In my pre-natural hair days, shopping for hair care products usually meant purchasing relaxers, shampoos, conditioners and greases from companies most likely not owned by people of color and purchasing from stores where these products were found in an aisle separated from the rest of the beauty products which was also usually a tiny section of the aisle at the end.
Since embracing my natural hair texture over 7 years ago, my product purchasing experience has certainly changed but in some ways has stayed the same. I can now purchase a variety of products made by companies owned by people of color and tailored with my natural texture in mind but it when it comes to finding these products in the store, in most cases, they’re still separated from the general beauty section into separate “ethnic” sections as if to say we don’t fall under the traditional standard of beauty. To be honest, I even find their use of the “ethnic” term to categorize products, really perpetuates this divisive practice as if ethnic in and of itself means anything not pertaining to Caucasians.
Needless to say, I was thrilled when I saw Shea Moisture was sparking conversation on the beauty aisle divide in their #BreakTheWalls campaign which also includes a beautiful short film. Richelieu Dennis, founder and CEO of Sundial Brands which manufactures Shea Moisture shares why he believes this campaign to be important.
“I have often said over the last 20 years that the beauty aisle is the last place in America where segregation is still legal, and separating ‘beauty’ from ‘ethnic’ has only served to further perpetuate narrow standards of what is considered beautiful in our industry and our society – which is why we began leading the efforts to break down those walls,” said Dennis. “This movement is about so much more than selling shampoo, or lotion, or cosmetics. We’re advancing a mission and vision to change the social dialogue about how we’re looking at beauty as a society and how those archaic structures and views are debilitating to the establishment of new and more inclusive ways of viewing beauty – whether in the images we see or in the aisles that divide.”
Seeing our beauty celebrated in this short film is truly beautiful! Plus seeing some of my fellow natural hair bloggers (hey Naptural85, SunkissAlba & MahoganyCurls) star in the film is pretty awesome!
What are your thoughts on the beauty aisle divide and the Shea Moisture’s #BreakTheWalls campaign?
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