July 22, 2021
Hi clean beauties!
All of us at S/G hope you’ve been enjoying this summer and have been feeling oh-so-dewy as we’ve celebrated this month’s theme, #letsGLOW! Using this theme as an outlet to discuss + celebrate all of the things that make us feel like our best selves — from spending time with friends to hitting the beach and applying our very favorite makeup products.
In honor of this month’s GOOD Talk installment, we sat down with one of the glowy-est people we know: Dylan Mulvaney, a content creator, actor and LGBTQ+ educator! Keep reading for our interview with Dylan on all things gender-normative beauty standards, self love, burn out, and more….
SG: Could you tell us a bit about yourself + your journey to becoming a content creator during the height of COVID?
Dylan: Hi! My name is Dylan Mulvaney and my pronouns are they/them. I’m a non-binary actor and content creator. Before the pandemic, I was performing in the Broadway musical “Book of Mormon” until everything shut down in March 2020. Theatre was my life and the pandemic forced me into finding other things to invest my energy, or I was going to spiral quickly. I downloaded TikTok and started making videos, and soon had over ten million views within a few weeks. I’m now at fifty million views and have discovered so many new parts of myself because of it. Content creation gives me the opportunity to show the world who I am; that I can write, act, sing, share opinions and laughs. It even helped me find my true gender identity: non-binary!
SG: When do you feel like your glowiest, best self?
Dylan: I feel like my best self when I’m near people that elevate and celebrate my uniqueness. I have two best friends who live on a farm, and we’ll play dress up in cute vintage clothes and go sing for all the animals on the farm. It may seem silly, but it feels like nothing else exists in those moments. I feel safe, un-judged, and beautiful. If someone in your close circle doesn’t make you feel your best, ask yourself why! Find your version of dress up on the farm.
SG: The online space you’ve created feels so uplifting, approachable and positive — but do you ever run into challenges while sharing so openly on the internet?
Dylan: Nothing makes me happier than when someone messages me that a video of mine lifted their spirits! I do get some not-so-nice messages and I am still finding ways to combat the hate. When I make content about transgender and non-binary specifically, that’s when I get the worst of it. The hate messages are just a testament to why I need to put content out there, to open people’s eyes and hearts to a different human experience than their own.
SG: On a similar note, how do you fight burnout especially when existing + advocating in online spaces?
Dylan: I take a step back. I am not a creator that puts something new out every day. When I put that pressure on myself, I shut down, get upset, and nothing productive happens. I am now in the mindset of quality over quantity, and always making sure that social media is something that I WANT to do vs. HAVE to do. It’s so easy to compare yourself to other creators, but my mindset now when I see someone posting multiple times a day with great content, is “oh my gosh that’s awesome/ I’m so glad they have the capacity to do that!”
SG: What are 3 things you would tell someone who is wishing/learning to express themselves outside of gender-normative beauty standards?
- Surround yourself with people that will love you and celebrate your curiosities and discoveries.
- Be aware that anxieties and self judgement can and will arise when going against the norm, but if you push through you just might be wildly glad you did.
- Don’t feel like you have to try everything at once. I’m still learning things in the beauty world and being patient, try a new skill or product and see how you connect with it before you jump right into the next one. It gets overwhelming!
SG: What is your biggest pet peeve with the beauty industry/what would you love to see changed in the future?
Dylan: My biggest pet peeve is that “men shouldn’t wear makeup.” I would love to see more men try it out. I was a little 14-year-old creeping around Sephora like a mouse, trying to hide from everyone because I felt ashamed of shopping for makeup or skincare. Makeup for me was a way to help cover my acne and give me a boost of confidence. I’ve now seen new makeup brands specifically say “makeup for men” and I think those are a little silly…are they that different from “makeup for women”! Let’s get some men on the billboards wearing make up too!
SG: What piece of body or self love advice would you have given to your younger self?
Dylan: I would tell my younger self to try hard to not let others strip parts of you away from yourself. Throughout my childhood, many people projected their own biases and insecurities onto me, causing me to shed awesome parts of my personality, style, and values. I am now putting together the pieces that broke off so many years ago. It would be so much easier if I had just kept all those fabulous parts of myself!!
SG: Do you have any self care practices or mantras that help you through hard self-love/mental health days that you would recommend to others?
Dylan: A few! Baths are my self-indulgent activity morning, afternoon, or night. I do my best thinking while soaking, and situations seem less dire when you’re surrounded by bubbles. I have “All is Well” tattooed on my forearm, and though cheesy, my voice teacher who passed away used to say that to me after I had failures. I also actively converse with my guardian angels like they are my teammates in a huddle — I get very specific with what I am asking for from them.
SG: Who is someone that inspires you?
Dylan: Jonathan Van Ness from Netflix’s Queer Eye. They are one of the first non-binary people I ever came across and I think they are actively spreading simultaneous joy and awareness. I met them at a bar early on in their success and they scooped me up in their arms in the best hug I’ve ever received and gabbed with me like we were old friends. They are the ultimate celeb.
SG: Just for fun, what’s your can’t-live-without #1 desert island makeup product?
Dylan: Aquaphor. ALWAYS AQUAPHOR. I’m on accutane and my skin gets super dry, but even when I’m not on it, Aquaphor makes for the perfect before bed lip treatment.
It was a privilege to feature Dylan for this month’s ‘GOOD Talks’! They are such a bright light + we can’t get enough of their energy and uplifting message of discovering your truest self. Give them a follow on TikTok or Instagram!
And for more convos on #letsglow, come join us over on the Shop Good IG, where we’ll be talking all month long with tips, tricks and advice on how to feel like glowy-est self this summer!