This is only the beginning.
The beauty industry is finally undergoing a renaissance in its efforts to be more inclusive to women of color, but this is only the beginning of the journey. Case in point: It’s slowly becoming the norm for mainstream beauty brands to include up to forty shades of foundation in their collections to cater to a myriad of skin tones, for one, and we happily join in the round of applause for such inclusivity. But the work to continue diversifying beauty conversations is not only about making more shades of product available to consumers – it goes much deeper than that.
As the beauty industry continues down the path of diversifying beauty conversations, there’s more than just one perspective to keep in mind. Read on for our quick take:
Beauty is Diverse
As a fair-skinned woman with relatively manageable hair, I take it for granted that I can walk into any salon and sit in any makeup artist’s chair without worrying about whether or not the professional working on me has been trained to cater to my features. Photographers, makeup artists and hair stylists undergo very specific training to craft and capture looks that showcase the beauty of the person they’re working with and do their unique features justice. But the truth of the matter is, many professionals in these positions have not been trained to work with women of color.
There’s this notion that textured hair is difficult to work with, that darker skin tones are harder to highlight in set lights, ad nauseam. Arriving on set to do your job only to be met with a team of dumbfounded, yet professionally trained, artists can be discouraging at best. Alyssa Francois, Associate Beauty Editor at All Things Hair, says, “For me, I haven’t had any issues with that. The only issues I had was going to events and having stylists that don’t understand my hair type do my hair. They end up needing more than one person to complete the process.”
While change is undoubtedly occurring and the industry is steps ahead from where it was even just years ago, we still have a long way to go. Diversity is not a trend and we can’t be satisfied with merely being politically correct when it comes to broaching this topic. A woman embracing her natural hair isn’t brave and it isn’t trendy—she’s simply, gasp, being herself. She’s choosing her unique one-of-a-kind hair texture above any pre-conceived beauty standards and showcasing her God-given beauty. We don’t need magazine headlines predicting how long this kind of inclusivity will be “in”; we need to continue this conversation change for the better.
We wholeheartedly applaud the work being done to diversify beauty conversations across the industry and we encourage you to listen, really hear and recognize this reality. Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes and the sooner we transform that from a trendy tagline to a core, unwavering belief, the sooner we’ll be on the road to true inclusivity.