How much time do you spend getting ready?
If it’s a regular kind of look, then 10 minutes. Fifteen minutes, max. But if it’s something more elaborate, it can be much longer, because I’m singing and pretending that I’m talking to an audience during it. You have to factor that in, because that’s a very legitimate thing. Sometimes I listen to Rex Orange County while I’m getting ready because I really like him as an artist.
What’s your favorite way to take a moment for yourself?
Definitely video games, like Animal Crossing, because there’s so much to do. Nintendo has been a really big part of my childhood and my present-hood, let’s call it that. I’d do it as a kid a lot. That’s why ever since I was a kid, I wanted to go to Japan. It’s always been on my bucket list to visit the gaming towers there. Every level you go up in the building, the harder it gets, the more competitive gaming there is. It gets good!
Who are the women who inspire you the most right now?
Why did my dog come into my head? I love my dog. [Laughs] So besides my lovely dog, it’s actually Mindy [Kaling]. She’s so killer and amazing at all that she does, and she’s such an inspiration. I love how she truly goes after what she wants. She writes, she produces, she acts, and she’s unapologetic about it. She’s like, ‘I’m here, and I’m killing it,’ which I think is really dope.
If you could change one thing about beauty perceptions on social media or in Hollywood, what would that be?
The idea that there’s one way to do beauty. Obviously throughout time, we’ve switched trends, but I wish we could get away from the core “beauty standards.” If you’re of color, it’s like the fairer you are, the better. That’s something that personally bothers me—that there are products dedicated to skin whitening. That’s something I definitely want to strip from the beauty world. I don’t think that’s beauty. I think that’s just racism.
What’s the best beauty advice your mom ever gave you?
It isn’t necessarily beauty advice, buy my mom has always told me since I was a little kid that I looked beautiful and was always looking fly as hell. A lot of the South Asian community—when it comes to our parents—forgets to tell the younger generation that they are pretty and beautiful, because they themselves haven’t been told that. Their moms weren’t told that. My mom has always told me that, and I’m so appreciative she did. That gave me the confidence when I walked into school because my mom made me feel my brown skin was dope as fuck.
It’s something I’m really passionate about, because I know so many fellow South Asian girls that haven’t been told they’re beautiful, and they take that to heart. It’s heartbreaking. I feel like that’s also the story of Devi in Never Have I Ever. She doesn’t feel she’s beautiful, and maybe that’s because her mom hasn’t told her that. It’s such a real thing, so while it’s not beauty advice, it’s what my mom has taught me, and I’m so grateful for it.
Jessica Radloff is the Glamour West Coast editor. You can follow her on Instagram at @jessicaradloff14.