The Beauty Industry And African-american Women: Beauty Is In The Eye Of The Beholder

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Until 1900s, makeup was related to the morally questionable women. It was only wore by prostitutes, but this view changed when portrait photography became popular and applying makeup before taking a picture turned to be a standard. In addition to that, there was another factor which was more important and played a great role in the mainstream use of cosmetics. This factor was the rise of the silence movie stars, theatre actresses and Hollywood glamor. Over the successive decades of the 20th century, the qualities associated with beauty were quickly shifting as new fashions in hair, lips and eye emerged in order to help the women enhance their femininity. In this chapter, I attempt to summaries each decade features and the most important advances and styles related to beauty and cosmetics industry of the white women in the USA.

Although the lack of cosmetics may seem unimportant compare to other issues during the mid 1950s, it reveals the way in which African-American women were deprived from things that the whites took as gospel such as the access to suitable makeup products like foundations. Beauty and fashion were and they still seen in a way as luxuries exclusive to white race. Even though qualities associated with beauty are in constant change; one principle never changed. Even if we deny it, it remains true. a beautiful woman is always a white one. Cosmetics in America had historically largely been made by and for whites. All the makeup brands during the 20th century produced products for one target demographic which was white women. For that reason, some African-American women took the initiative and tried to change the game. Indeed, they succeeded in turning this industry on its head. They made products to fill the demands of that group which the mainstream cosmetics industry has previously ignored. In this chapter, I am willing to investigate the early black makeup brands (during the 20th century) starting from homemade cosmetics which were sold by mail orders and a network of salespeople who visited houses with samples to expanding their work and establishing a wide world known companies in the field that their legacy is still live until now like Sephora.

The United States of America has always oppressed minorities. One of these minorities are the blacks (Africans who lives on the U.S.A ground).The African-Americans were never accepted and they were seen as inherently inferior to white America. When the makeup emerged, the cosmetics industry tried to change black women facial features, essentially to make them indistinguishable from a white one. This industry always treated dark skin and curly hair like blemishes that could be scrubbed away with a cream or a powder. In the same context, although it is said that beauty is in the eye of the beholders. Thanks to the technological advances we reached, the media became the beholder who determines and shapes what the eye considers beautiful. Unfortunately, media is keep advertising for white and whiteness as the ideal standard of beauty. In this final chapter, I will try to shed some light on the issue of lack of diversity and inclusion in the beauty industry field in U.S.A (products, presentations, racist ads the visual and the verbal one etc …..)

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