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A few months ago, Rihanna, the world-wide popular singer, writer, and actress, released her own makeup brand know as Fenty Beauty, named after herself. Rihanna saw the cries of the market and she answered; it was heard loud and clear, but not just by the market and the POC who finally had some of their concerns and wishes answered.
It's no surprise that Fenty Beauty's release has answered the prayers of many makeup lovers near and far (literally and figuratively), but the attention isn't just coming from coming from the fans. Other makeup companies have also paid attention—but in a different way, although long awaited. Yes, Fenty Beauty gave other companies a rude awakening, or a knock on their door, if you will, and they realized they were wrong to ignore a market that was there in front of them for so long as Fenty Beauty's instant success, sales, and mostly positive reviews pile in since its release.
But why have they done that? Well, two answers are possible. They truly believed the market wasn't there; or, they were intentionally ignoring it and being racist and ignorant. Realistically, it's probably the latter. There's no logical reason to ignore POC in makeup when they exist and, let's be realistic here, they exist, they breathe, and they use makeup just like any other race on this earth, no matter what companies make think. They exist and make up a part of the population. Ignoring them is not only ignorant and a bad business practice, but should be considered discriminatory.
But can we truly claim they are being racist, or that they truly believe there isn't a market for it? No! Regardless of what we may personally believe, sadly, we don't live in the shoes of those who run these companies (well, at least, most of us don't). We don't truly know what they believe in, What they don't believe in, if they truly believe there isn't a market for more shades for POC, or if they are racist and just intentionally ignorant and silent towards the market. Heck, they may even think it's not worth the price to make and sell it, even if the market is there. It's safe to assume companies have either chosen to be completely silent to their potential audience, or someone running behind-the-scenes truly is racist, or doesn't care for POC individuals whatsoever. Sadly, there's only so much that can be done about it, as corruption within companies isn't unheard of, and only so much can be done justice to happen for the market.
But we should at least be thankful. With Fenty's release, and Rihanna restarting the conversation, companies are finally listening, and makeup is finally becoming more POC inclusive. Obviously it shouldn't have taken this long, but clearly we still have long ways to go before we truly have racial equality in our society. As time passes, the true colors of certain companies might finally arise, and we will be able to make sure our market and our demands are met, and that inclusiveness will finally happen like it should have for our POC brothers, sisters, and others as well.
So, in the long run, we might not truly know the real answer to this question, or we might learn it sooner than we expected as the discussion continues and more companies hear the wake-up calls. We only have to keep open eyes to our surroundings and hope for the best or, the worst for the makeup industry in the future.
Do you think the companies are being racist, or are they willfully ignorant or the market? Start the discussion today!