source: cbc.ca, lifestyleasia.com, instagram.com/winnieharlow,kkwbeauty
Written By Brendan Yhip
Cosmetic beauty has evolved since the beginning of time. Pigmented formulas were used to line the eyes of pharaohs in ancient Egypt to emulate social hierarchy. This was not only used to showcase status, but to embody a form of powerful masculinity. Fast forward to 2020, people are using makeup in the same aspect, just as fearless, but more self-expressive.
"I grew up in a country where it is illegal being gay, and now I'm reclaiming my culture." Mina Gerges, discusses his trials of being a member of the LGBTQ community and the struggle of acceptance in his Egyptian culture. This campaign is a monumental movement in the Canadian market due to its diverse storytelling and by projecting the significance of every identity.
Rihanna, a notable figure and woman of colour, challenged and opened up the conversation about diversity with her cosmetic brand Fenty Beauty. The foundation line-up includes 50 different shades and a marketing campaign that focuses on representation and equality. According to VOGUE writer Funmi Fetto, “Pre Fenty, the words “inclusive beauty” were not part of our vernacular. Now? The concept is omnipresent.” She also states that “the all-embracing “Beauty For All” mantra and campaign continues to be incredibly effective because, essentially, it is redefining the idea and ideals of beauty”. Fenty Beauty allows and gives the opportunity to more individuals to express themselves through cosmetics that are inclusive to their complexion.
source: fashionmagazine.com, forbes.com
The focus and importance of representation can also be seen through the recent KKW and Winnie Harlow collaboration, KKW X WINNIE. The Canadian model has been outspoken about representation in the beauty industry after defeating stereotypes in fashion regarding her public skin condition of vitiligo. Harlow has mentioned previously that many makeup artists have had trouble matching to her skin tone and that she was presented with a small range of foundations that in the end were not suitable.
Having this collaboration, opens up the conversation of being inclusive and challenges makeup brands to expand their shade range and to keep an open mind to various skin types. KKW has given Winnie the platform to change the way skin conditions are viewed and represented in the beauty industry by focusing on the uniqueness of different skin types and the individual’s right to also be able to express themselves through cosmetics.
Makeup deserves to be more inclusive and should be available to everyone of different skin complexions. The power of being able to express one’s individuality through cosmetic beauty will be the driving factor to keep challenging makeup brands to be more diverse and comprehensive. Everyone and anyone should be represented in a world where beauty has no limitations.