Hi! I'm Gemma Chan. And I'm here with ELLE to talk about my Beauty Truths. I'm a child of the 80s, um, my mum, um, was kind of a big inspiration to me growing up what she still is. She went all in on the, uh, Princess Diana’s haircut, so she had that kind of whole sequence.
And I remember kind of going into her room when I was young, and she had like the dressing table, and you know the elm, the kind of wafts of elm in there. And I just remember at that age, beauty being something just really fun and creative.
And I just remember not being that too self-conscious, or you know, looking to kind of do any particular thing was more just kind of, you know, playing dress up, and, um, and having fun and trying on my mom's lipsticks.
And so my mum actually used to cut my hair. And I think the Asian bowl cut is very much a rite of passage that I'm sure quite a few people will identify with. There's a haircut she gave me where I have an actual asymmetrics or fringe. Yeah, I mean I forgive her for that. Thanks mom, but not my, not my best look.
I don't, I don't remember feeling that embarrassed by it which I'm really glad. I had it for quite a long time, you know, from kind of being a toddler to right up to probably about six or seven. And then I have a younger sister, and she also kind of had to go through that as well. So there are some great pictures of us both um with the same haircut at the same time.
I mean, to be honest, there wasn't a great deal of representation of people who looked like us or our family. It was, you know, very Eurocentric in terms of the media and magazines.
There wasn't a great deal in terms of the range of makeup that was available, in terms of what would suit your skin tone, um, you know whether you're talking about foundation, or you know through to kind of cheek colours and everything else, so you had to kind of just work with what was, what was available.
Um, I definitely made a lot of faux pas in terms of my beauty looks in the in the 90s, you know, the really dark lip liner and over plucked eyebrows. My mum always said, you know, “just don't over pluck your eyebrows”, but obviously I did, and it took years and years and years for me to grow back.
Um, I always listened to my mum, but “no”, as a teenager. I again, it was, it was very much a case of, you know it was the 90s, it was the era of kind of, you know, the supermodels, and those were kind of what you aspired to.
It was, it was a kind of an idea of beauty that was quite, um, you know, it was one thing, it wasn't like you were seeing a great range of different skin tones or body types or hair types.
So I went through a phase of just wearing this really kind of blue, actually saying that it's kind of back in fashion, but kind of a blue green eyeliner like full blown blue eye shadow.
At one point, this kind of turquoisey blue colour, oh, a lot of sparkle as well, a lot of actual kind of glitter, that kind of, that kind of thing. Yeah, you're, you're making a few mistakes, you don't really know what suits you yet.
I certainly didn't know what was suited my skin, you know, confidence takes time, and, yeah, you're, I think, just trying to look a certain way that's not necessarily who you are, or how you feel comfortable. And I definitely there were, you know, years of feeling like that.
I remember there were a few kind of early roles as well, where you know it was very much kind of producers or whatever kind of wanting you to look kind of stereotypically, kind of Asian or Oriental, or, you know, more Chinese and that kind of thing.
So again, it was just again trying, people trying to put your look into a kind of thing that you weren't necessarily, that, you know, that wasn't kind of, um, that you were, that you are, or that you're comfortable with. But I found that there was a definite kind of shift in the…um, after that those kind of first few years, makeup and hair became very freeing actually.
Yeah, I think the industry in the past has been very kind of focused on kind of youth, kind of almost like fetishizing that. I think that's been incredibly restricting on women, and it can be quite kind of oppressive idea that you have to you're not allowed to age, you know, you're not allowed to. Yeah, as an actress, it definitely crosses your mind that you're going to be aging in HD.
But what really encourages me now is the fact that we are seeing many many more women who are, you know, over 40, over 50, over 60, and being celebrated for who they are. And you know, and what they look like and aging is natural.
And I'm not saying that, you know, I probably will massively freak out, but I really hope that actually, that I can age with grace, and a bit of self-acceptance. And again, it’s being more about kind of taking care of yourself, rather than it being this kind of really harsh regime that is trying to kind of turn back the clock.
I have so many women that I think are absolutely incredible. Celine Dion, I think, is an absolute legend. I mean Helen Mirren looks fantastic. And then Viola Davis who's so talented and so kind of, you know, she has just such a wonderful intelligence and, um, and talent, and then she obviously looks amazing as well.
Luckily, we have, you know, many great women now, who are kind of doing their thing and owning who they are. And I'm really inspired by that.
There's definitely been a shift in the world, in the, you know, it's not about looking perfect all the time, it's not about being completely flawless.
And I still get breakouts, um, you know, around the time of the month, and then just kind of being quite relaxed about it, not feeling like you have to have this kind of armour on. So now, like beauty for me, it's more about a kind of self-care and having that time in the day of yourself, and it makes you feel good.
And, you know, what I really noticed during this whole kind of lockdown period and everything else you realize that actually you're really not doing stuff for anyone else, it's really just for you.
Though I mean definitely there were days that went by where I was just like, just what's the point of washing my hair, what's the point in, you know, moisturizing my skin or doing anything, you know, feeling like a real slob. And you don't feel particularly good, and then actually washing your hair, conditioning it, blow drying it, maybe putting on a nice eyeliner, or, or a nice lipstick, a bit of colour actually makes you feel so much better.
And it's, it's not that you're even necessarily going to see anyone, but it's, it's for you, and it's your time, and it's about just looking after yourself.
And, yeah, I found that actually really really good in terms of kind of my mental health, that's kind of your beauty routine can become like your meditation really in a way.
Thanks so much for listening to my Beauty Truths.
nervous or uncomfortable because you are worried about what people think about you or your actions 局促不安的；不自在的
He looked uncomfortable, like a self-conscious adolescent.
faux pas /ˌfəʊ ˈpɑː/
I made some remark about his wife's family, and then realized I'd made a serious faux pas.我谈论了几句他妻子的娘家，接着就意识到这很失礼。
turn back the clock
Now we're going to turn back the clock with some rock and roll from the 1950s.现在我们来听一些20世纪50年代的摇滚乐，回味一下那段岁月。