as told by paula carozzo

As Told By: Paula Carozzo, Disability Activist and Storyteller

Last updated on: 2023

As Told By

Meet Paula Carozzo!

Find Paula @pauuzzo

Photo by Femke Tewari 

Tell us about yourself. How did you get started in the beauty industry?

My name is Paula Carozzo and I am a content creator, disability activist and storyteller. I was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at the age of five after a non-traumatic brain injury from a surgery. After growing up and living some difficult experiences with a disability, I decided that I wanted to become a disability activist as I wanted to eradicate stereotypes and reach equity for people with disabilities.

What or who inspired you to start your career?

Injustice. People with disabilities go through a lot of injustices in many areas including, the medical system, economic system, and employment system. All of that unfortunately is dispersed into the roots of our identity and the way we relate and others relate to us, but also in how we are treated. I went to school for PR and Business and went to work for PR in fashion and lifestyle and noticed the lack of representation and equitable opportunities, so I applied all my skills and knowledge into my own content creation career.

What is a typical day in the life of Paula like?

I am an early bird. I typically rise with the sun. As soon as I open my eyes, I immediately give thanks for a new day. After, I walk Luna, my goldendoodle. I head over to Pilates and then head back home to work and depending on my day, it’s either a meeting/strategy day or a content day. I am very careful with what I eat during the day since I know it greatly affects my productivity. My days are usually very fast paced, so they are usually divided into segments of time. I usually have events to attend in the evenings, but if there are none for that day, I’ll start shutting down after 7pm. That is when my nighttime routine starts to happen, which consists of lots and lots of skincare!!!

You started your career in content creation 3 years ago and have since worked with some of the top beauty brands in the world. What has that experience been like?

I started @pauuzzo 3 years ago with a mission to redefine disabilities through advocacy and awareness content. The first year, was very rough as it was the true test on building a sustainable platform through content creation regarding disability. I was able to quickly build an audience of other disabled advocates, models and celebrities that were also activists. The third year was when things really started moving, my name became a bit more established and I began traveling a lot for work and gigs, and for this I year there are many surprises coming along the way and I hope it’ll be my best year yet!!!  

You are a disability activist, a beauty influencer, and so much more. How do you balance all of these roles?

I think it all really comes down to listening to your body. Your body never lies and it always hints at pain points that you need to work on. I really burned myself out last year as I was involved in many different areas of my business and was traveling every other week. My body did not once, failed to notify me of when I needed rest or when I needed to slow down, and if I rejected its message, that would be entirely my fault. As a young age, I was extremely spiritual. To me, spirituality extends beyond a crystal, a journal and a mediation session. Spiritually is holding yourself accountable for choosing what makes you feel good and setting those boundaries and making yourself responsible for those decisions and actions. 

What do you find empowering about the beauty industry?

I really love that the beauty industry has begun to shift the narrative to actually represent what is real to help us reach equity in several other industries. I think it’s important to try and reach the same equity in all other industries and institutions that exist as people with disabilities have been oppressed over decades by non-disabled people who have been making the rules for us.  

How have you seen the industry become more inclusive?

Many advocates with disabilities themselves have gone out to launch their own brands and products, ex. Selma Blair launched GUIDE BEAUTY, which is an adaptive makeup product line. Keely Cat-Wells, founder of C Talent at Whalar is also a great example of how we are creating more spaces to hire and represent disabled talent because we are equally just as capable of executing roles as nondisabled people are. 

What are your must-have beauty products you cannot live without?

At the moment, it’s a good hyaluronic acid serum and a powerful eye cream!

Interested in learning more from professionals in the content creation and beauty industries? Check out the rest of our As Told By series and follow us @DigitalBeautyHQ on Twitter and Instagram for more industry insights!

Photo in graphics by Yasmine O

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