In every stage of her life, Jennifer Norman, founder of Humanist Beauty, looks at life with a unique perspective.
Abandoned at the age of two and adopted by a family from Long Island, she was one of the only Asian individuals in a predominantly white community. Jennifer quickly learned the importance of compassion.
“When I was in my teens, I started to go through my own identity crisis,” Jennifer tells Very Good Light. “And so I looked to magazines, I looked to the fashion industry for cues about how I wanted to kind of show up in the world. But I felt really empty.”
Jennifer then landed a job at L’Oréal in New York, where she went on to continue working in the beauty industry for 20 years. Throughout her career, she says she yearned to live a life of greater meaning, intention, and purpose.
The universe gave her that purpose at the birth of her son, who was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder at the age of two. Jennifer says she almost lost him many times, but his will to survive has kept him here today.
“It really shifted my thoughts about what really was important in life and, and what really mattered,” says Jennifer. “I kind of came back to the fact that caring for others, the love that we have between us, that is really what beauty is about. It’s not all about what you put on your face, it’s really about what’s inside of us.”
The Human Beauty Movement
Jennifer founded her community, The Human Beauty Movement in 2019, a Certified B Corporation on a mission to show that love and sustainability can help all humans discover their own true beauty.
Jennifer wanted to create an organization that was more genuine and community-based than number and profit-driven institutions. She explains that B corporations are a new type of organization, almost like a hybrid between a for-profit company and a nonprofit company.
“Companies are founding themselves in order to be sold… it becomes more bottom line-driven… more ego-driven,” she says. “Which I think inherently gets itself back to the cyclicality of the obsessiveness that will contribute to the marketplace and unwellness in the mental health space.”
On the other hand, B Corp organizations focus on putting people and the planet first rather than profits. Profitability exists, but as an incentive to grow and succeed, to invest in being healthy.
“We do it in a way that is really going to be more sustainable, a way that is good for social impact, as well as environmental impact,” says Jennifer… “I am going to operate my business in a way that is going to be respectful of the planet.”
Giving back is a cycle, and Jennifer believes all aspects of life are deeply connected.
“What you do to the people you do to the planet, and what you do to the planet you do to people, we are all combined, energetically, we are all one,” says Jennifer.
She wanted to create a community focused on self-love, and the real progress that can be made for a better tomorrow.
“No matter who you are, you matter,” Jennifer says. “And for me, that means no matter whether you’re a boy or girl, beauty can be for everybody. It is for everybody, whether you’re older or younger, or whether you’re of a specific background of a specific race.”
Within the company lies Humanist Beauty, a radically inclusive, clean, and ethical beauty brand. After extensive research on holistic healing, Jennifer knew she wanted to incorporate CBD into her beauty products.
“The skin has a multitude of endocannabinoid receptors, which take the cannabinoids and actually embrace them so that it helps to remedy and calm the inflammatory responses,” says Jennifer.
Whether it’s psoriasis, eczema, acne, or anything inflammatory-related, CBD is a great ingredient to incorporate into your products, Jennifer says.
The first Humanist Beauty product is the Herban Wisdom Facial Oil with Full-Spectrum Whole Hemp + Adaptogens. The Facial Oil received the 2020 NEXTY Award for Best New Personal Care/Beauty Product, representing the very best in innovation, integrity, and inspiration across the global natural products industry.
Humanist Beauty’s company values lie in human kindness, compassion, and care. According to Jennifer, the global beauty industry needs a wake-up call. Consumers are still brought down by low self-esteem, products still contain harmful ingredients, and natural resources are still wasted in production.
“People still feel marginalized, underrepresented, prejudiced, and discriminated against,” she says. “We can, and must, do better.”