This Latina Uses Makeup as War Paint in Her Fight Against Cancer


For Amanda Ramirez, makeup is both allure and ammunition.

MORE: This Empowering Feminist Makeup Tutorial is for Every Femme of Color

The Compton, Calif.-based makeup artist and Instagram personality is also a cancer warrior. In August of 2016, when Ramirez’s fierce highlight, bold lips and vicious estilo were turning her into a social media celebrity, she learned that she had Stage 3 Hodgkin's lymphoma.

The 22-year-old Latina, a woman of faith, ferociousness and flair, wasn’t going to let the diagnosis stop her from feeling and living beautifully. After all, her flourishing confidence was years in the making.

"I got bullied my whole life for being bigger and that didn't do anything except for making me realize, 'it's okay to be who you are,'” she told NBC News. “It took me so long to get to this point. When I had cancer, I said, 'I'm not going to let this ruin all these years of allowing myself to love myself."



Conceited ass. HEADWRAP BY @ushindi22

A photo posted by God's Girl (@comptonsveryown_) on


For Ramirez, cosmetics is self-care. She carries her makeup bag, with essentials like her Maybelline primer, NYX matte foundation, Laura Mercier setting powder, bronzer, concealer and fake lashes, everywhere she goes, and never heads to chemotherapy without a beat face.

"When I do my makeup, it makes me feel happy and it gives me a reason to not worry. I can't blend away the cancer, but I can blend away the contour," she said.

With more than 31 thousand followers on Instagram, Ramirez’s beauty techniques and positive attitude are an inspiration to all – and not only because the glam fighter is battling the disease.

Ramirez is also a passionate advocate for women of color, fat acceptance, self-love and bodily autonomy. Among photos of the Cali mami slaying in her bathing suit or posing for shoots with floral and graffiti backdrops are quotes about being “fat, pretty and lit” and “uplifting fellow women.” Back in October, she attended the Amber Rose SlutWalk, donned in a red bandana, black jumpsuit, puckered brown lips and a poster that read, "my body, my rules."




A photo posted by God's Girl (@comptonsveryown_) on


Among her goals: showing up for Black and brown women of size by creating images where they see themselves fly AF and in control.

"I'm very about women of color because we don't get represented in the beauty industry or in the industry in general. And if we are, it's because we're lighter or we look a certain way. The novelas we have, it's always lighter girls with green eyes and blonde hair; it's colorism at its finest,” she said.



New year, same bitch. You know me, I wear a lot of black but my personality brighter than a rainbow

A photo posted by God's Girl (@comptonsveryown_) on


Ramirez knows that confidence is a weapon, one she uses against body-shamers and cancer alike.

“It’s important to me, because loving yourself is important — it’s vital to your well-being,” she told Yahoo! Beauty.

PLUS: Watch Dominican Nail Artist Ami Vega Polish the Revolution on My Nails

Follow Ramirez on Instagram to watch her slay on the daily and fund her fight to help alleviate some of her swelling medical expenses. 

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About this author

Raquel Reichard, Politics & Culture Editor

Raquel is the Politics & Culture Editor and Latina magazine, writing on all things policy, social justice, cultura and health. Formerly at millennial news site Mic, Raquel's work can also be found at the New York TimesCosmo for Latinas, the Washington Post, the Independent and more. A proud NuyoFloRican chonga, when Raquel's not talking Latina feminism, racial justice, the "x" in Latinx or the prison industrial complex, she's going on and on about the Puerto Rican diaspora in Orlando, Fla. Follow her on TwitterInstagram and Snapchat at @RaquelReichard.


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