The Lettuces: Social-izing

The Lettuces: Social-izing

I cannot remember a time in my life when I didn’t love beauty and fashion.

Since day one it was core to my DNA — and to this day, I find happiness and energy in colors and textures, and fulfillment in self-expression and transformation. I love artistry. I love experimentation. I love reinvention. But loving something doesn’t always make it a top priority or sole focus.

As I entered motherhood, my career evolved from exclusively beauty and fashion into lifestyle and CPG, mostly as a result of me wanting to be with my family as much as possible. I took on the role of co-founder + head of brand as we launched and grew our #calienteasfuck family business.

But even prior to that I found myself very turned off by the industry shift to “social currency” and faux influence, bought followers, numbers trumping talent and experience, and just so much sameness. I just couldn’t get behind all the IG games which became essential to play. It became clearer that what was popular (and rewarded) often didn’t align with what was quality or meaningful or innovative. Creators weren’t rewarded in taking risks or exploring new visions but in recreating what worked: a formula to chase an algorithm.

I still consulted on special beauty and fashion projects but dedicated much less of my time to them. And I only really enjoyed the big campaigns that engaged and inspired women with strong, uplifting, empowering messages of true (not token) inclusivity and individuality. Programs that supported and celebrated creators, makers, dreamers.

As I made these professional and personal changes, I posted a lot less and my own feed reflected much more family time, more mom life and more startup mode. A shift in content. And I lost followers along the way. Totally natural. This wasn’t what they came for.

And as I started to share more personal experiences last fall of my pregnancy losses and then being pregnant in a pandemic, I again lost followers. Makes sense. Definitely no glamour there.

Yet I found the conversations and all the comments and DMs and texts more powerful and meaningful and more personally fulfilling. Far more impactful — and actually influential in a true and mutual sense.

Most recently, in my stories I’ve shared about maternal mortality, birthing rights, social responsibility, racial injustice and inequalities, and other topics that aren’t cute or pretty. And no surprise, I lost more followers.

But in this strange reversal, I’m actually starting to feel like this platform matters again for me in a way that isn’t tied to any business goals or brand metrics. I’m experiencing more connections, more awareness, more shared values, more community, more hope.

It’s freeing.

Of course, I’ll always post about beauty and fashion in some way or another, as it will never not be part of me, but no topic is off-topic if it matters to me.

My whole life I’ve spoken up. Whether it’s been popular or not. And I intend to teach my son — and soon my daughter — to do the same.

For all of you who’ve reached out directly to say these recent topics and conversations have helped you or meant a lot to you, to say that you relate, and to share your own experiences, I appreciate you!


NOTE: This post is not sponsored. All thoughts are unbiased and my own. All photos and content are property of Lauren Cosenza Beauty LLC.

Lauren Cosenza consults for top brands, websites, and magazines and serves as a trusted beauty/fashion/mom expert, a brand ambassador, an on-camera personality and spokesperson, a creative director, a published editorial contributor and writer, the creator and owner of DIVAlicious®, the creator and owner of BEAUTYfull®, a product junkie and an insatiable style seeker — with a former life at CosmopolitanShape and Bustle/BDG brands. She currently runs Señor Lechuga Hot Sauce with her husband and baby boy as the Co-Founder + Head of Brand.

Find Lauren on Instagram.