This beauty blogger is using American sign language to make beauty tutorials accessible to all
This beauty blogger is changing the beauty game and how!
It wouldn't be wrong to say that 2017 saw a tsunami of beauty and fashion bloggers, who made their presence felt on social media platforms across the globe with their glam tutorials and other beauty-tutorial content. Clearly, beauty and fashion bloggers are making a clean sweep and the number of people pursuing them with gusto isn't dwindling anytime soon.
Like all other bloggers in the biz, Catherine Martinez, 24, began contouring and highlighting her way in people's feed via ordinary how-to-do tutorials. But fate chose another route for her to consider when a deaf classmate at NYU sought her help for interpreting a certain online makeup tutorial.
"They [deaf and mute people] did not feel like they fit in [the beauty industry] since there isn't much deaf culture beauty resources or involvement," she explained. "It just struck me one day when a few peers in my class asked me to translate what a blogger they were watching was saying since the tutorial was auditory and had no other mode of communication. I recently started my channel to change that," she told Bustle.
Martinez, who’s heritage traverses through Venezuela and Colombia, had her eureka moment when it dawned on her that most of the tutorials that do the rounds on social media platforms aren't accessible for a vast majority of people who are dumb or mute. "I always wanted to do something with language," she told PEOPLE CHICA. "I always wanted to do something with language, and I’ve always been into science and anatomy," she revealed further.
asl sugar glow kit & radiant blush kit tutorial @norvina1— Catherine Martinez (@catthe1st) 16 November 2017
Instagram post: https://t.co/38QFXhctl9 #anastasiabeverlyhills #makeup #asl #ABH @Peachyqueenblog @MakeupForWOC @Allure_magazine @BeautyPostss @NikkieTutorials @MannyMua733 pic.twitter.com/YWFkGeVDYy
Martinez, who holds a degree in Communicative Sciences and Disorders, elaborated further. "Putting myself in that individual’s shoes, I realized that I should create content that would be accessible to her, and millions of other men and women in the community," she told TODAY Style.
Her heart is in the right place: Current figures reveal that there are more than 28 million Americans who are deaf or hearing disabled, according to the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA).
Thank you so much for the retweet! Recently I used the TARTEIST lash paint mascara in my asl tutorial and love it ! Also met Tarte staff pic.twitter.com/fEbKa2AoP7— Catherine Martinez (@catthe1st) 29 September 2017
Martinez, who lives in New York City, then began posting ASL makeup and skin-care content with the hope that her work would not let anyone feel left out or wanting to understand through another medium like her classmate.
Now, Martinez uses the American Sign language in her tutorials for the hearing-impaired and mute community. Her revolutionary vlogging has managed to amass more than 35,000 loyal Instagram followers along with a steady increase on her Facebook and Twitter pages as well.
Many of her video tutorials have gone viral and ushered in several cosmetics brands like e.l.f. Cosmetics, LuxieBeauty and Anastasia Beverly Hills who've supported her work and collaborated with Martinez. Several brands have also reposted her tutorials on their own platforms which have managed to give Martinez a more wider reach.
Despite not being deaf herself, Martinez believes that the new line of thought in her work has managed to truly make a difference in the lives of others. “[I] personally came from a deaf heritage background and grew up with ASL my entire life and now I work with deaf children,” a fan wrote on one of her sign language tutorials on Instagram.
"It's so inspiring to see your videos because I love makeup and the deaf community is a huge part of my life!", another fan chimed in the comment section.
"Their faces lit up, or they started to cry when they saw that I was signing in the videos," Martinez told TODAY Style. "They didn’t really have that kind of connection sometimes when using media in general or turning on the TV," she added.
Bolstered with all the success that her ASL tutorials have brought her, Martinez now hopes to see more people from the hearing and speech impaired community to make a foray into the makeup and fashion universe. “Just because most people need oral communication doesn’t mean that they can’t break that barrier and be able to work,” she told PEOPLE.
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