How Gen Z Influencers & Creators Are Redefining The Current Beauty Standards In Malaysia
Over the past few years, Generation Z (Gen Z) has made its mark in the beauty industry, particularly through their presence and voice on social media
When TikTok was reported as the app with the highest growth rate between 2020 and 2022, it solidified Gen Z as the next opinion leader, with a large number of the app's content creators being part of this age group.
While they were initially mocked for dancing to trending music within the app, major brands are now hiring and collaborating with Gen Z creators as brand ambassadors.
However, there are other things that Generation Z has done that are influencing how we consume everyday items in the Internet age.
Today, SAYS delves into how this new generation has impacted the beauty industry.
When it comes to body image, millennials have shaped the entire corners of the beauty industry by demanding for body positivity and inclusivity
Throughout the late 2010s, we've seen more representation of plus-sized people in both international and local media.
In March, SAYS interviewed plus-sized Malaysian fashion model Callie De Wind who was scouted through Instagram and has since represented the likes of Zalora, Curva, and Mis Claire.
Aside from plus-sized models, disabled people have also been given more spotlight in the media.
In 2018, beauty queen Nur Ashikeen Iqbal made Malaysia proud when she mustered the courage to compete in Miss Wheelchair World, an international pageant in Mexico, where she advanced to the final round.
The presence and representation that both these Malaysian women brought to the modelling and pageant industry showcased the strength of the millennials.
Gen Zs, on the other hand, are continuing their legacy and going even further by providing inclusivity themselves in the beauty industry
This generation of content creators has also begun to leverage their platforms to launch their own businesses and brands.
In 2017, beauty influencer Tyra Kamaruzzaman turned heads when she launched her makeup brand, BeauTyra, which quickly became a critic's favourite and gained a cult following.
Tyra was only 18 years old at the time, but she was passionate about entrepreneurship and had always wanted to create an all-inclusive Malaysian cosmetic brand.
"Starting from a makeup palette that she bought on her own at the age of 15, she developed a lot of love and passion for makeup until it became her go-to necessity," said BeauTyra about their founder.
"Tyra then started BeauTyra to fill in the gap of inclusivity and diversity in Malaysia's beauty industry. Her goal for the brand is all about enhancing one's beauty without changing anything about themselves."
When she launched BeauTyra, the young entrepreneur knew that in order for her products to be truly accessible to everyone, she needed to sell them at a reasonable price
The brand also first sold its products on Shopee, utilising the online shopping platform that was already widely used by Malaysians at the time.
Today, BeauTyra is still selling its goods on the app and has gained over 160,000 followers, with each new product being sold out in just minutes.
"Being the trendsetter for a local makeup brand to be inclusive and diverse, BeauTyra aims to be a very fun, wallet-friendly, dynamic, and high-quality brand," said BeauTyra.
"We also aim to guarantee value for money, and will always strive to deliver top-quality products," it added.
While there are more and more inclusive local makeup brands emerging, it is undeniable that BeauTyra was among the first to advocate for diversity in the Malaysian market.
Aside from launching their own makeup product, Gen Z creators are also making themselves known in the fashion industry
Content creator Suna uses her social media to encourage the people of her generation to wear and celebrate traditional batik.
The 20-year-old often posts photos and reels of herself wearing traditional garments on her Instagram account, @sunaraiki.
Suna told SAYS that she chooses to advocate for batik because she believes the traditional clothing should be celebrated for its beauty and uniqueness.
However, the content creator encourages the public to try out different twists and styles that can make the batik even better.
"Batik makes me feel closer to myself and my identity. I love styling it and making it look more modern. It's beautiful and I love that each state in Malaysia has their own designs, making it so unique," she said.
Suna said that it felt weird at first when she started posting batik content on her social media, but she saw the positive reception she was getting
"No one was doing the same type of content that I did, but after a while, I saw more and more people doing it too and it made me really happy," she said.
She hopes that Gen Z will continue to celebrate batik and wear it with pride.
"I hope the younger generation will start wearing batik as a daily garment instead of just wearing it during formal events and during Hari Raya Aidilfitri," she added.
"You should take that piece of batik out of your closet today, and style it however you like!"
Both Tyra and Suna are great examples of how Gen Z in Malaysia is altering the landscape of the beauty industry
This generation will continue to influence the market by using the Internet to express their views and inform the industry about what they find beautiful.
In the coming years, we can expect new and younger content creators to shape the beauty industry into what will be considered the norm in the future.
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