Brown-Girl Beauty Editors Share Their Thoughts on Diversity in the Industry

Let this sink in: WWD reports that black women spend $7.5 billion per year on beauty products. On average, WOC spend 80% more money on cosmetics and twice as much on skincare than the general female market. Yet the historical lack of diversity in the beauty industry is outright baffling, inexcusable, and insulting. Rewind a few decades ago; women of color have been excluded entirely from the conversation. Imagine how heartbreaking it is to walk into a fully decked-out drugstore makeup aisle and see absolutely no foundation shade made for you. There may be one or two "dark" shades, but those don't work for your skin's undertones. Or you take it upon yourself to go to a department store, and the options remain overwhelmingly limited. These are just a few common scenarios black women have dealt with for years. Although, the issue of diversity in beauty spans the spectrum and bleeds heavily into so many other areas. We've seen it in campaign imagery, products, racist statements, cover tokenism, and more.

However, instead of creating a space to complain about the past, we're thinking forward and acknowledging progress. I asked eight black women I admire in beauty for their honest thoughts on the industry's recent movement toward becoming more "inclusive" with shade range expansion and "diverse" beauty campaigns. A lot was brought to the surface. Keep going for real words.