BLACK VOICES
04/16/2014 09:21 am ET Updated Apr 16, 2014

Have I Attached Myself To An Industry That Goes Against Everything I Teach My Kids?

Jodie Patterson Instagram

I left a cushy life in the fashion industry as Zac Posen’s Director of PR to be part of something way better, something much more inspiring to me –- beauty. I gave up front row seats at Fashion Week, celebrity dressing and dinners with Diddy (Zac and Sean were partners at the time) for a career that's all about helping women on our quest for personal identity. About ten years ago, I took a huge leap of faith to do something that I feel is very powerful -– to push beauty from the inside out.

So that’s the feel-good part. Here comes the part where I get sick to my stomach.

The actual beauty industry, the one in which I’m trying to be a major player (I recently grabbed Oprah’s attention with the launch of my new beauty site), actively promotes conformity and self-fear. Our bodies are being micromanaged by men, by women, even by ourselves. Quite often we believe our eyelashes are shockingly short, our lips are problematically thin, and our hair has an unruly attitude (that's code for curly).

That's what makes me feel like a hypocrite.

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