Up-and-coming beauty blogger Catherine Martinez is setting herself apart from her fellow makeup artists. She no doubt has some special skill when it comes to highlight and contour, but besides that, she’s made inclusivity the main focus of her Instagram ventures. She makes tutorials specifically in American Sign Language — or ASL. Having studied communicative sciences and disorders at New York University, Martinez meshed her passion for makeup with her passion for communication and created this new brand of makeup tutorial!
In an interview with Elle, Martinez, 24, opened up about her decision to embrace “hearing and deaf culture,” as she puts it in her Instagram bio. “It just occurred to me that when you watch media in general, sometimes [there’s] not a lot of communicative resources depending on where the person is or what channels they may watch," she said.
It was after a friend of hers asked for her help to translate what a YouTuber was saying in a video that Martinez got the idea for her videos. “I noticed right then and there, imagine somebody from the [deaf] community trying to watch [videos] and the subtitles probably are not available or the subtitles are misleading. That’s what really pushed me even more to want to continue to do it,” she said.
Her work in the beauty community is not going unnoticed, and she’s even been picked to work with the brand Wet n Wild on their campaign called Breaking Beauty. She announced the partnership earlier this month and is clearly super excited about the opportunity!
“Wet n Wild Beauty believes that there should be more diversity in the beauty industry and inclusion in all aspects,” she began the post. “They respect as well as support deaf culture and would love to see the community in the industry. I thrive to involve Deaf culture into the hearing world by breaking communication barriers. I create content that will incorporate deaf culture by creating ASL Media Content tutorials. Even though I️ am hearing, I am advocating for Communicative Resources in the media we see and I hope you will help advocate for it as well!”
Martinez is working hard to reach an audience of people who often get forgotten about in the beauty industry. “I feel like, at this point, our platforms should be, if not bilingual, then multilingual,” she explained. “If we have the advantage where we know more than one language, use it.” Keep it up, girl!