Beauty is a multi-faceted concept, one that touches on several elements such as symmetry, colour, body size, and facial features. In a sense, beauty is defined by the qualities that give a person satisfaction.
However, it is difficult to determine what exactly makes someone beautiful. The definitions vary from culture to culture and the standards change as time progresses. While there are some things that seem to be universally agreed upon, the exact same face that appears pretty on television may not appear so to the person who looks into their mirror.
A study by Dove, for example, showed that only 4 percent of women worldwide consider themselves to be beautiful. Despite the fact that only 4 percent of women around the world think they are beautiful, this figure does not account for the many women who lack self-esteem or confidence.
In the beauty industry, the standard is set high. For years, women have been expected to make changes to their bodies and faces to meet beauty standards. Unfortunately, this can be a dangerous undertaking. Not only can it be costly to undergo cosmetic surgery, it can also lower a woman’s self-esteem.
In the beauty industry, Black consumers are lagging far behind in terms of representation. Even though Blacks make up 11 percent of the US population, only 2.5 percent of beauty industry revenues are derived from Blacks. As a result, Blacks are being left out of the ad campaigns, ad placement, and products aimed at Black consumers.
There are plenty of opportunities to improve Black representation in the beauty industry. These can range from investing in Black brands, to opening the doors to more Black entrepreneurs, to better research about Black consumers. This can create significant economic upside.
However, while it is exciting to see Black people represented in the beauty industry, there is a long way to go. In fact, the amount of spending that Blacks are making on beauty products in the US is less than one-third of what they would be if Blacks were included in the makeup bag. Furthermore, a significant portion of that spending is going on products that Blacks do not find appealing.
By addressing these pain points, we can have a real impact on the future of the beauty industry. A significant improvement would be to increase Black consumer spend from an estimated $9.2 billion in 2025 to 12.7 percent, which would be about the same as the percentage of Black people in the US.
Creating an ecosystem for a more equitable beauty industry requires a lot of effort. This includes advocacy for equity and the education of store associates and retailers. It also involves better partnerships with Black brands. Ultimately, a more inclusive system for Black consumers will lead to improved access to quality beauty products, improved brand awareness, and a fundamental transformation of the industry.
Considering how hard it can be for Black people to find the beauty products that they want, it’s no wonder that a lot of people aren’t seeing themselves in the beauty ads. Fortunately, some companies are taking steps to improve Black representation.