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Three Asian Models Are On The Cover Of Allure And My Feels Are Everywhere

"In 327 issues, over 28 years, there had only been two Asian women on the cover."

In case you weren't aware, Allure Magazine is helmed by the fierce, gorgeous, and diversity-driven Michelle Lee.

I follow her religiously and admire her not only as a talented editor-in-chief, but as a strong, inspiring, and down-to-earth Asian-American role model in the media industry, where quite frankly there aren't quite enough of us. (And ICYMI, our amazing beauty editor Essence Gant got the low-down on all the skin care products she puts on her face. READ IT, BOOKMARK IT, CHERISH IT. And here's some more skin care tips from Asian celebrities, just because.)
Allure Magazine / Via allure.com

I follow her religiously and admire her not only as a talented editor-in-chief, but as a strong, inspiring, and down-to-earth Asian-American role model in the media industry, where quite frankly there aren't quite enough of us.

(And ICYMI, our amazing beauty editor Essence Gant got the low-down on all the skin care products she puts on her face. READ IT, BOOKMARK IT, CHERISH IT. And here's some more skin care tips from Asian celebrities, just because.)

In her editor's letter, Michelle gets extremely real about the stark lack of Asian representation on Allure covers and how this badass trio marks a personal milestone.

As you an see above, Lucy Liu graced the cover of the November 2000 issue. Michelle goes on to say, "It’s been 18 long years since the first — and almost only — Asian woman appeared on the cover of this magazine. (Olivia Munn, whose mom is of Chinese descent, graced the cover 14 years later.) In 327 issues, over 28 years, there had only been two Asian women on the cover. We’ve made a real effort to celebrate diversity on all platforms of Allure in the past two years. But, my God, only two covers?"
Allure Magazine

As you an see above, Lucy Liu graced the cover of the November 2000 issue.

Michelle goes on to say, "It’s been 18 long years since the first — and almost only — Asian woman appeared on the cover of this magazine. (Olivia Munn, whose mom is of Chinese descent, graced the cover 14 years later.) In 327 issues, over 28 years, there had only been two Asian women on the cover. We’ve made a real effort to celebrate diversity on all platforms of Allure in the past two years. But, my God, only two covers?"

So, without further ado, here are the three covers for the inaugural Hair Guide issue in all their windswept glory and the stunnas who are redefining what it means to be Asian and beautiful:

You might want to take a seat, tbh.

Fernanda Ly, instantly recognizable by her signature cotton candy pink hair and her show-stealing international fashion runway appearances.

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On her iconic pink lewk and trailblazing her own identity: "Louis Vuitton was the last day of fashion week and the next day literally all the fashion-news headlines were like, ‘Who’s that girl with pink hair?’ And instead of going back home to Australia, I went to New York. Hair is work for me now. When you think pink hair, you think of me."

And as a Chinese-Australian model, she's very vocal about growing up with two different, and at times competing cultures. Ly says, "Australia has so many Asian people, but when I started out, pretty much every model was white. It’s an alienating experience — you feel so physically different. I appeared at the time when everything started to change; people like Lineisy [Montero] and Ruth Bell started to break the norm. I guess I’m the colored-hair version of that for Asian girls."

SooJoo Park, a platinum talent who went from working in graphic design to stealing the spotlight at runway shows, partnering with Chanel, and further proving that it's never too late to shine.

Instagram: @heymichellelee

On being a "modern muse:" "With my bleached eyebrows and hair, I’ve had a beauty contract with L’Oréal Paris since 2015, and I’m really grateful that they are embracing a woman of color who isn’t a stereotypical idea of an Asian beauty."

On Asian representation and inclusion: “Asian and Asian-American heritage is really heavily underrepresented in the industry, and I want to push for inclusion. We’re the fastest-growing minority in the country, but you hardly ever see one of us on the cover of a major American publication. I just want to think about who I am and what I represent and how I can help other people who are like me.”

Fei Fei Sun, who was the first Chinese woman to appear on the covers of American, Italian, and Japanese Vogue.

Instagram: @heymichellelee

On her career and impact thus far: "China has an old saying: ‘Flowers are beautiful because the seeing is free.' We need more and more girls from different countries on the runway and in magazines and in global campaigns."

SAY IT LOUDER FOR THE PEOPLE IN THE BACK (AND IN HIGH-UP POSITIONS MAKING THESE ~CREATIVE~ DECISIONS).

Someone hand me a fan, because I swear someone has turned up the office temperature. 😓

Chanel / Via youtube.com

JUST KIDDING, it's just these amazing cover models that represent a snippet of the wide spectrum of Asian beauty. 🔥🔥🔥

These covers really go to show Allure's push for inclusivity at every turn, from spotlighting monolid eye makeup, a sans-laid-edges Kerry Washington, pushing out the term "anti-aging," and talking about why non-brows are beautiful.

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And we're 👏 here 👏 for 👏 it 👏.

As Michelle puts it (with much poise), "Maybe you don’t personally have kinky, curly hair, or monolid eyes, or stick to halal products. But there’s something we can all learn about each other through the lens of beauty. I’m not a septuagenarian*, but I had a lot to take in from our September 2017 cover story with Helen Mirren."

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"Likewise, I hope that Halima Aden’s gorgeous face, framed by a Nike hijab on our July 2017 cover, opened eyes in the best way possible."

Aka, regardless of what your own background and preferences are, there are lessons to be learned from everyone! That's the real beauty of diversity.

*a person who is from 70 to 79 years old

For anyone like Michelle (and all Asians everywhere) whose "preteen self couldn’t even fathom seeing an Asian face on the cover of a mainstream magazine or leading a TV show or headlining a movie," this is a BIG DEAL.

20th Century Fox Television

And it's only the beginning! In Michelle's own words, "I vow to keep it going. In fresh new ways."

Congrats to Michelle Lee and the Allure team! 🎉🎉🎉

Check out how BuzzFeed is celebrating at Asian Pacific American Heritage Month!

Andrew Richard / BuzzFeed
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