Beauty industry diversifies

Students celebrate increased representation in makeup product development


Chloe Zhu via Instagram

Senior Chloe Zhu promotes her makeup looks on social media. “[I took these photos] because I realized that the Band-Aid matched my makeup look,” Zhu said.

In recent years, inclusive beauty movements have redefined the standards for companies to include people of all shapes, sizes, colors, genders, and ages. With the creation of campaigns that embrace differences and break stereotypes, cosmetic brands like Fenty, Morphe and Glossier have been praised for their wide range of products and diverse models who represent traditionally marginalized groups. Inclusion of all has steadily become one of the most important aspects of the industry.
Makeup began as a medium to enhance appearances but has turned into something much greater; it has also created an outlet for users to express themselves through its creativity.
“We are finally starting to see the mold of what beauty looks like,” senior Atticus Gore said. “All people, bodies, and styles are beautiful in their own unique way and our differences are finally being appreciated.”
The industry and its plethora of brands who diversified their product lines in recent years have seen much improvement in both sales and support.
“[Diversity] is important in any industry. People need to see themselves represented as they think of current and future possibilities for their careers and lifestyle. It also spurs creativity and self-expression in different ways,” marketing teacher Debra Dove said.
Makeup gives confidence to each person, however, not everyone has been given the ability to feel this confidence. Whether it be limited shade ranges or models with unrelatable features, not all people who have wanted to experiment with makeup felt they were given the chance.
“There have definitely been times where I have felt a lack of representation,” senior Chloe Zhu said. “I remember when I was in middle school all I saw were models with big, light colored eyes, thin eyebrows and the same eye shape that didn’t resemble mine, and it made it hard to learn how to do makeup.”
Zhu started experimenting with makeup in sixth grade and middle school. And ever since, she has learned a wide arrange of information about makeup and what she likes to do with it.
“[I mostly] started doing makeup because I wanted to fit in,” Zhu said. “Before, it used to be that I didn’t want to go out without makeup because I felt more confident with it on. But now, I do it for fun. When I’m bored and have nothing to do I think maybe I could do a fun makeup look.”
Zhu, like many people, went through trial and error to figure out what worked for her and what she liked. What is unique about makeup is that each person can use it however they like.
“A lot of my makeup accentuates my features instead of trying to enlarge my eyes or make my nose smaller,” Zhu said. “Makeup is just something fun to either pass time or act as a form of creative expression.”
Similarly, Gore’s experience with makeup has also changed over the past few years. A lot of this change came through experimentation and a change in their mindset.
“I used to view makeup as something that I couldn’t do, and avoided dappling in wearing makeup because of fear of what others might think,” Gore said. “Changing my mentality about making myself comfortable as opposed to making those around me feel comfortable has proven to be a crucial change in my life.”

Moving forward, Gore has finally found their style and the type of makeup looks that make them f eel most confident.

“For me, wearing makeup doesn’t include a full face of makeup, but is more targeted towards colorful eye makeup and light bronzer and highlights,” Gore said. “My desire to find what is meaningful to me was fueled by experimentation and seeing what made me feel best.”

There is still a lot of work to be done within the beauty industry. However, many brands are heading in the right direction by celebrating differences and giving people the ability to express themselves.

Cosmetic brands have expanded their products enabling anyone to have the freedom to explore and experiment with their personal tastes.

“I think makeup is just a freeing and unifying [experience] that a lot of people can bond over. There are so many colors to choose from and there is so much space to paint,” Zhu said. “With all the new products that have been produced recently, I feel that people of all types are now able to choose what they like and what they don’t.