#WellnessForAll Spotlight – ThatsChelsea
This is the second interview in this series! I’d like to preface this series of interviews be stating that considering the time I have been in the green beauty space and the daily conscious choice I make in living an alternative lifestyle. I personally have felt several times the diversity and unique nuances and backgrounds get lost and we forget to strive for and remember our individuality. The purpose of these interviews is to bring cultural awareness to the green and wellness space.
I first met Chelsea at Girls Night during LA Indie Beauty Expo in January 2017 and we immediately hit it off. Check out the interview and her blog ThatsChelsea!
1. Tell us a bit about your ethnic background. Where were you born? Where were your parents born?
I am African American. I was born in Essex, Maryland. My Mother was born in Ohio and my father was born in South Jersey.
2. What ethnic traditions/customs do you remember vividly about your upbringing?
Music was always a big part of my upbringing. Almost everything we did involved music. We played music while doing our Saturday chores, while we were outside playing sports, after work and school. I primarily grew up listening to Soul, Funk, Jazz and R&B.
Additionally, Christmas was always a big celebration in my family. We decorated a tree every year and went to church without fail. We were always allowed to open one gift on Christmas Eve.
3. In your culture, what is considered aesthetically beautiful or acceptable?
Well, I can’t speak for all African Americans. However, I personally find that those who are confident in who they are and seek to spread love and compassion seem to radiate from the inside out. This naturally makes them aesthetically beautiful.
As far as my personal look, I strive for long, thick hair, full brows, and dewy, clear skin. Dewy is the new matte!
4. What is a standout cultural ritual/custom that is extremely toxic that you wish didn’t exist or that you feel should be better understood?
I wish chemical hair relaxers did not exist in our culture because they are extremely toxic and have even been linked to uterine fibroids among black women. It pains me to see women sacrificing their health for a hairstyle.
5. What do your family members or culture think about your alternative lifestyle?
My family members are very intrigued, inspired and supportive of my alternative lifestyle. They do all they can ensure that I stay the course.
6. What product/custom/dish do you miss and wish there was a green equivalent of or healthy version of?
This is tough to pinpoint because when you change your lifestyle, you find new favorites that make you totally forget about your old favorites. I used to really miss my Cartier Baiser Vole perfume. Now, parfums and fragrances really irritate me and cause severe headaches. I found a couple of natural perfumes by Tsi-La Organics and Good Medicine Co. that I really enjoy.
7. What tips or advice would you give anyone in your ethnic group that might be intrigued about the alternative/greener lifestyle?
My advice would be to be take things one day at a time. When I first started transitioning, I learned so much that it was overwhelming. Keep your desire to change your lifestyle until you get a little deeper into your journey. There will always be naysayers. Take your time and remember that this is your journey and no one else’s. Everything does not work for everybody. Always remember your, “why.”
8. At any point in your upbringing, was the importance of holistic topics brought up? If so, what do you recall? If not, how did you come to this alternative lifestyle on your own?
Spirituality and faith were the only holistic topics that were discussed in my household. I transitioned to a plant-based, non-toxic lifestyle after several years of dealing with Graves Disease, and more recently, Hypothyroidism. I didn’t want to accept these diagnoses and their symptoms as “just a part of life”. I started doing more research and decided to make a change. I wanted to break the generational curses of illness and disease in my family (endocrine disorders, diabetes, high blood pressure, macular degeneration and various types of cancer.)
Chelsea and I will both be attending W.E.L.L. Summit this November 2017 in NYC. Be sure to say “hi” if you’re attending!