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I Feel Pretty: Inclusion in the Beauty Industry


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I Feel Pretty: Inclusion in the Beauty Industry

Destigmatized: Visible and invisible Disabilities and Neurodivergence

Pretty privilege is real, and it’s time for us as a society to widen our view of what pretty can look like. When content creator Steffi G started sharing her message of self acceptance and thriving with her disability online, the positive response motivated her to aim even higher. Now, she’s part of the 2022 #sephorasquad and is on a mission to achieve inclusion in the beauty industry. In this talk, she’ll share her experiences and her vision for a beauty industry that celebrates diversity.

Steffi G

Bridget Finkeldey

My name is Steffi and I was born in Colombia, and raised in Miami, Fl

I was born with Osteogenesis Imperfecta (brittle bones), I was originally given 24 hours to live. Well, at 32 years old I can say I’ve made it a bit past that!

My husband played a key role in opening my eyes to self-love, it's thanks to him that today I don’t use the term “in spite of my disability” instead, I like to say I am thriving WITH my disability.

Because my disability is not something to overcome, overlook or live in spite of – my disability is something I’ve embraced, accepted and learned to love myself with. I am aware that I’m different, I am aware that I don’t look like the average adult, and I still love myself, every part of me.

I started sharing pieces of my life on social media, and I would receive messages from people telling me how inspiring I was, how they wished they were as confident as I am, etc.

This fueled my passion to start my journey as a content creator, but sharing wasn’t enough, I knew I wanted to be part of making a difference.

I applied to be an inclusive model for Runway of Dreams, I was accepted and invited to my hometown Miami to take part in the inclusive fashion show! It was then that something sparked in my heart, and I knew my life was about to change.

Shortly after, I became an Aerie ambassador, and this past May I was invited to headquarters to shoot for an upcoming campaign!

I still felt like something was missing, and then it hit me – there’s still a lot of work to do when it comes to inclusion in the beauty industry, and I knew this is where I wanted to make a difference next.

I knew it was time to do more. I filled out an application for the Sephora Squad, a program I have followed since its launch in 2019 and I dreamed of seeing someone like me in it – but never me God no! I’m confident but not THAT confident.

2 months later I received an email from Sephora with a title that only headlined “confidential”.

My heart sank, All my eyes saw was “on behalf of the Sephora team, we would like to congratulate you on being accepted as part of the 2022 #SephoraSquad!” What an honor, I still get goosebumps every time I think of that moment, and every single time it hits me again – I did it, I did the hard thing and it turns out people believe in me, and that’s all the motivation I need to keep going.

Big things are coming, my journey is just getting started! I am here to serve as a change maker, and the beauty industry is ready to listen.

Bridget Finkeldey

Sanmaya Mohanty

Bridget is an organized and empathetic leader with demonstrated success in event coordination, stakeholder relations, digital marketing, copywriting, project management, human resources management, and public speaking.

She currently is PowerToFly's Summit Coordinator, managing logistics and day to day operations of the Virtual Diversity Reboot Series. She previously served as Marketing Project Manager at The Finance Marketing Group while simultaneously coordinating event logistics for the National Alliance Of Commercial Loan Brokers.

Bridget is military spouse, yoga teacher, and dog mom. She holds a B.A. in Media and Communication from St. John Fisher College in Rochester, NY and also played four years of NCAA basketball.

Talks about: disability, fashion & beauty, advocacy

Room B