Gwyneth Paltrow might have set the standard for celebrity websites with her GOOP project, but she's by no means the only contender. Last week saw the launch of Thandie Newton's beauty site, ThandieKay.com, which the movie star started in collaboration with her longtime make up artist Kay Montano. The site is all about promoting and celebrating diversity in beauty, and features women of every ethnicity and age.
Kay Montana recently sat down for an interview with regarding the collaboration:
What’s the core message of ThandieKay.com?
We'd love to present the idea that there’s no one ideal of beauty, something we both wish we’d been encouraged to realize growing up. Magazines tend to have a "type," and the problem is, if all you see is one person — the same tall, invariably white, skinny girls with straight hair — and you don’t see yourself represented, you may learn to feel short, dark, fat, and frizzy. Thandie and I are saying, don’t try and fit into some stereotype. We will celebrate otherness simply by including it. Acceptance, inclusivity, diversity are not words you normally get with beauty talk. Perhaps it's about time.
What type of women do you want to include in the site?
We have access to a lot of celebrities through our work, but interestingly Thandie also meets the most amazing people working as an advocate. The women she meets at TED are the real movers and shakers, like the Pakistani director Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy. We’ve also got women like Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, author of 'Half of a Yellow Sun', and Mercury Prize–winning British rapper Speech Debelle, whom Thandie met on a shoot. We look for women who have broken the mold and risen above adversity, who can answer our beauty Q&A with awareness, warmth, and positivity.
How are you hoping to turn this conversation of inclusivity into a website?
We have eight years' worth of shoots we’ve done together in our archive and lovely pictures that haven’t been seen before. We sometimes use them as a starting point to offer up tips — both Thandie’s and mine — and we’ve created some fun MTV-style makeup videos rather than straight tutorials. We’re inviting people in to see what we’ve been doing together for nearly a decade. We’re not saying you should look a certain way, we’re just showing what we do (and having a lot of fun doing it), talking to women as we'd like to be spoken to ourselves.