Modern Asian: Q/A with Yu-Chen

Seeing the blank space that exists between K-beauty/J-beauty brands and mainstream American/European beauty houses, our founder Yu-Chen Shih created Orcé Cosmetics as a solution for Asian women all over the world.

She seeks to help women see their own beauty and to shine them in the global community - to create a world where all Asian women feel empowered, valued, and confident.

Read our mini-interview with Yu-Chen below!

What does being a modern Asian woman mean to you?

To me, being a modern Asian woman means breaking through the limitations placed on us by our culture, society (both Asian and Western), stereotypes, and often our own families. A modern Asian women understands she can create the life that she wants on her own terms while honoring her heritage and remembering her roots.

How has your Asian heritage shaped you?

Being raised by very traditional parents, I understood from a young age that every little action has a ripple effect, so one should be mindful of the things we say or the decisions we make. Having that mindset, it was challenging when I first moved to the United States, because I had to learn how to compete in this "me first" society.

Now that I've found a balance between the two, I'm very thankful for my exposure to both cultures as it allows me to navigate relationships with empathy.

What's the greatest piece of wisdom ever shared with you by your parents or grandparents?

Make sure you get a good education, because knowledge is the one thing others can never take away from you.

How do you deal with racial stereotypes?

As an international student attending a university that was not very diverse, I was very self-conscious about my race. I did everything I could to defy the stereotypes of Asians. It only hit me that I was ashamed of being Asian, when I looked into the mirror one day and could barely recognize myself with the bleached hair and spray tan. During my senior year, I decided to embrace the stereotypes, because I was sick of pretending to be someone I wasn't. 

Sure, not all racial stereotypes are accurate - such as being weak and submissive, I think Asian women are some of the strongest and fiercest women I know. But yes, I'm hooked on boba milk tea, I love singing with my friends at Chinese karaoke joints, and I'm always looking for a good discount!

How do you define beauty?

Beauty is confidence in your own skin and embracing what makes you unique.

How do we move the conversation forward?

Share your story - the good, the bad, the joyful, and the ugly.