Yahoo Lifestyle’s Diversity in Beauty Awards (the DIBs) highlight and celebrate personalities, brands, and products that embody inclusiveness and innovation. See the 2018 winners list here. We enlisted six experts who have championed diversity in their careers and cover all bases of the beauty industry to vote on the best in makeup, skin care, hair care, and more. Here, we put a spotlight on DIBs judge and celebrity personal trainer Massy Arias.
Have you ever felt unathletic or out of place at the gym? So has celebrity trainer Massy Arias, and she’s tired of the exclusive nature of the fitness industry. “If you have a body, you’re an athlete,” Arias tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “Fitness changed my life and shaped me as a person. I want to help women find their confidence through movement and through fitness.”
To all my beautiful sisters around the world, Happy International Women’s Day. Let’s continue dreaming, supporting each other, and believing in ourselves. We are the future. I love you my queens #internationalwomensday #momlife #girlpower ____________________________________________________________ Para todas las guerreras del mundo que se levantan día a día luchando por alcanzar sus sueños. Para todas las mujeres que son la fortaleza de sus familias y las que tienen que jugar papeles diferentes sin importar si se les reconoce. Nosotras somos el futuro. Sigamos apoyándonos unas a las otras. Las amo mis reinas. Feliz dia Internacional de la Mujer! #diainternacionaldelamujer #hijadecristo
A post shared by MankoFit (@massy.arias) on Mar 8, 2018 at 10:28am PST
Arias strives to celebrate and promote inclusion, both in the fitness industry and as a beauty ambassador for CoverGirl. “I’m trying to change how women look at their bodies and find confidence in themselves, no matter what their body type,” Arias says. “The more awareness we bring to the space of beauty and diversity, the more pressure we’re putting on brands to actually include and start making products that really help all of us.”
As a young girl I grew up watching various iconic women join the #COVERGIRL family and set examples of what a true role model was. I often looked up to them and dreamed of what it would be like to one day be the face of Covergirl and to help inspire women across the world to be comfortable wearing as little or as much makeup of their choice. I never in a million years imagined that shortly after having my first baby at the age of 28, I would join the Covergirl family and continue to spread the word of self-confidence with Covergirl. I am so grateful to be a part of such an amazing movement of strong, independent women who continue to show others that #Iamwhatimakeup. @Covergirl #COVERGIRLMADE _____________________________________________________________ Desde niña crecí viendo tantas mujeres icónicas unirse a la familia # COVERGIRL y ser unas verdaderas modelos a seguir. A menudo me soñaba con cómo sería un día ser la cara de Covergirl. Nunca en un millón de años me imaginaría que poco después de tener mi primer bebé a la edad de 28, me uniría a la familia Covergirl y seguiría difundiendo mi mensaje empoderázando a ustedes mis reinas. Estoy muy agradecida de ser parte de un movimiento tan asombroso de mujeres fuertes e independientes que continúan mostrando a otros que #Iamwhatimakeup. @Covergirl #COVERGIRLMADE
A post shared by MankoFit (@massy.arias) on Oct 10, 2017 at 12:22pm PDT
For Arias, embracing fitness was a life-or-death situation. She used it to battle crippling depression that left her weak and malnourished. Now, she uses it to inspire her 2.5 million Instagram followers to turn their lives around, too.
But even though fitness saved her life, Arias knows the industry is imperfect, lacks diverse representation, and tends to leave out certain groups of people and perpetuate a harmful body ideal. So she’s working to change it.
As an individual with a large platform, she feels it is her responsibility to counter these stereotypes. Arias focuses on showing her followers that a healthy lifestyle fits for people of different shapes, sizes, cultures, and socioeconomic backgrounds. She offers fitness and nutrition tips that work — like her healthier pho recipe and equipment-free exercises.
“I think it’s important in my industry to be diverse. I’m a Latina, if my parents would have put me in to play any sport, I think I would have been an amazing athlete,” Arias says. “I will say with confidence that in the Latina community, girls do ‘girl things’ and boys do ‘boys things.’ That’s not how I’m going to raise my daughter.”
“I can’t wait until she starts walking” turned real quick into “I wish she could be still”. I tried to dress up Saturday with @growingupindi to show you cute mommy and me outfits and while I love these shots, I wish she would have stayed still for a second because I think she looked so adorable. She is on the run, super happy, and growing way too fast…my pride and joy. Hardest job on But I’m loving it! #babyindi #babygirl #momlife ____________________________________________ El decir “no puedo esperar a verla caminar” se volvió “espero que se quede tranquila por un segundo” Bueno mi tribu aquí les dejo con unas imágenes de este sábado cuando trate de mostrarles cómo estábamos vestidas y la @growingupindi no se quedó tranquila. Estas imágenes me encantan, una pena que no vieran que chulas nos veíamos. Este es el trabajo más arduo del pero el más gratificante! Feliz lunes mis amores! #hijadecristo
A post shared by MankoFit (@massy.arias) on Mar 26, 2018 at 5:26pm PDT
Arias also believes diversity and body inclusivity go hand in hand, and she wants people to know that curves can be healthy, too.
“You don’t need to be lean in order to have health. You don’t need to have my muscles. I lift heavy and I have a certain nutrition, and therefore I look this way,” Arias says. “But then you have someone who’s a yogi, someone who may not be muscular and is still healthy, and you have someone with more curves, and that’s still healthy, someone who’s taking care of themselves and may carry more body fat than I do.”
By working to break down stereotypes, Arias has made strides in her own self-love journey as an Afro-Latina. “For so many years, I was pressing my hair, dying it and doing all these crazy things. And I never had the courage to say, you know what, I’m just going to chop it,” says Arias. “I think I’m in a platform right now where I have so many opportunities coming my way, that when I gave birth to my daughter and I saw this little rich chocolate brown girl with curly hair, it had me question myself and my character. The one person she needs to relate to is me, and [cutting my hair] is something I did for her and for my community.”
Twinning with my bestie. When I did my big chop, this is what I imagined…➰ ❤️ Mi mejor amiga. Cuando me corte mi cabello, esto fue lo imaginé ➰@growingupindi : : : :#babyindi #babygirl #hijadecristo #childofGod
A post shared by MankoFit (@massy.arias) on Jan 24, 2018 at 4:39pm PST
Ultimately, Arias wants to inspire others to embrace their uniqueness with confidence and happiness. “We’re like ice cream. We come in so many flavors and so many colors — why not embrace us? There’s not a specific mold of what beauty is and who can be beautiful,” she says. “As cliché as it sounds, we need to be comfortable being us, and when we exude confidence, even if you put a ton of makeup on, your personality is gonna make you more beautiful. You can be really pretty and have all this makeup on, but that’s not what makes you beautiful.”
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