From the popularity of Farrah Fawcett hair on TikTok to the disco revival of 2020’s top hits, the ’70s are primed for a comeback. But thanks to New York photographer Julia Comita and makeup artist Brenna Drury, they’re going to look more like the world we see today.
Comita and Drury are the minds behind a new photo series, Prim-n-Poppin’, which reimagines iconic beauty advertisements from the ’70s and ’80s to be far more inclusive. There’s no doubt these vintage ads are visually stunning (both Revlon and Shiseido recently put out campaigns inspired by old ads), but they celebrated such a narrow standard of beauty—thin, white, able-bodied, cis, and straight.
In Prim-n-Poppin’s world, however, people of varying races, sizes, gender identities, and skin conditions are represented (and rocking incredible makeup looks). “Julia and I asked ourselves, ‘What would the future look like today if these advertisements had been the standard of the past?’ As creatives, we want to challenge the industry to take responsibility for their marketing and diversify their talent pool,” Drury says in a press release for the project.
Alongside each of the five photos is a detailed interview with each model.
“When I was younger, to be part of the beauty world was merely only a dream for me,” says model Maria Rivera, who’s in the “Maybebabie” ad below. “For me it represents all the young transgender [people’s] dreams of having freedom to choose, enjoy and live their lives, with their preferred lifestyle and sexual preferences, without any prejudice or need to fit the society’s mold and norms.”
Coral Johnson-McDaniel, who is nonbinary, says they’d have found a series like this life-changing when they were a teen. “Images like this not only would have changed my thinking, but everybody else would have seen them too and maybe not treated me so awfully or made me feel like such a wrong type of person,” they said. “It would have changed a lot for everybody.”
The project has also compiled a detailed list of beauty brands, modeling agencies, and beauty education groups that stand for diversity and inclusion, as well as mental health resources for the LGBTQ+ community.
Comita and Drury have plans to expand their series soon, so keep an eye on their site. We can’t wait to see how they continue to push boundaries.
Bella Cacciatore is the beauty associate at Glamour. Follow her on Instagram @bellacacciatore.