An Open Letter to Michelle Lee, Editor-In-Chief of Allure Magazine

An Open Letter to Michelle Lee

Dear Michelle,

I decided to take a bit of a media sabbatical this year. I felt like my mental health needed protection from the onslaught of bad news hitting the airwaves and my inbox. I also needed my thoughts to be as clear and focused as possible as I penned my first non-fiction book and worked on a new beauty brand launch. Perhaps because the election is now over and my brand has launched and things seem a bit brighter in general, I decided to turn the news back on and resubscribe to some of the newsletters I had previously canceled.

I was most excited to resubscribe to Allure! You may ask why on earth I would go on hiatus from the heralded Beauty Expert while being a beauty executive. Well, as founder of a new beauty business, I didn’t want to be influenced by the sayings or doings of other beauty brands. I wanted to develop a business that was as pure as possible in its creation, not an unintentional amalgamation of other brands that already exist.

Reflecting for a moment on your work at Allure, I have admired whole-heartedly what you have done to modernize the magazine. So much ground has been covered to show more diversity on Allure covers and in its editorial. You took a stance against using the term ‘anti-aging’ in 2017, and you have since expanded coverage on issues that honor a real spirit of inclusivity. I applaud this direction!

But I cannot tell you how disappointed I was when I saw the very first Allure resubscription newsletter that hit my inbox…

Date: November 18, 2020.

Subject Line: I Went to Seoul & Got Over 300 Injections in My Face for Glass Skin.

Allure Newsletter Subject Line: I Went to Seoul & Got Over 300 Injections in My Face for Glass SkinI Went to Seoul & Got Over 300 Injections in My Face for Glass Skin


I reluctantly open the email and continued reading.

I see an adorable family picture of the Legends (love them!).

I continue scrolling to see a headline that reads, “I Tried a Face Cream That Costs More Than My Rent.”

{Deeper sigh}.

I Tried a Face Cream That Costs More Than My Rent

The world is now hyper-vigilantly focused on mental health as a result of the global pandemic. We are all suddenly waking up realizing that society as a whole is largely unwell, and not just from COVID-19. Depression, compulsion, obsession and addiction have seeped into our collective DNA, a cumulative result of the cultural conditioning we have done to ourselves.

As a conscious business leader, I feel responsible for the messages I send out to anyone listening, reading or watching. I feel obligated to support love, happiness and human kindness over obsession, objectification and ego. I want to take this opportunity to share my opinion that glamorizing excessive beauty procedures or crazy expensive skincare that only the top 0.0001% of earth’s people can afford is not helping society. In fact, it is contributing to the demise of social wellness, especially among young people.

Of course, brands are responsible for hyping up obsessive-compulsive behavior, too. Fabricating a sense of FOMO (don’t miss it!) and scarcity (selling out fast!) to intentionally get people to buy more now perpetuates behavior disorders and contributes to the likelihood of deeper household debt.

My hope is that businesses and media start rethinking their relationships with people. The fact that we even refer to people as ‘consumers’ is proof that marketers think more about people’s wallets than their souls. My hope is that businesses take good, quality time to reflect on what they can do to stop hurting and start helping the people they are supposed to be serving. Let’s stop contributing to human drama, depression, disease and debt. Let’s start contributing to human love, happiness, healing and prosperity. Let’s choose to do right and say right for the sake of everyone’s wellness.

Let me know if you’re with me on this.


Signed, Jennifer Norman

Jennifer Norman

Founder & Chief Human Officer

The Human Beauty Movement

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