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First Afro-Hawaiian Woman in Sephora Beauty Campaign

Meet the First Afro-Hawaiian Woman to Star in a Major Beauty Campaign

A post shared by Taíja (@taijaax3) on

Sephora delighted everyone when it announced its holiday campaign was not only its most diverse ever but also featured actual Sephora employees. Over 1,000 of the store's consultants applied to be part of the campaign, and only 10 were selected. While the campaign came out in October, one of its stars, 23-year-old Taija Kerr, only recently went viral on Twitter after she announced she is the first Afro-Hawaiian woman to be featured in a major beauty campaign.

"This year all of my insecurities brought me the biggest opportunity of my life," the New York City-based makeup artist tweeted.

The praise and celebration came swiftly, with tens of thousands of people congratulating and complimenting her. Many elaborated on the fact that Afro-Hawaiians are extremely underrepresented — not just in beauty but in all media. Others also noted how Taija being featured opens doors for others.

In response, she elaborated on why having a woman who looks like her in a beauty campaign is so significant. "Most [Hawaiians] don't have curly 'Afro' curly hair and I have the softer Hawaiian features. My father is Hawaiian. My mother is black, so I'm considered Afro-Hawaiian to put them together," she wrote.

POPSUGAR got a chance to talk to Taija amidst all the excitement around her news. "The response I got to something so important to me that I thought would be small to the world became an actual topic of discussion and an insight on not only Afro-Hawaiians but Polynesians, period," she said.

"My supporters support me on the stance of being a strong woman clarify and her identity. Who's reppin the poly's though?! No, really? I can count how many celebrities I know in the media and entertainment industry who are Polynesian on one hand," she continued. "It's sad I didn't have any Polynesian public figure as inspiration growing up as a young child , hopefully I become someone the keiki (children) can look up to."

Congrats, Taija!

Image Source: Sephora
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