Racism in the Beauty Community

Racism in the Beauty Community

Elijah Jordan, Contributor

Among the numerous controversies that are continuously popping up within the beauty community, one of the continuous issues is racism or racial inequality. From youtubers to makeup brands, multiple issues with racism have arose in the beauty community and don’t seem to be dying any time soon.  

Within the YouTube branch of the beauty community, a slew of people have been accused of having a racist past or having racist tendencies. While these scandals may have been in the past, they are constantly being brought up. An example of this would be with Jeffree Star. In April 2017, Jackie Aina uploaded a video to YouTube titled “Anti Haul” in which Jeffree’s lipstick collections were a part of. This was the initial start of the long-lasting drama between the two beauty gurus. On Sept. 28, 2018 Jackie Aina took to Twitter to further explain her distance from Jeffree Star and his cosmetics line. “I have not and will not excuse his blatantly racist behavior and — not his past references to me in derogatory terms, his use of the N words nor his efforts to eliminate spaces and opportunities for people of color,” Jackie said. Later, in that same day, Jackie left a statement on Twitter saying her final peace in the situation: “No one in the community should feel like they are protected enough to continuously say things to make black women feel ugly and ashamed in their own skin,” Jackie said. 

With this being only one of many situations, brands have also faced accusations of racism. One of the most notorious situations was with a brand named Tarte Cosmetics. Last year Tarte launched a new line of foundations called Shape Tape, but instantly faced backlash with the shade range only including two shades for people of darker complexion. To mediate the backlash, Tarte announced that they would be adding 10 additional shades on top of the initial launch to better suit all consumers. While this situation being handled in an appropriate way, it sent a message out to numerous other brands, especially newly developing ones, to be more open and inclusive of their consumers who happen to be people of color. 

In conclusion, while many people view this era as an era of progression, there’s still room for improvement and advancement. Makeup should be available and welcoming to all people no matter their gender or race.