Simone Hufana — In the United States, shame among people of color is produced by a variety of factors, including cultural standards, societal expectations, and media representation.
In the United States, a lengthy history of Eurocentric beauty standards has resulted in a desire for qualities such as lighter complexion, straight hair, and smaller facial features, while marginalizing those who do not fit these norms.
Individuals of color who breach these standards may face embarrassment, low self-esteem, and severe mental health implications, all of which are compounded by discrimination and racial prejudice.
However, a new movement is questioning and undermining traditional beauty norms while promoting diversity.
Simone Hufana is only one of millions of American women who have faced similar difficulties throughout their lives.
Rather than being discouraged by the criticism, Hufana utilized it to jumpstart her business career, resulting in the formation of Color HerStory.
Color HerStory is a coloring book brand that showcases inspiring images of women throughout history who have accomplished remarkable things.
The goal of the brand is to inspire and educate children and adults about the accomplishments of women from all walks of life.
The coloring books include great women such as Marie Curie, Frida Kahlo, and Malala Yousafzai.
Through its products, the company hopes to encourage diversity, inclusion, and gender equality.
“Each page will have an inspiring woman on it with a small box to the side describing who they are,” the website reads.
“The coloring book provides not only representation for young girls and women, but empowerment.”
Simone Hufana grew up in an ethnically diverse Mexican-Filipino home.
She was born and raised in California’s East Bay, where she observed injustice firsthand.
Her environment influenced her from a young age, and she grew up determined to bring about societal improvements.
Like many other young entrepreneurs in the present day, Simone Hufana chose to start her own firm while still in high school.
She already possessed the necessary building blocks for her ideas because she was a member of her school’s business and finance academy.
“One day after school while babysitting my 3-year-old sister at the time, I was watching her color in a coloring book while I was journaling on the couch,” said Hufana.
“I began to brainstorm a coloring book idea but was trying to figure out how I could make mine unique and different from everything else I had seen.”
Simone Hufana decided that she would write a book that would educate and inspire women.
“Growing up in the society that we do, I was ashamed of my features that came with me as a young brown girl,” the Color HerStory website wrote.
“I wanted fair skin like my classmates and Barbie dolls.”
“Until I grew older, I started taking pride in my different identities because I took the initiative to educate myself about my cultures and the women that look like me and are doing revolutionary things.”
“I got very inspired by what these women were doing and wanted to do what they were doing one day, changing the world,” Hufana continued.
“I realized that I was capable of doing so and ended up with this business idea becoming a reality.”
Pushing the idea into reality
Simone Hufana then pitched the idea to close friends and family, progressively increasing the amount of detail until she had a book proposal.
“It’s funny because I actually sat on the idea for an entire year because I lacked a lot of confidence in the idea and thought people would see it as silly and stupid,” Hufana admitted.
Color HerStory was published to the public a year later.
The Marshawn Lynch and Shopify Beastmode Business Competition Competition was won by Simone Hufana.
She won the contest and was provided with mentors and tools to assist her in launching her own business.
“I’ve been nurturing it ever since,” said Hufana. “And it has grown with me through my young womanhood.”
“I am going to change the world, and this is just the beginning.”
A hopeful outlook
Simone Hufana wishes to continue on her current path for as long as possible, devoting her life to her business and cause.
The founder and developer of Color HerStory underlined the need of outsourcing production and building a team to help in the preservation of livelihoods.
“I want to continue doing speaking engagements as well as event organizing, with a focus on BIWOC liberation and education,” Simone Hufana added.