For some reason, black women are made to feel unwelcome and invisible in the Australian beauty sphere. The beauty industry markets itself as a progressive feminist space, but only caters to a few out of a majority.
Black women usually encounter the lack of nuance in foundation shades from high-end brands to chemists. You will often find a foundation line with just a handful of brown shades and extensive beige shades. In general, darker shades are understocked and sometimes not even stocked at all.
Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty is an exception. The brand prides and markets itself on nuances in foundation colours for black women. The founder of Fenty Beauty is a black woman and this influences Sephora’s decision to stock every single shade. They have more options than there are real money slots at top rated us online casinos. The unavailability of foundation shades for black women suggests that black women cannot be beautiful or care about their appearance. It suggests that women of colour are not worth the effort to be tangibly inclusive. That they are only worthy enough of the token representation in advertising.
The creation and success of black-owned Australian cosmetic brands is incredibly difficult because of competition and brand loyalty to existing retailers. Also, African-Australians lack the generational business acumen that African-Americans may have.
Model, Nikki Perkins, expressed grievances over the lack of makeup available for black people in Australia. She said that Australia refuses to acknowledge that there are black women who wear makeup and that’s kind of insulting.
Recently, black hair care brand, Shea Moisture, launched in Australia. However, the launch party in Sydney had zero black women in attendance. This was weird considering the fact that it’s a black-owned brand with none of the target market of consumers present.
“I raised concerns that the whole event was tone-deaf and alienating to which the brand agreed, and I discussed it with a representative of the brand – but only after I was invited to the launch event in Melbourne.”
It’s demoralising to realise that when black-owned brands are allowed into the market, they must cater to non-black women first. They can only be accessible to women of colour after that. This is ridiculous, to say the least. Australia sure has a long way to go with prioritising black women in conversations about beauty.