When I first started beauty blogging, I was so passionate about it because I felt that black women were–and still are–underrepresented in this space. I wanted to help brown girls find beauty products that were truly for them, not ones that they had to “make work”. I remember so much about my earlier days of beauty blogging. The frustration when brands completely left us out of their shade line ups. The anger when we were lazily added on as an afterthought months later. The Twitter discussions when brands didn’t value us enough as influencers. Ahhh the memories. I spent a great deal of time channeling those feelings into my blog and eventually into my writing for other publications and platforms as a brown beauty expert.
It’s interesting to find myself in a similar place once again.
If I thought mainstream beauty was tough…I hadn’t even scratched the surface. The world of green beauty is even less diverse than I thought (not sure how I thought that was possible though) and the more I learn, not just for my personal life but my business as well, the more I’m just like WOW. Let me put things in a little perspective for you, so you see where I’m coming from.
- In a study done by the Environmental Working Group a couple months back it was found that products marketed to African American women are more likely to contain hazardous ingredients.
That same study found that less than 25% of products marketed to black women scored low for hazardous ingredients.
Yet, in another study done by GCI Magazine at the end of last year, it was found that 42% and 46% of Hispanic and African American women respectively were interested in products with natural/organic ingredients.
In case you missed that disconnect: we want natural products but products created for us aren’t exactly meeting those needs. I shared those deets for the numbers but before I even found that information, I could see the disconnect by simply searching green beauty brands for diversity and representation.
Now, I know there are some brands who get it and are doing it right. And through this series, I fully intend on sharing those with you and showing support to the ones that get it. But, I gotta be real…too many are falling short. And the more I learn, the more
frustrated determined I get. It’s why I started Belle Marron and it’s why I’m working to share what I’m learning along the way. You know, for the culture.
Once a month I share a letter from my journey with those on my email list. WELL SPENT is part things I’ve come across that inspire me and things I think might resonate with you. It’s also part lesson learned for good measure. And a few extra tidbits along the way. Mostly stuff that didn’t make it here or that I’m too nervous to share on the blog. You know, things I keep for the people who are in this with me ;).