This new beauty campaign's ambassadors are a mental health advocate, queer activist, cancer survivor and sex educator - we love

Mama Cax for Benefit Brows
Mama Cax for Benefit Brows

We are in the era of an "if it ain't inclusive, we don't want it" global attitude towards fashion and beauty campaigns. This is an attitude triggered by decades of these industries being largely exclusionary. And after so many faux pas, a handful of brands are finally making efforts to get it right.

READ MORE: CFDA report highlights what it will take to achieve a truly diverse and inclusive fashion industry

It also cannot be said enough that when Rihanna launched Fenty Beauty and later Savage x Fenty, she completely changed the model for diversity and inclusion, putting pressure on long-existing brands to level up and do the same. 

READ MORE: Why we're not surprised that Fenty Beauty is one of TIME's top 50 most genius companies of 2018

This is why Benefit San Francisco's latest campaign is not only refreshing, but it's worth an extra round of applause for portraying what inclusion actually looks like beyond just featuring one person of colour and heralding that as the ultimate image of diversity.

The beauty brand's #BossBrows - "Raise a brow. Raise your voice" campaign is fronted by a mental health advocate, LGBTQ/human rights activist, a cancer survivor and a non-binary femme sexual educator.

The artwork for this campaign includes positive mantras such as "take up space", "all the magic in the world comes from breaking the rules", "embrace who you are", and "don't be afraid..."

Meet the faces of #BossBrows:

Ericka Hart

Sex educator. Racial/Social/Gender Justice Disruptor. Writer. Breast Cancer Survivor. Model. Podcast: Hoodrat to Headwrap 

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Hello 130K Boos! and a little blue check that makes it hard for people to impersonate me and means that you are famous on the internet. And then you remind yourself, capitalism is a bitch and looks like a blue check and none of that is connected to reality or the bills you still gotta pay (Thanks @thegranvarones). . . . I’m Ericka Hart (pronouns: she:/they) I identify as many things and you will hear me talk about all of them here, but def if you attend one of my speaking engagements (Spring dates coming soon). But, one identity that I always get questions about is being a non-binary femme. Non binary: preferred umbrella term for all genders other than female/male or woman/man. used as an adjective (e.g. Jesse is a non binary person). Not all non binary people identity as trans and not all trans people identify as non binary. Femme: an identity or presentation that leans towards femininity, not implying that someone identifies as a woman or not. . (Definitions from @transstudent) . . I remember when I got my period at 13 and my mom screamed to all of her colleagues “my daughter is now a woman!” That didn’t make sense to me nor was the connection explained. The reasons given to me about why my body was being sexualized since puberty (black femme chronicles) was that I was “becoming a lady”. The sexualizing and being called a lady made me uncomfortable. I just didn’t have the language that I felt really affirmed my gender. I love to cook, take care of people and be tender/soft and I struggled to be seen in these ways due to the world misgendering me as a “strong black woman”. My bestie said this week “If Black femmes don’t do what others want, they are disposed of” - @jewel_thegem . I feel this deeply and even in the rejection of cis womanhood, I have the experience of my voice/experience being rejected by those that want me to just fill that role. If I’m not being strong and powerful, than what’s her purpose? Being non binary allows me to assert that I am not one thing (none of us are), I get to be the gender expression and identity that’s authentic to me not whats imposed via white supremacy. Thanks for coming to my mini sex ed lesson. Any questions?

A post shared by Ericka Hart, M.Ed. She/they (@ihartericka) on

Mama Cax

Cancer survivor. (Role) Model. Blogger/Advocate

Jen Gotch

Mental health advocate and founder/CCO of wellness brand

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So, I’ve been in a depressive episode since last Wednesday. I’m in an amazing place with some of my favorite people and yet I feel awful. This is the longest amount of time I’ve had Depression since going back on meds last year. I have been reminded that Depression is one of the loneliest and isolating feelings. Everything feels incredibly ominous. Flipped on its ear. Negative thoughts and emotions are heightened. Positive thoughts and emotions feel like a foreign language. Elusive like when you can’t think of a word, but you know the word. It’s an easy and effortless word. You can vaguely see it but you can’t connect. My body hurts. I cannot think and appear really unintelligent. I cry for reasons that don’t make sense. My judgement is severely impaired. It feels like everyone hates me, I’m an awful person and the world is working against me. Mostly I feel incredibly defeated by all situations and circumstances, which is not an emotion I carry in my day to day. All depression. I DO NOT feel this way AT ALL when I’m not in a depressive episode. Oh and I am surrounded by people that want to help, both friends and internet strangers. A really close friend asked me what to say and I realized there is nothing to say when it is this bad for me. A quick “just checking in to see how you are.” a compliment or an attempt at making me laugh are all appreciated and can temporarily alleviate some symptoms and that’s a welcome relief. I’ve actually been really surprised at how embarrassed I have felt. Weak, defective, a burden. It’s funny because I have been feeling really excellent for months. I actually got scared that I was cured. That I wouldn’t be able to relate to the suffering and now that it’s back I forgot how it feels to not be depressed. And I was getting really good at feeling those feelings. I forgot how to ask for and how to receive help. My strength lies in giving, not receiving when it comes to help. That’s all. Just had to get it out and I know that sharing this helps a lot of you and that’s enough to keep me sharing the highs and lows and that’s enough for me. PS. I managed to smile for a sec. a good reminder that sometimes smiles are fake ??

A post shared by jen gotch (@jengotch) on

Hayley Kiyoko

Artist, director, and #LGBTQ/human rights champion.

Having a beauty campaign fronted by "othered" bodies is a beautiful and necessary statement to make in an industry whose profits have been largely generated by setting unrealistic standards of conventional beauty for its consumers.

The biggest race in cosmetics right now is the one for winning the prize for the widest array of foundation shades offered. And that's commendable to a certain extent.

However, these new "darker" shades makeup brands have been introducing lately still remain marketed by conventionally attractive faces. It's therefore worth noting that what Benefit has done with #BossBrows is a layered approach to changing the way we perceive and consume beauty.

Yes, it may only be four remarkable and unique women and it's by a brand that isn't easily accessible to many, but to the rest of this industry, it sends out the message that inclusivity is easy and it should be approached intersectionally.

To us, the consumers at large, it conveys the message that we can all enjoy the perks of vanity regardless of where we think we lie on the beauty spectrum.

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