The ‘Black is Beautiful’ movement changed people’s perceptions of beauty standards in black communities, as well as how the cosmetics industry attempted to capitalize on these changes in their marketing techniques. It shows how newly revised beauty standards spawned a slew of cosmetics companies and products designed specifically for black women, and how their success drew widespread attention from the industry.
However, while the cosmetics industry removed some racialized barriers to mainstream American beauty culture, the commodification of “Black is Beautiful” language and imagery in cosmetics advertising often reinforced gendered expectations while also heightening tensions within black communities over colorism and business ownership.
Newspapers across America announced the debut of cosmetics for black women at the end of the 1960s, with headlines like New Cosmetics to Make Black More Beautiful. An industry built on augmenting women’s bodies artificially to achieve a white, European ideal was striving to engage with a cultural movement that represented its polar opposite.
It cause the former to compound additional difficulties about color, class, race, and gender, black women’s relationship with cosmetics was even more contentious than their relationship with hair care. Hairdressing, at least, had strong roots in African society, Making up didn’t help. This was partly due to the relationship between cosmetics. Which was exactly what they wanted to avoid. Even as national attitudes toward cosmetics softened during the interwar years.
The arrival of ‘Black is Beautiful’ signaled the at least momentarily fall off the black hair-care sector, but the opposite was true for cosmetics. New cosmetics businesses entered the market to suit the newly amended norm as ‘Black is Beautiful’ broadened beauty standards to accommodate dark-skinned black women. Between 1964 and 1969, around six new cosmetics lines targeted solely toward black women were created. The first black-owned cosmetics company to be sold in department shops for two years.
Black women are beautiful. A whopping 82 percent of us believe that looking good is vital, and 52 percent of us follow a strict skin-care routine. There is a reason why Black does not crack. We’re also prepared to spend money to achieve our objectives. Black women also spend a lot of money on wigs, purchasing various sorts of wigs, including human hair wigs.
Even though we are ideal clients, products tailored to our needs have been glaringly absent from store shelves. However, Black women have now released two powerful weapons—our collective finances and entrepreneurial spirits—to build a market that caters to our distinct cultural requirements.
Each year, African-Americans spend $1.2 trillion, with that figure expected to climb to $1.5 trillion by 2021. The Black haircare market made an estimated $2.51 billion in 2018, Black women wear lace front wigs of human hair to enhance their appearance.
As Black consumers have gradually moved away from broad products and toward those that are tailored to them. African-Americans accounted for 86 percent of the ethnic beauty industry in 2017, spending $54 million out of a total of $63 million. In 2017, we spent $465 million on skincare and $127 million on grooming.
We’re also trendsetters: Black expenditure on health and beauty products has resulted in an upsurge in products that appeal to both Black women and the wider public. Many of us have battled in the past to discover solutions that work for us. Even black models were overlooked, with several having to do their cosmetics.
The politics of visibility, inclusion, and exclusion in black anti-racist aesthetics revolve around dark skin tones and natural afro-hair. The rhetoric of dark skin equals black beauty is destabilized in the discussion of mixed race black women in this piece, which focuses on black beauty as a performative.
As the women’s conversation leads to the mobility of black beauty, dark skin and natural afro hair become ambiguous signifiers, As a result, they wear wigs, such as headband wigs human hair. Thus, their conversation is an interception in which there can never be a final interpretation of black beauty while simultaneously pointing to the binaries of the black anti-racist aesthetics from which they draw.
As a result, while women are based on racialized and racializing ideals of beauty, they push the bounds of what it means to be attractive in the black community.
Fashionable faces, like apparel and body conformation, come and go. Nonetheless, certain women are regarded as exceptionally attractive in every period. Who determines face beauty standards, and how are women chosen to reflect an ideal? It’s easier to identify great beauties than to explain why they’re picked, yet answers to these elusive questions can be found in art, literature, and a review of historical events.
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