Inclusivity is the act of giving equal access to opportunities and resources for people who are usually excluded or marginalized. The beauty industry covers a wide range of products. These include skincare, cosmetics, hair, and fragrances. You’ll find that most of these industries mainly target women.
In today’s globalized world, diversity and inclusion can’t be ignored. Makeup has become a significant part of men’s and women’s daily lives. Unfortunately, the beauty industry often neglected men and people with darker skin tones. Race, gender, sexual orientation, age, and skin tone, to mention a few, are all groups that make up the beauty industry’s customer base.
It’s wise for the beauty industry to be more inclusive of these different groups. Wouldn’t it be retrogressive to keep doing the same things in a world that’s forever progressing? Here’s some insight on why inclusivity is essential in the beauty industry:
- To Accommodate All Genders
The beauty industry has significantly marginalized men in the past. Unfortunately, though there’s been a slight shift, they continue to be ignored to some extent. However, the concept of diversity demands that all genders, sexual orientations, and preferences be accepted.
Today, many men have adopted beauty products in general in their day-to-day lives. Would it be fair if they continued to use women’s makeup and skincare products? It turns out women’s skin is different from men’s. So, what works for women doesn’t always work for men, and vice versa.
Men generally have tougher and thicker skin. They also have facial hair. They continue to have limited options where beauty products are concerned. The few beauty brands catering for men are expensive, making them inaccessible for many. The beauty industry should strive for diversity by making men’s products accessible for all.
- To Gain A Sustainable Competitive Advantage
You’ll find that some of the biggest brands in beauty have accepted the concept of diversity and inclusivity. For example, the brand Fenty Beauty by Rihanna offers 40 different foundation shades. It has managed to remain ahead in the beauty industry and continues to grow at a rapid pace. This is because it’s well known for its inclusivity across skin tones and genders.
Fenty Beauty was valued at USD$72 million in the first month of sale and was also named as one of The 25 Best Inventions of 2017 by Time Magazine.
The business world is very competitive. The quicker you accept change and adopt it, the more likely you will remain competitive against rivalries, new entries, and substitutes. Fenty Beauty remains proof of that.
- To Accommodate All Skin Tones
Most beauty brands didn’t cater to darker skin tones until recently. A survey conducted in 2016 found that 70% of Black and Asian women felt their beauty needs weren’t considered and met by high-street brands.
It’s important that consumers feel included, represented, and valued. This is what motivates them to keep supporting your brand. Consumers are increasingly looking for products that look like them, and they demand accountability from organizations where their diversity and inclusion practices are concerned.
Today, inclusive beauty has become a heated topic that no one can further ignore. Not to mention Black and Asian women make up a large consumer market. Women of color become some of the biggest names even on the Forbes list as they bring in lots of money even to high-street brands.
- To Embrace Consumers Of Different Age Groups
Most beauty brands promote youth. You’ll find that most products aim to make you look younger and wrinkle-free. That somehow sends a silent message saying aging is not beautiful. Contrary to the belief that everyone wants to look 20 years younger, some people just want to embrace who they are and love the skin they’re in at any age.
People go through enough pressure as it is—with demanding jobs and the constant reminder that they are not size zero. Beauty has been defined by somewhat unrealistic standards, especially in the modeling and runway business. Thus, the beauty industry should strive to make products that work for wrinkled skin without promising to take 20 years off someone’s age.
The beauty industry should strive to promote self-love and mental health awareness. Fortunately, a few brands have gone further and included pre-menopausal women in their products. Hot flashes, night sweats, and skin elasticity are just some of the issues women face during menopause, so including them goes a long way in embracing inclusivity.
The beauty industry has been known to promote damaging stereotypes in the past. However, the world has since changed, especially with different movements like Black Lives Matter that remind brands to be more considerate of all kinds of people.
It wouldn’t help for companies to resist change because they need a good return on investment to remain in business and black consumers alone account for USD$1.3 trillion in buying power. Similarly, many consumers make up men of different races, skin tones, ages, and cultures. Therefore, ignoring diversity and inclusivity would be a thoughtless business stance.