Simone Hufana — In the United States, shame among people of color may be traced back to a variety of causes, including cultural standards, societal expectations, and media depiction.
In the United States, a lengthy history of Eurocentric beauty standards has created a demand for qualities such as lighter complexion, straight hair, and smaller facial features, while marginalizing persons who do not fit to these norms.
Individuals of color who violate these standards may experience shame, low self-esteem, and severe mental health outcomes, which are further exacerbated by discrimination and racial prejudice.
There is, however, a rising movement to challenge and disrupt old beauty ideals while also promoting diversity.
Simone Hufana is only one of millions of American women who have faced similar challenges.
Rather than allowing the criticism to overwhelm her, Hufana utilized it to jumpstart her business career, which resulted in the creation of Color HerStory.
Color HerStory is a coloring book brand that showcases inspiring images of women throughout history who have made major achievements.
The brand’s mission is to inspire and educate children and adults about the accomplishments of women from all countries and backgrounds.
Great women such as Marie Curie, Frida Kahlo, and Malala Yousafzai are included in the coloring books.
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 was born into a mixed household with Mexican and Filipino ancestors.
She was born and raised in California’s East Bay, where she observed injustice firsthand.
Her circumstances influenced her at an early age, and she grew up determined to make societal advances a reality.
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Simone Hufana, like many other young entrepreneurs today, decided to establish 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 finally came up with the concept to publish a book that would educate and empower 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 her idea to close friends and family, gradually adding more 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 launched a year later.
Simone Hufana took part in the Marshawn Lynch and Shopify Business Competition.
She won the prize competition and was provided with mentors and resources to assist her in starting 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 brand and cause.
The creator of Color HerStory highlighted the possibility of outsourcing manufacturing and assembling a team to assist sustain livelihoods.
“I want to continue doing speaking engagements as well as event organizing, with a focus on BIWOC liberation and education,” Simone Hufana added.