Beautiful, Loud, Filled with Joy and Rich Beauty: Q&A with Joanne Encarnacion
Intersections of Beauty is a platform to celebrate the unique perspectives, aesthetics, and life experiences within the industry and our communities. We believe that beauty isn’t just one-size-fits-all. It ‘s FOR all. And this Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, we’re inviting members of the AAPI community to share their stories.
We spoke with Sex and Relationship Coach Joanne Encarnacion (@gofitjo) about working against stereotypes, breaking generational traumas, and the “necessary and messy” conversations needed to make change.
Keep reading for the full interview.
Q: What does Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month mean to you?
A: AAPI Heritage month is an opportunity to honor the untold stories of APPI communities, to amplify our voices, and to celebrate the depth and richness of our cultures.
Q: What opportunities for progress do you think Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month presents for society?
A: AAPI Month gives a chance for the many unspoken voices to finally be heard and centered. I believe the AAPI community don’t get the chance to speak up as much because within our culture itself, we’re conditioned to be quiet, to keep our voices down, to not be seen or heard and to not rock the boat. It’s in this month where we can celebrate ourselves and give ourselves a chance to share our stories.
Q: Which stereotypes or microaggressions against those of Asian and Pacific Islander heritage does the beauty industry proliferate on a regular basis that needs to stop (besides all of them)?
A: I think one of the stereotypes that need to stop is that Asian and Pacific Islander women are quiet, domicile, and weak. We’re really strong and expressive, beautiful, loud, filled with joy and rich beauty.
Q: How do you want to see the beauty industry grow to become more radically inclusive and intersectional?
A: I want to see more and more representation of different ages, cultural backgrounds, and even abilities. I think the beauty industry can do a better job of showcasing humans with disabilities as well.
Q: How do you use your platform as a step toward radical inclusion in the beauty industry?
A: I use my platform simply by showing up and sharing my story. My story is one of many first-generation Filipino American women who are trying to navigate life here in the US while also trying to break the generational traumas that are passed down within our lineage. It’s not easy to do when the rest of the world is telling you that you’re not enough simply because of your skin color or where you come from.
Q: What has your experience been like working in the wellness industry as a person of color?
A: I’m a sexual wellness coach so in addition to talking about a topic that wasn’t safe to talk about or discuss in my home growing up, this is a topic that not very many people feel comfortable talking about. I believe it’s the necessary and messy conversations that we need to have in this lifetime that bring forth change and evolution, but I also have a lot of things working against me in that. I’m an Asian American woman and historically most Asian women are hypersexualized or eroticized. I have to work against that constantly.
In addition to that, there is not enough representation of AAPI women in the wellness industry. So there’s also the inner conflict of being proud to be representing my fellow AAPI community, but also the question of “Am I being tokenized, or do you really want me for my story?”
Q: What is your day-to-day beauty routine? What are your essentials and what makes them a staple for you?
A: I have my skincare routine and right now This is Feel is my jam! My ultimate essential is this body oil that smells like ylang ylang and patchouli. It’s absolutely grounding, earthy, and slightly floral all at the same time. I love to apply it slowly and gracefully all over my body; it’s a must for me daily to honor my body in a slow seductive pleasurable way.
More Intersections of Beauty: Celebration and Recognition: Q&A with Kaguya
Learning about different viewpoints and experiences within the world of beauty helps the entire industry change for the better. Stay tuned to our IG and blog for more perspectives from people of color in the beauty industry.
We compensate all of our content creators and have developed a standardized fee structure to ensure all partners are paid equitably based on their scope of work.
Photos courtesy of Joanne Encarnacion. Any retouching or editing was done by the photographer or photo source prior to sharing with oVertone.