The final discussion of Selfridges #beautyproject took place last night. A panel discussion lead by beauty editor and journalist Sali Hughes with the following premise ‘Pretty White Female – How Beauty Can Apply to Every Woman.’
Provocative title no? An event that I had to attend as it spoke about inclusive beauty which is a topic that is very close to my heart
The panel consisted of Gemma Cairney (Radio One DJ) Thandie Newton (Bafta Award Winning Actress) Anita Bhagwandas (Beauty Director at Women’s Health) and Kay Montano, Make up artist with over twenty years experience in the Fashion industry and Thandi Newton’s partner for the ThandiKay blog. The wealth of expertise was without question and the ninety plus men and women of all races settled down in readiness for a lively and informative discussion.
Alot of information was shared – by the panel about their personal experiences for example, Anita is often pushed towards a plum lipstick at beauty counters, Gemma had some terrible experiences being made up by pro make up artists at the beginning of her career and whilst this insight was interesting, it did mean that there was very little time to open up the discussion to the audience. No issues were resolved – there is far too much complexity for that to be possible. The challenges are not only attitudinal, but also financial and greater understanding of customers is needed by the beauty industry at all levels.
The media constantly feeds us an inaccurate image of women of colour so when there is an influential forum such as a discussion as part of the #beautyproject, it is essential that we provide an accurate image. Women of colour are not a homogenous group. Our diversity is our strength and ensuring that a range of opinions are given the opportunity to give their perspective in the first person.
I had the pleasure of attending with Marverine Cole (@TVMarv) Antonia Burrell (@antoniaburrell) Natalie (@beautypulselondon) Segun (@Lotionspotionosandme @Nji (@mymirror_mirror) and Louisa (@afroblush). After the event, I was able to take a few pictures
This discussion is part of a wider conversation that will continue until all brands make a conscious decision to think about all their consumers not just those who skintone fits the six or eight shades of beige that they display on their counters.