What Happened to the Beauty Industry Addressing Systemic Racism?
TikTok has something to say about it.
In the wake of 2020, beauty brands were “listening” and “learning” from the voices of Black and Brown people who now had the upper hand in shedding light on the racism deeply rooted in the industry. Little progress was made, and almost three years later, we’re still at the same fork in the road, only now TikTokers are speaking up.
Influencer Victoria Paris shared thoughtful insight to TikTok stating, “A lot of influencers who get sent really good PR are white.” Paris further explains that this is all because the people in charge of gifting, community building and outreach behind most brands look just like them — white. As a Black beauty editor, I have observed this from an influencer and editorial angle and there is profound truth in Paris’s theory.
When it comes to Black influencers from any area of beauty, from editorial to content creation, there’s this subtle nod to the “digestible Black girl/guy.” Content creator and beauty editor Blake Newby shared to TikTok, “Brands looking for what they consider palatable Black girls is nothing new.” This common knowledge shared among the Black beauty community aggravates the theory of systemic racism in beauty even more. It’s all covered with “coming soon” when addressing the lack of shade range or “we only have limited supplies” when asking for PR beauty kits.
The progress brands have made is not enough. Rooted bias has to end or the beauty industry itself will face even more trouble.
@nimay.ndoloIf you watch the video through, thank you. I didnt make this video to whine and complain. I made it because I have these conversations on friends-only and privately with friends, and i want to share my take. Theres a lot of discourse surrounding intersectional dispatities within influencing. I’m just adding my take. Yes, I KNOW its low and embarrasing that I have to ask brands for PR or work opportunities, but if I dont ask, search, and finesse my way into them, they won’t come. I had to ASK for a NYFW invitation. I have to ASK for PR partnerships where I review the brand’s product with no payment SIMPLY because I like the brand and their product. Who knows? Maybe this is the norm—and if it is and this is all part of the hustle, I’ll be quiet. Im just airing my feelings here.♬ original sound – NIMAY NDOLO