Five things that will revolutionise the local beauty industry
Those of us who are old enough to remember will recall the eyebrows that were raised when supermodels Iman and Alek Wek made their debut onto the fashion runway in the mid 80’s to 90’s. Shockingly, the eyebrows in question were raised from every colour of the spectrum. Question is: why were these ladies met with such resistance? Is it because, women of colour have for years been excluded from a community of women they are unable to relate to? Or is it because a woman of colour’s place is anywhere but in the beauty industry? Though we have moved light years beyond the narrow-minded views of the 80’s and 90’s, we still have much work to do to move the goal post. Currently, it’s been placed in an acceptable, agreeable arena having checked the inclusion box. Sadly, inclusion as defined currently isn’t really inclusion at all nor, has the industry been adjusted to make way for a specific woman with specific requirements. This listicle provides five key factors to help see the local beauty industry realise its potential and adjust its strategy to suit.
Creating spaces women of colour are comfortable in
The beauty industry may outwardly seem unassuming but, has largely escaped the call for inclusivity in its practice and ownership. “The exclusion of women of colour in its marketing, its story-telling and its value chain has left the limited narrative of what beauty is, unchallenged. Simply put, brown and black women are the labour that provides beauty experiences but have little other representation at the tables that make decisions. We are changing that. By bringing radical change to the way beauty is defined, understood and practiced so that we create opportunities for women of colour through community,” says Divya Vasant, CEO and Founder of AMAZI, a social business unrelenting in its passion to see the economic agenda of women of colour placed at the centre of industries such as beauty where women of colour work to produce value but do not own the assets and wealth created as a result of their work.
Women empowerment is more than two words
The potency of the word “empowerment” has been diluted to become a begrudging appointment of a woman of colour to a space that needs a more diverse marketing brochure or, we’ve made it a charitable cause because we don’t believe that women of colour have potential. It is an economic necessity for women of colour to be invested in and, the first hurdle is creating access to the knowledge women need to elevate themselves.
“We need to place easily accessible education and skills development into the hands of women who are determined to change their circumstances and, thereby change the economy,” she says. AMAZI recently launched their online Virtual Knowledge Hub which is geared towards meeting the innate needs of women of colour.
There really is strength in numbers
Have you heard the most recent call to action for women to collaborate over competing with each other? If that sounds unrealistic or just some sort of marketing jargon used over Women’s’ Month, don’t dismiss the idea outright. More women are reaching out to one another and forming digital communities to share, learn and to support each other in their personal and professional growth. Talent and ambition are important but, community is even more important for long-term success.
Become your own PR person
Technology has put the power in the hands of people open to redefine present beauty standards and, allow for boosted publicity that needn’t dent a hole in your pocket. Social media brings with it a sense of excitement though on the flip side of the coin, it also brings dread and fear. Don’t let this become you and, cause you to stay stuck in a prison of unbelief and doubt in your abilities. Grab your phone and get social! Share posts of your work and with permission, happy clients. Sure, there’s tons of competition out there though believe that you have something of quality to offer your audience. When you are purposeful in what you do, you will connect with an audience that shares your values, your beliefs and your passion. If you don’t have an Instagram, YouTube or TikTok page, get started and watch your community grow.
You are your best asset
This pandemic has shaken us up in so many ways. It’s changed the way we work, the way we live, the way we parent. For many of us, it’s costed us our livelihoods and with that, the confidence in ourselves as talented, resourceful women. We’ve all heard the saying “through every crisis lies opportunity” but for most of us, it was probably a catchy fridge magnet or a forwarded meme we saw on a family WhatsApp chat. What those fridge magnets left off is that it all comes down to you and your mindset. If you know who you are, what your purpose is, and why you matter (because you do), you will see opportunity where others don’t. So, the first step to restoring your life post this pandemic is to invest in the learning experiences that replenish your core personal strength reserves.
We hope we’ve inspired you to dream and, grab those goals. You may just be a few steps away from realising your vision.