Beauty has long been an obsession of our society. But the standards of beauty vary dramatically across cultures and time. Often times, achieving these ideals can be risky and harmful to women. Moreover, these ideals have tangible consequences.
While there is a lot to be said about how beauty can be a facet of power, there are many other factors that contribute to its influence. The definition of beauty is a multifaceted concept, and its influence can change depending on the cultural, psychological, and socioeconomic context. This is true both for men and women.
In general, beauty is defined by a combination of qualities that give it meaning. These can be physical traits such as eye color or skin tone, or psychological or spiritual traits such as confidence, self-acceptance, and honesty. Some of the most popular criteria of beauty include perfect symmetry, proportion of the eyes to the head, and full lips.
Among the most important benefits of a multifaceted concept of beauty is that it shows that the perception of beauty can differ from person to person. This is especially true when examining beauty standards. For example, the body mass index has varied throughout cultures and over time. It is believed that these differences are rooted in a simple cognitive process, which is evident at an early age.
When you look in a mirror, you are able to compare yourself to the ideals of beauty. This is why many people go to great lengths to fit a current beauty standard. However, this may have tangible consequences for their health and well-being. A study conducted by Dove revealed that only 4% of women worldwide feel that they are beautiful.
According to the same survey, 72% of women have felt pressure to make themselves more attractive. This can be toxic and lead to a feeling of inadequacy. Women who have had to alter their bodies to achieve these standards have suffered from negative effects.
In the case of a Black consumer, these factors can impact their ability to find and purchase quality beauty products. Purchasing Black brands, products that are developed by Black entrepreneurs, and increasing the representation of Black people in the beauty industry can all have a positive impact on Black consumers. And, these changes can have a substantial economic upside for the business.
Furthermore, the presence of Black entrepreneurs in the beauty industry can also open new doors for Black entrepreneurs. Although there are few Black-run beauty products in the market, the number has doubled in the last decade. Consequently, Black consumers are becoming increasingly interested in buying beauty products from Black-run companies.
Considering that Black consumers have a spending power of about 41 million dollars, increasing the level of Black representation in the beauty industry can have a large impact on the economy. Moreover, addressing pain points that Black consumers have about the beauty industry can bring about a major, long-term change.
Despite these challenges, the industry is making strides toward inclusivity. With an increased number of spokesmodels of color in makeup, better research into Black consumers, and a stronger industry network, Black-run companies can help create new and innovative beauty products for Black consumers.