My name is Meghan McCauley. I am Neal McCauley and Patricia Chung's daughter, an English/Irish/Chinese arts administrator, human connector, event planner, feminist, force for good, and dancer. I'm thirty years old and I live in Los Angeles, CA
When asked to write about beauty, I was surprised, flattered, and conflicted—in that order.
Beauty was not a big part of my younger life. My mom, the second-oldest daughter in a Chinese-American family, has always been a tomboy. She is totally beautiful (see photographic proof), but was always more interested in beating her father at footraces than she was in learning how to apply makeup. I remember her telling me, as a teenager: "Don't start wearing makeup. You'll find it impossible to stop." She definitely had a point there. I'm very, very grateful to my mother for making sure that I was never pressured by anyone in my family to look a certain way. There were no lightening creams or eyelid tape in my family home (as there are for many Asian women), nor were there comments about my weight, my hair, or my appearance. I am aware of how fortunate I was, and how rare that is in many young women's lives. Shout out Mom and Dad.
As a teenager, I hadn't yet figured out that "beauty" was going to present a unique challenge for me as a biracial woman. I could not aspire to look like the white ideal of beauty, nor could I aspire to look like the Asian ideal. I was going to have to go through lots of awkward phases and try to figure it out. These awkward phases included silver eye shadow, fruitlessly attempting to emulate Britney Spears, and teen magazines recommending popcorn butter as fragrance (100% true).
As an adult, I have significant issues with beauty. The global beauty market is worth billions of dollars made from capitalizing on female insecurity and fear. There is a systemic ageism, racism, sexism, and classism associated with beauty. I truly hate the covers of most beauty magazines, telling women in brightly colored letters that they are too old, too fat, too dark.
All that being said, of course, I'd like to be beautiful. And not just "beautiful" as a concept but also like, in the superficial skin-deep beauty way. I want to look at myself and think that I'm a babe and I want other people to agree with me.
Photo credit: Katelyn Schiller
I have some great habits (lots of walking, lots of water, lots of veggies, lots of dance), but I have a lot of habits that aren't particularly conducive to the quest to be beautiful. I work overtime and weekends often, I travel as much as I possibly can, I drink alcohol regularly, and I don't get enough sleep. I love an organic grain-and-veggie bowl, but not as much as a bag of Nacho Cheese Doritos.
All that being said, if you want them (I sold them pretty well, right?), here are my beauty tips:
At the end of the day, just be nice to yourself. Life is hard and there's no need for you to make it harder. I love my mix and I love growing into it. Don't use words to describe yourself that you wouldn't use to describe other people you love, YOU BEAUTIFUL HUMAN. <3 bye!