Carol’s Daughter’s Disappointing ‘Beauty in Diversity’ Campaign

Posted on May 2 2011 - 4:31pm by BSB

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.

Selita states:

“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.”




Steve Stoute

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?

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14 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Shar Black May 5, 2011 at 1:15 pm - Reply

    I feel that Carol’s Daughter should have featured Gabrielle Union or Jennifer Hudson as the beautiful dark skin women of color. I am their complexion and would love to see my color respresented. Dark skin is beautiful as well.

    • BSB May 15, 2011 at 10:29 pm - Reply

      I totally agree. Gabrielle or Jennifer would’ve been perfect. I also think Keisha Knight Pulliam would’ve been great. This type of exclusion is almost expected with mainstream companies, but Carol’s Daughter is successful because of Black women of ALL shades and this is a marketing fail, in my opinion.

  2. NiPre Williams May 14, 2011 at 12:24 pm - Reply

    I am actually offened. Why is it that we dark-skinned, and brown-skinned women, get the ugly side of the stick? Not only do we posses beauty, we also posses diversity. With that being said, diversity isn’t only in the texture of hair, it is in the color of ones skin, it is in the features of one face. As a company who specializes in African American cosmetics, Carol’s Daughter should not only have known this, but should have used it in their diversity campaign. This is not based on jelousy. It just a simple question that they should be able to explain and answer.

    • BSB May 15, 2011 at 11:01 pm - Reply

      Well said NiPre! Beauty comes in all shades and Carol’s Daughter sold out, plain and simple.

  3. Relaxedforlife319 May 16, 2011 at 10:28 am - Reply

    Why does everything have to be a dark vs. light issue with black people? The three women are diverse. Yes, none of the women are “dark” but at least two are black. Ladies, it’s time to accept that society has a standard and we just have to love our color. This is coming from a beautiful dark-skinned woman.

    • BSB May 25, 2011 at 10:28 pm - Reply

      This is not about dark vs. light. This is about the lack of diversity in Carol’s Daughter’s ‘Beauty in Diversity’ campaign.

    • anonymous July 18, 2013 at 10:39 am - Reply

      Our society paints issues with color. That’s why it is an issue, always has been. Clearly this is a misrepresentation of diversity in the “tapestry of skin types.” Where are the different skin types?? No, we should not accept this society’s or “Euro” standard of beauty because it demoralizes humanity itself. The message to all of humanity is loving yourself for who you are, what you are because God First loved you.

  4. NaturalBeauty May 24, 2011 at 8:07 pm - Reply

    I am a darker complexion woman whose parents are Jamaican, Pacific Islander, African and Philippian. There are many women out there that are like me. If they wanted polyethnic faces for their campaign, why not have at least one of them dark (it is possible to be mixed and still dark you know). Everywhere you look people are trying to be lighter and brighter instead of embracing the chocolate tones of their skin. And what about the black woman who are dark and have loose curls instead of a thick kinky afro? People are so diverse, I think they dropped the ball because they couldn’t find more polyethnic celebrities, I’m sure if they looked harder they could have found models that fit the profile better. Oh and since when was Solange polyethnic?

    • BSB May 25, 2011 at 10:39 pm - Reply

      I don’t think they seriously considered a darker-skinned model. I think the whole “polyethnic” thing is an excuse to explain away the use of only light-skinned models in this campaign.

  5. BlackBeautyBrit May 29, 2011 at 10:41 am - Reply

    I find his (the Carol’s Daughter spokesperson’s) obvious enthusiasm for this ‘ethnic blend’ that society is becoming the most disturbing thing. That someone (or some people) should consider the way forward and the solution to all racial angst and division is for a huge demographic of mixed-race women to represent all black women in the media is quite frankly a worry! What’s wrong with respecting and appreciating the distinct ethnic groups such women originated from in the first place. Take it to its logical end and his argument says… “dark black/brown skin is the undesirable/difficult starting point but look at what we have now!” ….Oh dear.

    Black women have been misunderstood, misrepresented and near-invisible (beauty-wise especially) for way too long. It’s a white-media insult to say “ok, you can appear… but only be valued if you are not too black/dark/negroid”.

    IMHO it’s pretty outrageous. I’m disappointed that this successful company felt they also had to buy into the facade.

  6. fatima March 20, 2012 at 9:37 pm - Reply

    There are so many beautiful women of color from other countries as well. As a latina, i come from varied shades, my mom is dark chocolate and im brown sugar, my gramma was vanilla and my sister milk and honey! We have curly, straight, wavy all types of hair. In every ethnic group we have similar issues w hair and skin color. Latino tv doesnt show women that look like me or the women in my houshold. Everyone is being misrepresented by the media. This is an everyone problem.

  7. pick up artist london October 18, 2012 at 9:35 am - Reply

    Wow! This blog looks just like my old one! It’s on a completely different subject but it has pretty much the same page layout and design. Excellent choice of colors!

  8. tina December 13, 2012 at 1:05 pm - Reply

    Will someone please slap the spokesman, Steve….hard. thank you!

  9. Coco June 16, 2013 at 9:45 pm - Reply

    How an investor of Mr. Stoute’s complexion could in good conscience make that “polytechnic” such a comment boggles the mind!! I guess in Mr. Stoute’s America only men of the African diaspora have his complexion and theses men are bald, without a kink or nap in the strands of the hair on their body? It explains why as an investor he would market his company’s product to another America, the one wherein non-blacks do not exists only polyethnics ala Tiger Woods (the First) and Caucasians. I find it curious that black women have embraced what i call the Tiger syndrome, is this what our forebears were enslaved, lynched and relegated to second class citizenry forced sacrifice come to?

    Strange we have a man in the White House who identifies himself as black, not as biracial. Am I missing something here?

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