The beauty industry is one of the fastest-growing industries in modern times. Despite this growth and expansion, discrimination against people of color keeps rearing its head in an industry that is supposed to cater to a wide variety of demographics.
Interestingly, a Nielsen study found that black women spend more money (a whopping nine times) on beauty and hair care than white women. Yet most beauty products are not designed for women with melanin.
A look at the roles of black employees in the beauty industry speaks volumes. In leading beauty companies like Revlon, Sephora, and L'Oreal, black people occupy less than 10 percent of the leadership roles. It’s even more extreme at companies like Glossier and Lime Crime, where no black person has ever held leadership roles.
Black Women in the Beauty Industry
Black women have taken the bull by the horns as they are set to create a niche for themselves since the industry reinforces a culture of exclusivity. Their efforts have forced the hands of the major players in the industry as the achievements of these trailblazers have created a new standard of diversity and inclusivity in the beauty industry. Let's take a look at how these black women are making a statement in the beauty industry.
How Black Women Are Making Statements in the Beauty Industry
The beauty industry now has a horde of Black female entrepreneurs who are making bold statements and are vigorously rewriting the narrative of the under-representation in the beauty industry.
There are a lot of black-owned beauty companies that are giving so-called white-owned brands for their money. These black-owned beauty companies have changed the dynamics of the beauty industry as they created products that cater to the specific needs of black women in particular while catering to the needs of other demographics too.
One such entrepreneur was Madam C. J. Walker. She was the first female self-made millionaire to make a fortune from hair care products that were specifically designed for African American women in the 1900s.
Pat McGrath is the brain behind Pat McGrath Labs. Her reputation as a sterling makeup artist and her keen business acumen has helped her create a name for herself at runway shows and at the Paris Fashion Week, realms that were exclusively for "white" folks.
Another black female entrepreneur that has made a statement for herself is Lisa Price. She founded Carol's Daughter, which started in a Brooklyn kitchen in 1993 but has now become an international brand in the natural-hair care niche. She is something of a forerunner for the horde of Black women-owned beauty companies that are currently redefining the beauty industry.
These pioneers have inspired women like Balanda Atis, Alicia Keys, Rihanna, FunmiFetto, Sharon Chuter, HalimaAden, Lupita Nyong' o, and Elaine Welteroth among others to break boundaries in product offerings, modeling, and journalism.
Black women used to be grossly underrepresented in the beauty industry despite their purchasing power. These days, they are currently redefining standards in the beauty industry by creating highly successful brands and niches that are designed to meet their specific needs.