PRETTY PLANET: FACE-TO-FACE WITH THE WORLD’S BEAUTY STANDARDS
What would I do with $5,000 to travel the world? Tell the stories of its beauty.
Hi there! My name is Sierra Boone, and I’m a journalist and visual storyteller working on authentic and innovative ways to tell stories of culture through beauty, travel and justice. If I won the #TrekTheWorld2020 giveaway, I’d use it as the opportunity of a lifetime to immerse myself in the literal beauty histories of the world and the beautiful people who built and transform them. In the form of a video series, I’ll travel to each destination with one goal: uncovering and deciphering cultural beauty standards around the world.
Bleach blonde hair in Buenos Aires. Pencil-thin eyebrows in Mexico City. Curly ringlets in Jamaica. Mothering hips in Alabama. The list, as well as its impact on women in society, is endless. My goal is to ask the important questions about the deep and lasting effects on both women and men, and how those effects present themselves in everyday practices and beliefs.
As part of finding the answers to these questions, I plan to have conversations with locals, brand executives and entrepreneurs, hairdressers, make-up artists, medical professionals, social adversaries, and more.
Sierra Boone is an exploratory storyteller, with the eager intention to delve into themes of marginalization, divergence, and joy; using a plethora of platforms. She is obsessed with concepts that have no borders and shape-shift depending on culture – beauty, language, social justice and beyond – and hopes to dive deeper into what these concepts look like globally.
Sierra received her journalism degree from Northwestern University, and has experience with many beauty companies including Mayvenn Hair, BASE BUTTER, and CRWN Magazine. She has hosted and produced videos with international reach for En Buenas Manos (Buenos Aires, Argentina), Babbel USA and more. She also hosts and produces the web series Beaumanities, which combines beauty techniques with accessible critical theory.
Setup and Payoff:
As Miranda Priestly so succinctly said in The Devil Wears Prada, “millions of dollars and countless jobs,” are dedicated to influencing our every decision when it comes to what we choose to put on our bodies, faces, and hair. Beauty does not exist in a vacuum. I believe that these standards around the world, as different as they may seem, are all connected. For people of all genders, the perception of what beauty is (and isn’t) plays a big role in the perception we have of ourselves, and from an early age. Beauty influences our outlook of love, as was noted by Zadie Smith in “On Beauty.” Beauty is inextricably connected to the power dynamics involved in race, sexuality, physical ability, and the idea of personhood. PRETTY PLANET will address these structured systems in a fun, relatable way by taking a holistic, people-first approach to global beauty.
Through watching PRETTY PLANET, viewers will learn of popular and trending hairstyles, beauty products, brands, makeup combinations, However, using journalistic integrity, viewers will also follow me as I uncover the answers to questions such as:
- Who created these standards? Who upholds them?
- Who is subjected to these standards and in what ways?
- What makes these standards specific to this country/region/area?
- What other cultures have influenced these standards?
- How have these standards influenced the way the local community engages with themselves and one another?
- How do these standards differ from other cultures/regions/areas?
Where #TrekTheWorld2020 Comes In:
Not only would I use the winning funds to visit some breathtaking places and conduct interviews, but I could cover travel expenses such as housing. Not having to worry about otherwise huge barriers to travel (and therefore beginning production), would allow me to focus on securing interviews, reaching out to people and companies, building relationships, solidifying the equipment I’ll be using, and overall producing a finished product that will enlighten, educate and entertain the masses.
Additionally, the resource of connecting with expert travel planners will help me to make my travels and the show as intentional as possible. I believe respect is of the utmost importance when traveling to a new place with a culture different than yours, and after reading the Indie Travel Manifesto, I know AirTreks is the perfect partner to help make PRETTY PLANET as groundbreaking as I envision.