HOW I FEEL ABOUT THE BEAUTY WORLD
Title caught you off guard a bit?
Well I need to get some things off my chest. I want to be real and honest with my posts, I am already a very opinionated person so why not share my opinions on topics that I am passionate about?
Some of you may think having too many opinions isn’t necessarily a good thing. Trust me I have thought this too, but as long as my opinions are not hurtful or harmful in any way then I believe it’s okay to get my point across.
I am not the type of person to force my opinion down somebody’s throat, if you don’t agree with me cool, if you do agree with me, thanks a lot! But this doesn’t mean my opinion is 100% right. It is simply my opinion.
I thought I would put this out there before we delve into today’s topic.
As all of you know I have a section on my blog called ‘Beauty Essentials’ where I talk about all things beauty, this can include make-up products, hair and skincare. However, I have realised overtime that these are not the only things I can or want to talk about. Most of the time when people see the word ‘beauty,’ they think about the latest products, tutorials and the ever-changing trends.
While this is all good, beauty shouldn’t be restricted to a couple of boxes. There are various other things we can talk about such as, diversity, colourism, expectations, brands, perfection and much more.
These topics may seem weird because It may not be something you immediately think about when it comes to beauty, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t important. In the world we live in today we have to consider these topics because they do affect us, and when I say ‘us’ I mean black people.
Now before anyone says I am offending other races by writing this post to cater to the black community. I want to first of all say, I am black and I love the beauty community, so of course I am going to talk about how the beauty world affects me as a black woman. Second of all, black people will struggle and have struggled when it comes to beauty, especially with the range of products available to us, diversity when it comes to brands and colourism. It is a well- known fact. If you don’t like or agree with this, there is nothing I can do or say to change your mind.
I am, however not going to let that stop me from talking about it.
Let’s talk about ‘diversity’ shall we?
When people think about the word diversity, they most of the time think about it as a box to tick. In other words it is more about pleasing the people than understanding exactly how they feel.
Within the beauty world, I am sorry to say diversity comes across as something it needs to do in order to attract as many potential customers as possible. Or on the other hand, people care about diversity because of the backlash they may receive if they don’t.
As you can see from the cover photo I used for this post, I have chosen three specific faces in the beauty industry. I chose Jackie Aina, Patricia Bright and Jennie Jenkins because they are the three most prominent black beauty influencers I know today. Yes, I know there are many others but these three are definitely the ones that come up the most.
Now, you noticed how I said ‘three.’ Three is a low number isn’t it? Well this is our reality, despite us taking up a big part of the world we still do not have enough representation. What I don’t understand is how can we still be living in a world full of black people, or people of colour but somehow other races are favoured over us.
I still till this date, turn on my television and maybe I will see one person that looks like me in a beauty/perfume advert.
I really look up to people like Jackie Aina, Patricia Bright and Jennie Jenkins because it reminds me that maybe the world does consider someone who looks like me as beautiful. However, it is not nearly enough for society to really change and realise that beauty is not restricted to one race.
As well as there not being enough diversity when it comes to the faces of the beauty world, there is also not enough diversity when it comes to the range of products.
I have frankly had enough of entering a shop, being followed by someone who works there (yes this is very true) and still not being able to find my shade. I am not going to mention which shop does this to me because this is not that type of blog post.
Don’t get me wrong, the beauty brands are slowly getting better at their shade range. However, diversity in a shade range shouldn’t be treated like an after-thought. Do not simply add a couple of dark shades because you know the black community will be upset if you don’t, do it because you understand the true meaning of representation and you want every race to be celebrated equally.
Why can’t we live in a society where everyone is treated the same?
Is it because this is how we have been living for centuries so why change it now or is it because we are afraid of change?
I have to tell you all something, in case you don’t already know beautiful is not black or white. Beautiful is beautiful.
Just because I am dark skinned it doesn’t mean I should be considered less or more beautiful. But, how can I believe this when the beauty world has already made the choice. They have decided to elevate the lighter skin types and place the darker skin types at the back, if you don’t believe this is true simply turn on your TV and count how many black/people of colour you see. I am sure you will be surprised.
Even though I do not see people who look like me often on the TV or in the media, I have learnt to be proud of my beauty because I know that the most amazing Father looks at me like a jewel.
Nonetheless, I have questioned my beauty at times when some people will say ‘I am pretty for a black girl’ or they put a lighter foundation on my face, even after telling them that is not my shade. (I will tell you that story some other day).
Moving onto my next point.
After you have failed to represent me well, you then expect such great things from me physically.
Black women are held to such high standards, you may ask why and unfortunately I don’t have an answer.
If we see a black woman wearing the wrong foundation shade or her wig is not on correctly, the world has come to an end.
One example I can talk about is Leanne Amaning from Love Island, as soon as people noticed that her foundation wasn’t the correct shade and her wig wasn’t the best quality, social media began to demonise her. The girl was judged according to how she looked because that’s the world we live in today.
We can also see from another perspective. When people were praising Priscilla also from Love Island, it was because she maintained her hair well and it seemed like people were shocked at how stunning she was. At the end of the day, she was celebrated according to how she looked as opposed to say her personality.
Black women are either hated or loved. There really isn’t an in-between.
One popular way in which we are loved is through the beauty trends. We are suddenly remembered when something we created actually looks good. A good example of this is are the beloved ‘fulani braids,’ we first heard of them when Kim Kardashian wore them on a red carpet and not so long after that it became one of the most worn hairstyles.
What most people don’t know is ‘fulani braids’ actually comes from Nigeria and more specifically the Hausa Tribe. This is when I realised that our beauty is only ever celebrated if society has decided to accept it, and in the case of the African hairstyle people only appreciated it because they saw a celebrity wearing it.
So, the question is: Is it really us (black people) that decide the trends or are they decided for us?
Well I will leave you guys to answer that.
On that note thank you all for reading this blog-post. I don’t think I have written an honest post like this in a while and I have to say it felt good to write something like this.
Till next time please watch my latest tutorials on my Instagram!