Beauty, Race and What's Next

Beauty is chasing black shoppers' dollars; is it prepared to meaningfully empower them?
Beauty is chasing black shoppers' dollars; is it prepared to meaningfully empower them?

In January, a New Jersey woman reported that an Ulta worker told her she was "too dark" for the retailer's makeup products, highlighting the mix of implicit and explicit bias many black people face in all walks of life, even as marketers chase their dollars. Beauty was not and is not immune.

Previously: Beauty brands respond to protests.

Breonna Taylor. George Floyd. Ahmaud Arbery. David McAtee. These are names on a long and sadly growing list that cannot be ignored. They have also spurred widespread protests, forcing an international reckoning with white supremacy and an assertion that Black Lives Matter.

Like COVID-19, the sudden widespread reaction to racism and its structural implications has sent beauty brands scrambling to set the right tone, take meaningful actions and avoid disrespectful missteps.

Inevitably, those missteps have manifested on social media and in instances where past behavior has come back into the spotlight.

Moving forward, brands will need to take a deeper look at their hiring and leadership composition, as well as where they invest the funds that drive growth and create economic power.

For those looking for insights into how to be a better ally as a person or an organization, a good place to start is with the series of community leader op eds in Vogue.

And, if you're looking for some black-owned brands to support, we have some suggestions here, here, here, here and here.

For our own part, we will continue to boost our coverage of black-owned brands and businesses and thought leaders, as well as the stories that aren't being told. We'll also continue our internal mission of fostering a genuinely diverse staff across our media brands.

This is our work to do; no one should have to do it for us. That said, thoughts and ideas are always welcome at [email protected].

-Jeb Gleason-Allured, content director, Global Cosmetic Industry



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