naked truth beauty

Scratching the Surface of White Supremacy in Makeup

 

(I originally wrote this on Instagram, but it's important, so I'm repeating it here.)

When I browse for foundation, this is what I see. A sea of shades for white skin. Why? Because "white" is the default.

Think about that: As far as the beauty industry is concerned, white skin is the default (not that it needs to be said, but I'll say it anyway: This extends far beyond makeup).

Plus, shades are always listed lightest to darkest (and often this "range" offensively favors white skin), and the default image (what shows in search results, how the product first appears to the user, etc.) is the palest shade. That doesn't even go into the fact that people of color have to go into every single listing to see if the brand even makes their shade.

THIS IS WHITE SUPREMACY, casually at work in our everyday lives, insidious. If that sounds dramatic to you, please re-read this definition — "The belief that white people are superior to those of all other races," — and then re-read the conclusion created by this practice: White skin is the default.

To display a single skin tone as the "default" shade is to perpetuate racism and systems of oppression. It’s equally wrong not to make shades for all skin. And it’s wrong for people with platforms like myself not to speak out against these glaringly offensive practices.

I have not done enough in the past, but I vow to change that moving forward. My commitment for Naked Truth Beauty is that in addition to doing the work in my personal life (listening/watching/reading, having important conversations, emailing/calling officials, signing petitions, donating, volunteering), I will keep inclusivity at the front of my mind and work in this beauty and living space.

Still, intent is not the same as impact, and if you see me missing on impact, let me know.

lauren

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