We Need to Talk: Racist Beauty Brands

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People are getting really into the idea of buying vegan and cruelty free makeup. And I for one think that's brill. I love that people are being more aware of the impact that their makeup habits are having on the world. I also think it's wonderful how y'all pull out all the stops when you research the ingredients within your makeup products. Not only do you teach yourself but you teach other bloggers about the harmful ingredients you are putting on your face.

I'm all for being more conscious about your buying habits especially when it comes to makeup.  But I don't want cruelty free makeup to be the be all and end of all of conscious beauty.I think there are many topics that should be discussed within the beauty community like: opening up the ideas of what beauty is, how beauty is promoted, erasing the idea the light/white is right, being more inclusive of all bloggers, acknowledging the groundbreaking things women of color are doing in the beauty industry, stop attributing makeup 'trends' to white celebrities when they actually originate in communities of color and racist brands (which is what I'm talking about today).

There are a lot of brands that promote or are run by people who are very racist and promote racist ideas. Finding out this information is relatively simple in my opinion (a google search of brand + racist usually does the trick). There are also a lot of brands that aren't racist and don't succeed in the industry by continually benefiting off of the oppression of people of color. A lot of them are run by people of color and these brands are just as good as the makeup y'all are already buying, just a whole lot less racist.

Opening up a discussion and removing brands from our stash that have shown to be continuously racist is going to be a process for all of us. I still have stuff from a few years ago that are from brands and people that are problematic. I acknowledge that and I bought that when I wasn't really into researching the brands I was buying from. It's also so easy to buy from a brand you think is okay today but then tomorrow something happens and they show that they don't care about their non-white consumer base.

Whether a brand is newly racist or ones who have long standing histories of harming people of color, of running campaigns, or of creating this certain brand image that go out of their way to exploit/ benefit off of the oppression of people of color, I think it's important to discuss and talk about why their actions aren't okay, maybe even a bit of the history behind it and how we as a community are going to support our non-white friends who are affected by it. I think that as community we have to work towards not being so focused on all the good things the brand does but to look at brands as a whole. We should actively focus on holding them accountable for their actions and behavior. 

 I have seen numerous times people go gaga over Jeffree Star or Limecrime because it's vegan or cruelty free or whatever (which is important too). But very few bloggers actually take the time to see whether or not this beauty brand has had racist ads, or if the creator/CEO has said nasty things about non-white people. And while these bloggers actively support cruelty free makeup (which is again, great), you also are supporting people who have done numerous things that harm people who suffer under the ideas presented by white supremacy, and a society founded on racist ideals.

I'm not only protesting brands who have done things that are racist but also brands who aren't willing to acknowledge the problems they have caused and the racist things they have done. It is one thing to be called or told you are racist and to acknowledge you did a terrible thing and working towards fixing it and yourself but it's another to do what most brands do. They all have the exact same reaction to being called out for their racism and ignorance and it's to argue with those of us who are oppressed who understand their impact better than anyone. If I a black woman says that your makeup name, campaign or actions promote racist ideals, then they do (even if another black person comes about and says no, it's not. We don't all have the same experiences and knowledge of how racism against all black people works universally. But this is another post I think and I'm getting way off topic!).

Anyways, most brands choose to ignore people calling out racism. And then it becomes the understanding that these brands are no longer just ignorant but they are willfully ignorant and as a whole do not care about their customer base that are affected by the racist things they say and do.

I know a lot of beauty bloggers don't want to get political but to me this isn't political at all. I'm merely asking you to research your brands and see the impact they have on women of color and non-white individuals and then you make your decision based on that.

I merely want y'all to be informed and take a stance on the racism that many brands promote or have stood for. I don't want cruelty free makeup (though important!) to be the be all and end all for any kind of conscious decision concerning the beauty community. This isn't a zero sum game and there isn't some red pill, blue pill decision, in which you have to choose between cruelty free/vegan makeup and makeup that doesn't harm people of color. There are brands out there that support and are run by POC and are also vegan/cruelty free and environmentally friendly.

I got really upset and passionate about this post and it kind of shows, and the reason for this is because I think that the beauty community as a whole is ignores the racist things that tons of brands and beauty bloggers/vloggers do. Or maybe not even ignores but is ignorant to! You know, I think that if the beauty community as a whole talk and try to change this, we can have these brands and these people become accountable for their actions. I mean y'all are causing brands to become more vegan and cruelty free, I don't see why we as a whole can't do the same thing about the racist ways in which these brands profit off the marginalization and oppression of people of color.

Anyways to finish this up I hope this doesn't come off as a personal attack or even in a nasty way. It wasn't intended that way (but intention doesn't always equal affect). I'm not talking at you specifically I'm as a whole trying to address the beauty community and I'm hoping that this post makes you do a little double take. And to not leave you hanging and without any idea where to go, I highly suggest you check out this blog. The mods are great, the followers are great and they spend their valuable free time looking into things like what I've talked about. You can search for a brand, a blogger, and even like inspo pics in order to see what's what. This RBB is a good place to start but you should also think about doing your own research because they aren't perfect and also you wanna find them facts for yourself too!

And final word: I'm leaving the decision to buy a brand/not buy a brand up to you. I know I make some really big statements but I really want to stress that it's up to you as a person to talk about which brands you choose to support and to not support. I think that my overall message is to just have a discussion about the practices that some brands promote and to talk about the way they negatively impact people of color. There will be brands you continue to buy from that do some form of harm to people of color and there are brands you won't support. It is what it is.

Are there any brands on your no buy list? If so why? Where do you think the beauty community should start?

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