THE WAXOPOLITAN

Because Black Lives Matter

Because Black Lives Matter

We're here to humbly raise awareness about how ethnic communities are represented within the beauty industry. Wherever we haven't been inclusive, however we may have left Black and Brown people out of the conversation, and whatever training we haven’t provided our staff regarding the unique needs of people of color, we're here to be accountable to that. We implore you to rise up, listen and learn to be better. Here, we're going to discuss how we can all be better, more inclusive, and provide resources on how we can support our Black and Brown colleagues within the beauty industry.

Black Lives Matter in Representation and Equality

Many beauty brands have added foundation shades to their brands to go with all the hype. It wasn't until the 90s that makeup brands like MAC and Bobbi Brown started to add foundation shades to their concealer and foundation lines. In 2017 FENTY pulled out all the stops with 40 and eventually 50 shades in their complexion color range that helped open a predominately white beauty space to people of color. But just because many other brands followed suit, there is still a long way to go.

Despite the growing number of shades, many brands (especially in skincare) are still tone-deaf and utterly oblivious to the needs of Black and Brown communities. Using black models is a start, but reaching out to underrepresented communities to learn their needs is the proof inside the pudding. Beauty businesses need to ensure that the stock is available in-store, that beauty teams are properly trained, and that their messaging speaks to a broader audience within marginalized communities. Even with the expanding shade ranges, can darker-skinned people walk into any store and find what they need? If a brand discontinues its dark shades because it doesn't sell, it could be because they made the products but didn't perform their due diligence to build a genuine relationship.

It's the same within our spas and salons; sure, we think we know how to work with all skin and hair types, or that the products we carry cater to a wide range of people. But perhaps we should consider—do we really? What about our marketing? Do we provide more than a black girl magic hashtag on a photo for Black History Month? Are our marketing, products, and services considered a category, and an afterthought, or simply an extension of our beauty businesses? Or, is our messaging so inclusive that it's more than just a buzzword but a given?


Ask Yourself:

  • How does your esthetics business work to build genuine relationships with Black and Brown communities?
  • How are you marketing your business? Who are you having a conversation with?
  • Take a look at your Instagram account or blogs, are they only catering to and representing lighter skin tones? If so, why is that the case, and why can or can't that be different for your business?

Black Beauty Businesses

Black Americans spend $1.2 trillion on beauty each year, which is projected to rise to $1.5 trillion by 2021. Black Americans often set beauty trends, while predominantly white-owned businesses capitalize on them without contributing something back to these communities—especially with products and services they can use. Many black women have taken matters into their own hands and have built their own burgeoning empires within the beauty space. A 2018 study showed that 20% of Black-owned businesses had seen the highest growth rate for that year, which is a great start, but how can we support more Black Americans in beauty to succeed now and continually?

In the wake of the COVID-19 shutdowns, 40% of Black-owned businesses and 32% of Latin businesses shuttered in comparison to 15% of white-owned companies. Black business owners have more difficulty accessing funding from the government bailout to keep their businesses running and are twice as likely to get rejected loan applications due to not having pre-existing relationships with the government-favored banks. Aside from that, freelance and independent beauty pros of all ethnic backgrounds aren't typically eligible for unemployment or complete government support.

Please know that Black-owned businesses are responsible for hiring other ethnicities and being pillars within their communities. There is no competition, only growing together.


Ask yourself:

  • How can I support Black-founded beauty businesses?
  • Can I invest in Black-owned products to carry in my beauty business?

Resource

Feel free to look into The Black Girl Ventures Foundation, which provides education and consulting services for minority and veteran women entrepreneurs. BGV works to create an ecosystem of Black and Brown women founders that have equal access to social and financial capital to grow their businesses.

Diversification in Beauty Training

If you want to see a system where Black people are shockingly absent, look no further than cosmetology and esthetics curriculums. Over half of US salon-goers have curly or textured hair. Yet, even though Madame C.J. Walker, a black woman, was one of the first pioneers of beauty care and services of its kind, we lack the required curriculum surrounding natural hair and the specific beauty needs of Black people in the USA. It's time to expand on an antiquated curriculum required by the Board of Cosmetology that hasn't seen much change since the 1950s. There should be hands-on training for curly and textured hair types and doll heads with afro hair included in cosmetology school kits. Students shouldn't have to pay for continuing education and an excess of tools to cater to a Black clientele.


Ask Yourself:

Can you hire more black people within your business, especially fresh-out-of-school assistants?

As a beauty professional, can you start educating yourself on how to work with black people's needs in skincare, body waxing, and all-things beauty?

Can you demand more training in cosmetology and esthetician schools for working with black hair and skin types? Sign the petition here.

Can you follow more Black and Brown beauty professionals on social media?

Our Official Stance on Black Lives Matter

We can't expect everyone to change overnight. We can support others in ways that help us all evolve together. If you don't subscribe to our mailing list, below was what we sent to our customers. It can be uncomfortable to investigate possible blind spots regarding the experiences of black people in our industry, but we believe that these shifts in our awareness and businesses can evolve into significant changes for Black lives.


Because Black Lives Matter:


This past couple of weeks, millions have taken to the streets to protest the murder of George Floyd and a system that pushes down minorities and perpetuates injustice. We stand in support of Black lives. We will not tolerate racism, oppression, police brutality, white supremacy, or systemic inequality.

We have been humbled and inspired to watch this movement spread across the globe. We have spent this time listening and educating ourselves about the racial injustice that is happening in our own country.

No matter where we are, we all have the opportunity to renew our commitments to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Support also means looking at ourselves. There is always more we can do in the pursuit of growth, acceptance, and allyship.

Starpil is a diverse family. We, like many of you, have spent this past week feeling heartbroken. What we will not feel is helpless. We see you; we hear you, and we stand with you. We are inspired by you.



This month we will be donating 10% of our profits to Color of Change.



We pledge to support and empower organizations committed to fighting against systemic racial inequality. We support the diverse Estheticians that makeup and add value to our industry as a whole. To invoke change, the majority must help, support, and advocate for the minority. We vow to be an ally to the waxing community.

What is an ally?

An ally is any person or organization that actively promotes and aspires to advance the culture of inclusion through intentional, positive, and conscious efforts that benefit people as a whole. We promise to continue using our platform to connect and strengthen our community, grow your business, and be heard in the beauty industry.

Peace & Love,
The Starpil Family




More Resources

We all have a tendency to stay in our bubble. We may surround ourselves with similar types of people, read news concerning us, or stick to media displaying people that look and sound like us. Here are a few resources to help us peer out of those bubbles to understand the experience of Black and Brown lives in the US.

Black lives Matter

What to Watch (Netflix):

"13th"

"Dear White People"

"When They See Us"

What to Read (Literature):

"Heavy: An American Memoir"

-Kiese Laymon


"Between the World and Me"

-Ta-Nehisi Coates


"Native Son"

-Richard Wright



What to Listen to (Podcasts):

"About Race"

"What Matters"

POD Save The People

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