Maybelline Just Signed Its First Asian Global Ambassador

Photo: Bryan Bedder/Getty Images.
Maybelline has been killing it on the diversity front. Joining the ranks of Gigi Hadid, Jourdan Dunn, Christy Turlington, and, more recently, Tanzanian model Herieth Paul, is Taiwanese beauty I-Hua Wu. Though Wu isn't the first model of Asian descent to represent the brand, she is the first to rep it on a global scale.

In an interview with The Cut, Wu said she's proud that she can bring some attention to her home country. Taiwan, she notes, often goes overlooked. "Outside of the U.S., there are few Taiwanese models. It’s mostly models from other Asian countries," she told The Cut. "But lots of Taiwanese models come here and work hard, but have never been recognized because Taiwan is so small. I’m happy to shine some light on it."

She may be making it big now, but Wu has battled with insecurities about her looks. She used to prefer to wear circle lenses — to make her eyes look bigger — because she thought she'd look ugly without them. She was also bullied in school for being too tall (a trait she believes is due to all of the beef soup she and her family eat on the regular).

But it's her height that eventually led to being discovered as a model. "Since I was little, I was bullied because I was too tall, or different somehow — I’m not really sure," she says. "I didn’t have any friends and was ostracized. In junior high, I cried every single day. But in high school, my mom saw a company was holding a modeling competition, sponsored by an agency. My mom signed me up. It wasn’t to become a model; it was to meet other tall people like me. We went to China to compete, and I came in second."

Though Wu still struggles with the notion that she's not "as great as everyone seems to say," she's learning to master the art of faking confidence. "As long as you think you're beautiful, you will be beautiful," she says.
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