Something happened a couple years ago that made me question everything. I was embarrassed at first. Then I was ashamed that I was shocked by it. Ultimately, I was glad it happened because it’s helped me grow in awareness and compassion.
Beautycounter changed their marketing hard core in 2020. I’d always thought we were a very inclusive and diverse brand – because we are. Our mission statement is to ‘get safer products into the hands of everyone’ for crying out loud! But in late 2020 there was a stark difference in how the brand SHOWED our mission to the rest of the world.
I noticed that not only were our black models on the front page of our website more often, but that there were more people of color in general throughout the site and in brand marketing. The site didn’t default to ‘white woman.’
I noticed that our tinted moisturizer, foundation, concealer and other colored cosmetics throughout the site didn’t showcase the lightest shade in menus anymore. They programmed the site to alternate, more often being dark and tan shades. (This shows up a little different on a desktop vs. mobile, but the fact remains. Swipe to see screen recording of mobile, then go to a desktop to see for yourself.)
I was embarrassed because my first thought was how different it was and honestly, that it almost annoyed me. (Told you I was embarrassed. It took me over two years to share this.) I thought it was just an immediate reaction from the company to show darker shades because “everyone was doing it.”
But I receive consultant-exclusive info and have chosen to immerse myself in more of the DEI efforts over the years. I know Beautycounter is better. I’ve continued to notice our darker shades of color cosmetics shine. We’ve expanded the shade ranges of our foundational cosmetics products.
I’ve noticed this in online sidebar ads when I’m on various websites, in brand sponsored Facebook ads and in HQ consultant-only materials. We’ve had more black (and other people of color) represented in our HQ staff, be given keynote speaking opportunities and given a noticeable spotlight in our brand awareness videos.
I was embarrassed how I’d never noticed this need before. That it needed to be different. It was just the way it had always been. (Not exclusive to Beautycounter, btw.)
Fortunately, my next thought was utter embarrassment for being 40 years old and just now recognizing it.
“This must be what BIPOC have experienced on every beauty site since they were old enough to wear makeup – not seeing themselves represented front and center,” I thought.
I wondered if they have always felt the way that I felt when I first noticed this. Were they annoyed? Or had it become so expected to see the lightest shade that they didn’t really think anything of it; assumed it would always be that way?
I’ve heard Colleen @noshamesalesgame on Instagram say we need more melanin in Direct Sales and Network Marketing. She’s not wrong.
I would say we especially need it in the clean beauty space. I dream of a team full of people that don’t look like me. The BIPOC community is so sorely underrepresented in the clean beauty community, in the beauty industry at large! Toxic exposure disproportionately affect communities of color and we have the power to change that. We have BEEN changing that for nearly ten years at Beautycounter.
If you’d like to learn more about Beautycounter’s initiatives for inclusion, please let me know. I’m more than happy to share the resources I have so we can learn together, grow together and change the world together.