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Friday, May 22, 2009

Black Women and Beauty Brands

So Essence is doing a beauty experiment where they’re studying how much of an effect black women advertising beauty products has on the black female population. And it’s not looking good according to their studies:
African-American women spend $7.5 billion annually on beauty products, but shell out 80 percent more money on cosmetics and twice as much on skin care products than the general market, according to the research. That difference comes as African-American women sample many more products to find the ones that are most effective on their skin.

“She spends a lot, but there’s little satisfaction. What keeps us buying is the hope that this product will do what it’s supposed to do,” said [celebrity makeup artist] Sam Fine.

So despite being generally ignored or marginalized by mainstream magazines, black women spend billions of dollars on cosmetics, desperately searching for something that works. According to Smith, Fine also said he believes that the typical African-American shopper is “more likely to buy products from aspirational labels — Chanel lipsticks and Versace perfume, for example — than brands that are associated with celebrities.” Could it be because many of the black celebrities who pitch cosmetics — Halle Berry, Beyoncé, Rihanna — represent only a light-skinned sliver of what the general population of African-American women look like?
Source: WWD

Hmmm. Interesting results. But are they true? Your thoughts?


dewdrop said...

Great post! Personally, i'm not one to be influenced by celebrities and brands when it comes to purchasing beauty products. My focus is based on one factor: 1)What product will work for my skin since I have extremely sensitive skin and can't use just anything on it?

The reason why i'm not influenced by these ads is because I understand that realistically we have different skin types and tones, and they can't determine what should be considered beautiful in my eyes.

We spend so much money on beauty products for various reasons, but an underlying factor is that we're expecting product X to work when realistically we know that it may not or won't only because we don't know of another product close enough that will.

The other issue is that we are conned into believing that something is wrong with our natural beauty as women of the african diaspora, and therefore we need to be fixed or changed. Sometimes we are susceptible to this way of thinking which results in purchasing products that weren't made for us and will only enable our issues with image/body-dysmorphia, but that's all we think is available to us when this is not the case.

Through beauty networking we can support and share with each other what products work for us and how to obtain these resources.

Lalaboobaby said...

Dewdrop made some good comments so I won't add too much. What I will say is that all three of those women you showed (all beautiful I must say), are light-skinned with straight permed hair. I feel that beauty of African American women comes in all shades and sizes. White owned companies still portray that beauty has to be light, which is close to white. I think this sets our children up to hate them self, and not appreciate how God made them.

Anonymous said...

My cosmetic choices are pretty slim since one, I'm not to fond of make-up, two, I'm vegan (which means expensive and I'm not even trying to go there), and three, my skin is extremely sensitive.

But I do remember trying make-up out once in high school and the frustration alone made me want to scream... I either looked orange or pink and it just wasn't cute.

If anything these women detract me from wanting to wear make-up.

Something I love is the many youtuber's and blogger's like Coup do Coeur and Shawna that do cosmetic product reviews and post pics.. I'm not trying to look at an airbrushed photo I want to see what the product looks like for real...

Hope that made sense...

Nubian1 said...

Why is it that when black women are represented by celebs on the cover of mags, their skin tone look soooo much lighter and the hair bone straight? Am i the only one who has noticed this?

Am governed by my skin type which is very sensitive.

Ezme said...

I am a light skinned woman and i do not feel that i am represented by the likes of Rhianna, Beyonce and the like. My hair is not bone straight and my skin isn't constantky glowing!!! I try to either make my own using natural ingrediants or go without.

Kris said...

Nubian1, no you are not the only one who notices this. It infuriates me that companies advertise a depiction of black women that, in my opinion, does a very poor job of showcasing the varitey of African American women, as far a hair and skin tone and weight, etc.
There are many different faces, shapes and sizes to black women, and I wish that was visble to all mass media.

Anonymous said...

I agree, all advertising on the tv for black women hardly reflects the reality of the different looks that black women have. Its bad enough we have African women and women from certain islands in the West Indies that buy bleaching soap in the UK in order to try to look like Hally Berry wannabees.
In all my 40 years I have never seen an advert with a black woman with natural hair doing a shampoo advert, we are the invisible audience in the beauty world.

DaSunshine Gibson-Westbrook said...

DaSunshine Gibson-Westbrook
Motivation Speaker-Writer
abuse-n-da-kingdom@hotmail.com NC www.nextcat.com/dagw (817) 269-6380MS www.myspace.com/dag_sunshine
OCTOBER-2009 is National Abuse Awareness Month... ABUSE and DOMESTIC VIOLENCE became my PERSONAL TESTIMONY in a self-published book entitled 'ABUSE N DA KINGDOM’ [Married to a Monster N Da House of God]‘ABUSE N DA KINGDOM’ can be read ‘FREE’ www.lulu.com/content/3900244

Anna Renee said...

Well, the truth of the matter is that we black women generally will buy products anyway, so why should the companies spend money advertising heavily to black women when we're a captive audience?