Let me preface this post by saying I’m a fan of Carol’s Daughter. I’ve used their products, even given them away on this blog. I do, however, have a problem with their recently launched “Beauty in Diversity” campaign. Carol’s Daughter purports to promote diversity in their newest beauty campaign, but models Selita Ebanks, Solange Knowles and Cassie share very similar skin tones.
“Carol’s Daughter doesn’t have just one direct demographic. Solange’s hair is a different texture than mine. So is Cassie’s. Our skin and body types are different. Today, people are blended. And I think the three of us are a prime example. Women in my family range from vanilla to the deepest chocolate.”
Carol’s Daughter must’ve missed the memo…
Carol’s Daughter Investor Steve Stoute made a statement about the direction they are going in…
“What we’re doing now is moving into a polyethnic space. We want to be the first beauty brand that truly captures the beauty of the tapestry of skin types in America. When I say polyethnic, I mean women who are made up of several ethnicities. If you ask them what they are, they’re going to use a lot of different words to describe themselves. That’s in line with the Census data coming out — people are checking much more than two boxes. We believe we’ve put together a shoot that celebrates many different ethnicities, to become a mirror of what America’s really becoming.[…]“They will serve as cultural ambassadors in bringing forth this acceptance that the definition of beauty is now colorless. There are no longer boxes of white, black, Latina, Asian. More and more women are checking the other box, they share the vision and embody the messaging in their attitude, appearance, projects and core values.”
Nice statement, but I’m not buying it. This campaign does not reflect a “tapestry of skin types”. It seems like Carol’s Daughter did what many companies tend to do – feature only lighter-skinned women of color, because they’re considered more palatable to mainstream society. There’s beauty in ALL shades, not just one and Carol’s Daughter’s failure to include a brown-skinned beauty is disheartening. Some have pointed out that Solange’s kinky hair brings diversity, but that’s not enough. Carol’s Daughter is not just a hair company, it a beauty company. Women of color, especially brown-skinned women, are grossly underrepresented in the beauty industry and Carol’s Daughter missed a great opportunity to feature beauty in more than one shade. All in all, it’s a business decision and we as consumers have the right to close our purses and shop elsewhere, if we so choose. I still support them, for now. We’ll see if anything changes. What do you think of this campaign?