True inclusion in beauty should be about finding a common space for all

Inclusivity is more than just skin tones and should include co-creation

In 2017 global megastar Rihanna launched Fenty Beauty with its “beauty for all” campaign which delivered a range of 40 foundation shades, and I believe this changed the beauty industry forever. As the products appealed to a larger consumer base, the brand went on to sell out almost all of the products from its initial launch. This moment proved to the industry that when brands create products with all in mind, success follows. The beauty industry is experiencing a shift – now we see that innovative, inclusive and diversity-driven brands are non-negotiable.

Inclusion means being considered and should encompass representation, accessibility and affordability. When you get to the crux of life, you realise essentially, we are all the same, regardless of our unique qualities. We all have feelings, we have emotions and we all go through life, day in, and day out. So to be seen, heard and celebrated is heartwarming. For the longest time, I never felt included when it came to skincare or even makeup. I’ve been blessed with vitiligo and sensitive skin since I was a child, so I had always been on the hunt for skincare products that would provide my skin with what it needed, but always came up short, especially given the climate we live in. When I launched Peacefull, it was very important to keep everyone in mind because we all deserve and should have access to good skincare, irrespective of our gender or identification.

When referring to inclusivity, the products being created are just one piece of the puzzle. Brands must look at their overall messaging being communicated to consumers, making sure that inclusion and diversity shine through every aspect. Ensuring that your values are represented at every level of the business, from production to marketing and even in the workforce. Your consumers are intelligent and more often than not, they can tell when a brand’s image and messaging does not line up with the people making the decisions behind the scenes.

Until recently, marketing in the beauty industry seemed to coincide with an almost unattainable standard of beauty, which for many, was not the representation of everyday women and men. But now, with social media, a hub for inspiration and engagement, and the emergence of influencer and social media marketing, brands have shifted their focus to collaborative strategies that now involve everyday people spreading their messaging to their consumers. Social media is where I found my global community; it gave me a platform where I could share my personal journey with skin and beauty, so I understand the impact and how it can be used as a powerful tool to effectively foster inclusion.  With social media, brands can connect and engage with their consumers by giving them a platform to share their voices and ideas of what they want to see from the brand.

With Peacefull, our message isn’t just one of self-love but also highlighting the importance of openness, tolerance, inclusivity and celebration. Everyone on our launch campaign is a testament to this, unfiltered and true to who they are, as we want to embrace the world and everyone for who they truly are. Our brand is as inclusive as this region is and our aim is to represent everyone and bring them into a Peacefull space every single day.

Beauty for all is now a must, it is time to champion a new era of inclusion and these are necessary conversations, mainly because constructs and norms change with cultures and with time. When we don’t allow ourselves to embrace new ways of thinking, we may find our rigid definitions are actually harming the way we think about ourselves as well as how we treat others.

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