The Ugly Truth About How The Beauty Industry Views Women of Color
Lifestyle

The Ugly Truth About How The Beauty Industry Views Women of Color

Mirror, mirror on the wall...

2319
The Ugly Truth About How The Beauty Industry Views Women of Color
Afritorial

If you have ever gotten a glimpse at a cosmetics aisle in a local grocery store, a magazine, or a television commercial, you've probably noticed how incredibly...pale everything seems to be when it comes to the world of beauty. It's no secret that many of the most popular makeup name brands like L'Oreal, Revlon, and Maybelline have done a very poor job of creating products that reach a wide range of skin tones, specifically darker ones.

Foundation, or face makeup, is one item in particular that many of these brands refuse to produce in dark hues, leaving women with dark skin out of the equation. Most product lines seem to include the skin tones of various women whose complexions can be identified as "fair," but when it's time to reach the darker end of the spectrum, the aisle conveniently seems to end.

As an African-American young woman with a light to medium beige complexion, it is not usually very difficult for me to find products that match my skin tone perfectly, but I'm still not satisfied, amused, or comforted. It sickens me that society views dark women of color in a way that suggests that not only are they not beautiful, but they are not even worth acknowledging.

Why is it that the darkest shade of makeup in most product lines is only a few shades darker than the lightest shade?

It is because society disregards and disrespects dark skin on dark people, but instead of just owning up to this blatant racism and colorism, companies like to pretend like they really have included all women. For instance, you might see companies label certain shades as "dark" or "deep," when they are actually still incredibly light.

Several companies have even gone so far as to whitewash the home pages of their websites and advertisements to the furthest extent possible. It's so easy to find beauty advertisements that are plastered with blonde hair, blue eyes, and white skin, but try finding an advertisement for these same companies that showcases a dark-skinned woman with kinky, coarse hair, and facial features that don't fit the traditional standards of beauty. It's like trying to find a needle in a haystack.

While I'm extremely proud of cosmetic companies like Black Opal and Milani that sell products specifically created for women of color, I'm disappointed that it even had to come to such a point. Black people, and black women especially, have constantly had to choose between conforming to a whitewashed world and fending for themselves.

The choice is either to take what is given to you by people who are disgusted by the darkness of your skin, or you create something yourself that embraces it.

Picture a world that glorifies dark-skinned people in the same way it glorifies ivory colored skin. It's interesting that dark skin is deemed beautiful when sprayed on white bodies at tanning salons. Dark skin seems to be sexy when squirted out of bottles and rubbed onto pale legs. Dark skin seems to be trendy when applied with bronzing brushes. Dark skin is cute when accompanied by blue eyes and straight, blonde hair, but God forbid a woman naturally born with this same darkness wants to be beautiful, sexy, trendy, or cute; this beauty turns into ugliness real quick and what used to be a trend becomes a deeply-rooted issue.


"People have always been afraid of the dark, but quick to bathe in the sun."



The fact that darker women of color are rarely accounted for in the beauty industry is so upsetting. Some of the most gorgeous women in the world have skin in deep cocoa and mahogany shades, yet they're pushed to the curb for women who are praised only for their light skin, as if their absence of melanin makes them more valuable.

I'm sick of seeing companies toss a fair-skinned, racially ambiguous model on their advertisements and commercials, as if that satisfies the many pleas from women of color begging for someone with some melanin to represent them. I'm also sick of the slogans attached to the various makeup companies that are intended to be catchy, cute, and inspiring, like L'Oreal's famous punch line, "Because you're worth it." I just want to know who "you" is referring to in this line, because clearly it's not referring to women of all skin tones. L'Oreal, do you really find everyone to be worth it? Or is "you" just referring to women who can pass the paper bag test? I need answers.

The face of every ad marketed to black people should not always be light-skinned. That simply perpetuates and further implements the notion that lighter skinned women are the only ones worth broadcasting or calling pretty. I'm sick of going into stores and seeing bottles of makeup clearly only intended for women with white skin. It is 2016. There are billions of people on this Earth, all with different skin colors, yet there are only about 12 shades accounted for on the average foundation line? Oh please. Let's get real.

Only four percent of women around the world consider themselves beautiful. I wonder why...


Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Swoon

119 People Reveal How The Pandemic Has Affected Their Love Lives, And Honestly... Relatable

"I haven't been able to get out of the 'talking phase' with anyone."

The reality is, there's no part of life the pandemic hasn't affected. Whether it's your work life, your home life, your social life, or your love life, coronavirus (COVID-19) is wreaking havoc on just about everything — not to mention people's health.

When it comes to romance, in particular, people are all handling things differently and there's no "right way" of making it through, regardless of your relationship status (single, taken, married, divorced, you name it). So, some of Swoon's creators sought out to hear from various individuals on how exactly their love lives have been affected since quarantine began.

Keep Reading... Show less

Megan Thee Stallion and Cardi B just dropped the hottest summer single yet. It's called "WAP" and we're going to get into all the intoxicating lyrics.

This song empowers females and their sexuality. These women put the ridiculous music industry female beef to bed, and I mean tucked away in a coma.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

How To Write Down The Holy Grail Recipe Everyone Begs You To Make

Because everyone has a signature cocktail, cake, or pasta they bring to every potluck.

NBC

From back when I used to bring my mom's classic white chocolate chip cookies to preschool on my birthday to now stirring up my signature tequila cocktails at every friends' barbecue, I've always had a couple of standby recipes in my culinary rotation.

Keep Reading... Show less
Adulting

Meet My Cat: Cheshire, The Stray Turned House Cat Who Lives in Michigan

I never considered myself a cat person, but Chess immediately stole my heart.

Madelyn Darbonne

In 2016, a stray cat gave birth to a litter of three grey kittens on my aunt and uncle's property. I had never considered myself to be much of a cat person, but these furballs immediately stole my heart. I got to watch them grow up until they were old enough to leave their mother's side.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

How To Binge-Watch A TV Show —And Then Write A Review About It

Writing your favorite and least favorite things about a show could not be more fun.

Photo by Mollie Sivaram on Unsplash

Looking for a new show to binge? Stop scrolling through your options and listen.

Sometimes a good show doesn't come down to the genre or the actors involved, it comes down to the fact that it is simply a GOOD show. If any of these things sound appealing to you, you should definitely watch.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

11 Reasons Why Getting A Cat Is The Best Thing You Can Do For Your Mental Health

Cats may mess up your puzzles but they'll always love you unconditionally — as long as you have some catnip, that is.

Scout Guarino

Alright, everyone, it's time to stop spreading the rumor that all cats are mean, aloof, and hate everyone. Like dogs, each cat has its own personality and tendencies. Some like a lot of attention, some like less — each person has to find the right cat for them. As for me, my cats Bienfu and Reptar have seen me at my worst, but they've also helped pull me out of it. They're a constant in my life and they give me the strength to get through the day in spite of my depression, and there's even scientific evidence to support it!

Keep Reading... Show less

I've been bleaching my hair since I was in seventh grade. Yes, you read that correctly, seventh grade. That's nearly 10 years of maintaining a very light shade of blonde that too-often brings about dryness and brittle strands.

Keep Reading... Show less

Chances are if you're here, you're probably interested in writing an open letter. Yay! We're excited to have you.

Of course, not all open letters are created equal. In fact, there's a recipe to writing one for Odyssey that'll get featured on one of our many verticals. When it comes to Swoon specifically (for those new around here, that's our dating and relationships vertical), we receive dozens of open letters each month, many of which are all very similar.

Keep Reading... Show less

With a new phone comes great responsibility: Do not break it! And the best way to do that is with a case. However, picking a case can be a challenge. No need to fret, I am here to help break down some of the best cases for the new iPhone SE 2020. Honestly, I think it's going to be impossible to choose!

Keep Reading... Show less

To some who have been out of the dating world for a while, it can be hard to get back into the swing of things after being single for some time. So, I asked 26 people what they think is important to know before looking for love again, here's what they had to say.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments