Amber Jean on the cover of Glamour Magazine Self Love Issue <3 <3

Photography: Katie Glass | Make-up: Monique Monroe 

These gamechangers are tearing up traditional beauty standards..

"For our February digital issue we wanted to show that beauty can not be defined by one viewpoint or one face. The ‘Self Love’ issue features 11 cover stars: Sophia Hadjipanteli, Munroe Bergdorf, Harnaam Kaur, Chidera Eggerue, Stephanie Yeboah, Jeyza Gary, Katie Piper, Michelle Elman, Amber Jean Rowan, Nabela Noor and Hani Sidow. We asked them to photograph these covers themselves, in the way they want to be perceived. These women refuse to accept the outdated notions of beauty – created by a Western gaze – or be defined by them. Now we want you to join the conversation too by creating your own GLAMOUR cover. To get involved, head to your Instagram stories and search ‘GLAMOUR’ in gifs to add our logo to your cover shot. For a step-by-step, head to our insta stories now.."

"Model and actress Amber Jean Rowan was only 15 when she developed alopecia. By 16, she was entirely bald. While she initially started wearing wigs, Amber later realised there was an untapped beauty in her baldness.

Dublin-born Amber launched Hair Free, an online platform that provides help and support to others suffering with alopecia. Since then, she has shared her story on the cover of Irish Tatler and appeared on The Late Late Show in Ireland.

Here, Amber, 26, shares her thoughts on self-doubt, how empowering stepping out without a wig was and society’s outdated hair standards…

How do you feel you are challenging the traditional concepts of beauty?

A Throughout history, hair has always played such a large role in our identity as women. Hair has always been our way to express who we are. Hair, in our culture, has always been wrapped up in the word ‘femininity’; long hair = beautiful and womanly, and anything to the contrary is considered ‘masculine’. Feminine is a derivative of the word female and us amazing females come in many different forms. What it means to be a woman has nothing to do with our hair. It has EVERTHING to do with who we are on the inside; how strong, how brave, how kind and how caring we are. So I feel by owning my hair-free life, I am challenging those constructs and ideals of what beauty really looks like. It hopefully allows people to see that there are all kinds of beauty out there, and so many ways to express who we are; to feel confident and beautiful, hair or no hair. At the end of the day, hair is just ‘matter’ and it doesn’t make you a truly beautiful person, it just allows you to do a very sassy hair flick when necessary.

Q What’s the biggest challenge you have faced?

A I think in life we face little challenges every single day – and it’s how we push through them, get over them and grow from them that makes us better, stronger humans. My challenge in life is to always make sure that I am being true to myself, to check in and make sure I’m being my most authentic self, as that is when I feel most self-growth can happen. I remember walking down the street for the first time without my wig on. It was the scariest thing in the world, and I was so petrified of what people thought. I hated the staring and attention it brought with it, and I felt so vulnerable and uncomfortable. That to date, has been the most challenging moment for me; allowing myself to let go of what others think and just focus on how I truly feel about myself. At the end of the day all that really matters is what the people you love feel about you and how you view and see yourself"

Q What does beauty mean to you?

A To me, beauty is kindness. There is nothing more beautiful than a kind and loving human. It shines so bright, it’s truly magnetic and contagious.


Follow Amber Jean on Instagram: @amberjeanrowan