Ok, soo I was browsing on YT for inspiration as I usually do and I came across the Shea Moisture #Breakthewalls ad. If you haven’t seen the video watch it below
So the whole idea is basically saying get rid of the ethnic aisle in the beauty section. Here in the UK you get the ethnic aisle too and it’s usually African American or Asian hair products there. The whole Ethnic Aisle debate had gotten some pretty mixed reviews: on one hand, people say it makes it easier for them to locate the products they need ( the products are usually from ‘black hair care brands’) and on the other hand people say it’s not really needed, beauty is beauty.
In my personal experience, it’s only very recently I have begun to see these ‘black hair care products/brands’ in places like Superdrug, Boots and even Asda and Sainsbury’s. For me it was always a trip to the ‘Indian shops’ for any products I was searching for because 1. I knew it was available and 2. It was cheaper. And even if that particular shop didn’t have it, I was bound it find it somewhere else i.e. in another Indian shop.
What do I think of the Ethnic Aisle?
I can illustrate my thoughts on this with the milk aisle of a supermarket.
There’s just ONE aisle and a whole lot of different types of milk there. Skimmed, semi-skimmed, goat’s milk, soya, even “milk free” milk. I’ve never been to a supermarket with a whole milk aisle or a semi skimmed milk aisle and I think that is simply because there’s no need to put an effort into specifically marketing any one type of milk because it’s standard (Standard definition: used or accepted as normal) procedure to cater to the different tastes of milk. Now the only reason a shop would see the need to specifically market something to it a select group of people is if that shop considered that group or those products outside of the norm or not standard.
So when I go down a beauty aisle and find all the standard beauty products there, but I have to go to a whole other aisle for “ethnic” products, intentionally or not I think this shows that the shop doesn’t consider ethnic beauty as part of the norm or as standard and thus has to create a new aisle to contain such products. The same way I feel about plus sized clothing. Not the clothes/sizes themselves but when brands advertise it. It should be THAT way ANYWAY. Why should you stop making clothes at a certain size? Are there no other sizes? Why would you make foundations and stop at a certain fair shade? Are there no other skintones? If I have to think twice about getting my foundation shade or clothing size at certain places then what does that say?
That’s saying (subconsciously) that those shades or clothing sizes are the STANDARD (accepted as normal) of beauty or fashion and what happens if you don’t fit into that criteria? You’re not pretty? And who sets the standard of beauty if not the individual themselves?
I think more and more consumers ( in my case Women of Colour) are beginning to realise their voice and taking action, just to say we are included too #weareINtoo. I have seen a lot of people start their own product lines, social media campaigns, start their own business etc to address it *claps yasss HUNTY* and I think mainstream companies/media are SLOWLY beginning to latch on.
I say get rid of the ethnic beauty aisle or world foods aisle because not only do we know you carry it now but more importantly:
ALL BEAUTY IS STANDARD
*drops mic* lol
I would like to hear your thoughts!