A Critique of the Beauty Industry
A critique of the beauty industry
Creating beauty products in a patriarchal society
Marketing 101 is that your product should solve a problem. So, if you’re selling beauty products, the obvious goal is to make your customers feel as though they need your product to be beautiful. The flip side of the positive messaging is that what you offer will make your customer beautiful is that they are inadequate without it. Playing into this inadequacy will help you sell as much as possible. And what if there is no problem for you to solve? Create one. Without this brand or that brand of lipstick, you won’t be lovable or get a second date. Worse yet, it plays to the idea that a woman’s worth is only in how she looks. Without presenting as an object, she is worthless.
The idea that a woman or any person’s worth comes from their beauty at all needs to be dismantled.
I refuse to buy into this marketing ploy, and I think we can do better. A growing number of advertisers are responding to this collective backlash against marketing campaigns aimed at women’s insecurities. These companies frequently take the route of positive affirmations, proclaiming that “you are beautiful” and “you are perfect” and other seemingly genuine, heartfelt sentiments. While this is a welcome change bringing positive messaging in a world of negativity, this still misses the mark. It falls flat for many of us who struggle to believe that this person or company who has never met us could truly mean those things. The overly positive messages miss us. Besides that, the idea that a woman or any person’s worth comes from their beauty at all needs to be dismantled. You may be beautiful, you may not. That’s not the point. What you put on and in your body is your choice, and you can make those choices for your own reasons. You don’t owe anyone else beauty, and what others think of your outward appearance, your behavior, your attitudes, is irrelevant.
I did not set out to create beauty products. I don’t believe in them. I reject beauty as the standard to which women are held for their worth. I believe that what we do to our bodies is entirely up to us. I make products that feel good to use, but they are in no way aimed at trying to live up to society’s absurd beauty standards.
Your body is yours,
and beauty isn’t the standard for your worth.
I don’t have all the answers, and am certainly not perfect, but I believe that the conversations and ideas on these topics are just as important as the making process and are necessary so that we can take on these problems collectively.
Thanks for showing up with us,
Hannah & Pepe
Brands with Conscious Messaging
We are compiling a collection of small brands with responsible practices and conscious messaging. Do you have any favorites? We’d love to hear about them.