We’re less than a month into 2018 and brands everywhere are giving a big middle finger to people of color. You would think they would get with the times but nope. Time and time again we are seeing companies who don’t value the black dollar.
Last last week, Tarte and Sephora both released collections that left people of color asking “Where is my shade?” Tarte’s Shape Tape Foundation was highly anticipated within the beauty community. Then they went and released 15 shade. FIFTEEN! 12 shades of beige with 3 “deep” shades thrown at the end. The colors are so fair that some people can’t even mix colors to find a match. Really Tarte? Shortly after, Sephora released a photo on their Instagram of their new Bright Future Skin Tint. AND once again….where is my shade sis?!
In a world where Rihanna released FORTY shades on her first launch I don’t understand how a brand can release 15 and consider themselves “inclusive.” Fenty Beauty’s foundation sold out within the first week! So clearly when brands include us in the beginning we show up and show out! Not to mention, POC are the trendsetters in the beauty and fashion industry. We’re human. We don’t want to be and shouldn’t be an afterthought! And to make matters worse, in a statement after the release, Tarte stated that they focused on lighter tones as warmer colors tend to be “seasonal” and 10 more shades were coming soon. Really? Being a woman of color is NOT seasonal. I’m black in the winter, spring, summer, and fall. Even MakeupShayla, a very popular beauty influencer who worked with Tarte plenty of times, couldn’t find a match that was a fit.
Related: Small Black Owned Businesses
And beauty isn’t the only industry that is leaving us out. Denisse of thugnanny & Jessica of thecatchmeifyoucan both exposed brands for excluding people of color in the travel industry. In her blog post, Denisse talks about how popular clothing brand Revolve didn’t include any influencers of color in their most recent press trip. Jessica takes it a step further and shares an email she received from The Four Seasons location in Nevis which states her “demographic is not in line with [their] brand.” I guess people of coloring traveling is just as seasonal as our skin tones huh?
Picture from PopSugar Beauty
If you don’t understand what influencer marketing is, it may seem like not such a big deal to you but it is. But let’s not get it twisted. These influencers aren’t “complaining” about free product or “begging” for free trips. They simply want to be held at the same standard of their fair skinned counterparts. In a society where less people are listening to radio and more people are listening to podcasts, influencer marketing is very important! You can make 6 figures on YouTube when it takes most people a lifetime to achieve that. But just like anything else, influencers of color get the short end of the stick. And it’s time to say enough is enough in all aspects.
We have to start deciding which brands we want to shop with and support brands that support (and value) us! When you look at Revolve’s Instagram account you see the same thin, blonde hair, blue eyed models. It’s as if they have just ctrl+C ctrl+P repeatedly! The same thing happens when you look at Tarte’s Instagram. You have to scroll a few times before you see someone with darker skin. This should be a sign! We don’t quite fall “in line” with their brands so we definitely shouldn’t spend our money with them. It does not hurt to be inclusive but I also don’t think we need to beg these companies to put some RESPECK on our complexion.
It’s time to start holding these brands accountable. Whether it’s in beauty and fashion or travel. Two of my favorite YouTubers teamed up to talk about their Tarte PR packages. At the end of her video, Alissa Ashley gave suggestions for more inclusive brands and this is the example we should be following! I’m making it my mission to start seeking out more inclusive brands and you should to!
Have an inclusive brand you think I should check out? Leave it in the comments below!