As we reported back in February, the beauty industry grossly underestimates the value of Black consumers — despite the fact that African-Americans hold a buying power of $1 trillion, according to projections from a 2013 Nielsen report. And though efforts have been made to combat the lack of diversity in products available, there's still one glaring setback facing women of color when they shop for cosmetics: segregation in the beauty aisle.
Shea Moisture's first national call-to-action, which debuts tomorrow, is aimed at both addressing and, hopefully, helping to fix this issue. The brand brought together influencers and members of the natural hair community to star in a short video titled: "Breaking Down the Walls."
"'Breaking Down the Walls' is about making beauty accessible to all," Richelieu Dennis, the founder and CEO of Sundial Brands, states in the above video. "[It's about] access to products that actually work for every hair texture and that are focused on our communities that are traditionally underserved."
As the ladies in the video share their hair stories, they also open up regarding the struggles they face while shopping for products. "The way most beauty aisles are set up, you have the main beauty aisle, and then a teeny, tiny area around the corner — on the other side," states natural hair blogger MahoganyCurls. "We are separate from, we are other than," says actress Ekeobong Utibe. "This is 'mainstream' beauty and we are a 'corner of the store' beauty."
What's the ultimate goal? Simple: for all women to feel represented when they peruse products; to have an aisle with products for all hair types. As Utibe states in the video, "beauty is not defined by ethnicity," and the beauty shelves shouldn't be, either.