Creating an Equitable Beauty Industry


Beauty can be a perceptual experience, providing pleasure and meaning to our senses. But it’s a multifaceted concept that changes with the ebb and flow of society. How we perceive beauty depends on our cultural, psychological, and biological attributes, as well as the social context in which we live. And what we see in a mirror is only part of the picture. The way we dress, our posture, and even our smile can be indicators of our attractiveness.

What’s more, achieving beauty standards can also be harmful. It can lead to body dysmorphia, eating disorders, and depression. Achieving the right proportion of our body parts, along with symmetry, helps us to feel more confident and beautiful. However, it is often difficult to make those necessary lifestyle changes.

Creating a more equitable beauty industry ecosystem is a complex and difficult undertaking. However, there are many things you can do to help ensure that Black people have equal access to the products and opportunities that are offered to other consumers.

Among the most important changes are greater investment in and support for Black brands. This can also include better placement of Black-focused products in stores and advertising to Black consumers. Additionally, Black entrepreneurs can provide innovation through the development of new products designed specifically for Black consumer needs.

For a long time, Black representation in the beauty industry has lagged behind other racial groups. In fact, Black employees represent a small portion of the workforce in the industry. They are also less likely to be employed by retailers that sell beauty products. As a result, Black consumers often have to travel a long distance to find specialty beauty stores that carry their products.

Increasing the representation of Black consumers and entrepreneurs in the beauty industry can create a significant economic upside. While there are many factors that affect future prospects for any enterprise, addressing the pain points of Black consumers and beauty brands will likely make the most difference.

For instance, consumers may be able to spend more money on beauty products if they can get more of them. In fact, the American beauty industry is expected to grow to $72.4 billion by 2025. If 12.7 percent of the market were made up of Black consumers, that would translate into $9.2 billion in spending.

Increasing the number of Black consumers in the industry also means fewer friction points for these consumers. For example, Black people must travel 21 percent farther than White consumers to reach the specialty beauty stores that carry their products. Non-Black consumers have a much easier time reaching those outlets.

Other changes include more research on the Black consumer, and better partnerships with Black brands. Better placement of Black-focused products in stores, and better education of store associates are all key steps to improving the chances of success. Finally, improving the network of Black companies, and their inclusion in industry networks, can also be an important step towards increased equity.