The cosmetic and beauty industry is now estimated to be worth in excess of £17 billion to the UK economy and consumers are expected, in the next year, to spend on average £342.90 on products. With those impressive statistics you would expect that major companies would have tapped in to the potential of selling to all skin tones, but unfortunately this is not the case. Recent statistics have concluded that women with a darker skin tone spend an average £137.52 more on beauty than those with other skin tones, yet the industry is struggling to provide the products suitable for this market.
A need for the production and development of more diverse products in the industry
One of the biggest issues for people with darker skin tones is the lack of choice of beauty products that are readily available on the high street. Beauty products such as foundations or lipsticks are designed and tailored for lighter skin tones and this leads to a limited amount of choice for the darker skinned consumer.
Double standards in the Beauty and Fashion industry?
So, is the beauty and fashion industry too critical of women of colour? Currently, it is evident that women with darker skin tones are constantly being scrutinised for conforming to the traditional styling based on their cultural values, rather than having an individual identity. But what are the choices that the industries offer as a solution? For the mainstream white women across the world, they are fortunate to have the opportunities to alter their appearance and create new trends and identity. For black women though, the lack of beauty products available leads them to be targeted for being too natural-oriented and lacking any form of innovative ideas for changing their appearance. Do you agree that this is a double standard?
An industry that is focused on the fairer skinned woman
I imagine you have heard of Cara Delevingne or Gisele Bundchen? The media savvy of us, will all agree that a large proportion of successful models are Caucasian. When reading the latest fashion publications it is noticeable that they opt to use light-skinned models in the majority of the main articles whilst woman of colour will be more likely to appear in the smaller features. Furthermore, the industry further segments race with reports that models with colour aren’t provided with makeup artists who can complement their skin tone and, subsequently, they are left to manage their own regime before shoots. It has come to the point where these models are bringing their own makeup and accepting that photographers will Photoshop the skin colour (mainly to lighten) to meet the demands of the fashion and beauty industry. In this day and age, these practices to satisfy the demands of the corporate giants needs to stop and we should be promoting and celebrating all types of skin colours.