like her weren’t available just a short time ago. You can read the rest of the piece here.
I’m sorry but we called this A LOOOONNNNGGGGG time ago. Remember our Supermodels of the New Millennium. That’s Liu Wen, Shu Pei and Hyoni Kang backstage #NYFW09