Updated: May 27, 2020
By Funmi Fetto
Most beauty journalism still assumes readers are white. Cosmetic brands are making an effort in their marketing, but most skincare brands are not – by only featuring white women in their campaigns, they also assume their audience and consumer is white. At the majority of the big beauty companies, all the key decision-makers are white, which invariably informs what ends up on advertising material. I have to ignore that homogeneity in order to discover gems. Black women not in my position don’t have that advantage and assume “it’s not for us”.
This seems like a commercial misstep. A few years ago, a Nielsen report in the US found that black women spend nearly nine times more than their Caucasian counterparts on hair and beauty – mainly on niche brands targeting this demographic; brands that are generally sold in beauty supply stores in “ethnic” areas. If this survey were conducted on this side of the Atlantic, I’m convinced the results would be no different. A significant amount of this spend goes on black-hair products, yet the mainstream hair industry remains the least inclusive part of the beauty industry.