DUBAI: US-Iraqi beauty mogul Huda Kattan has been featured in a newly released news segment on racial inclusivity in the makeup industry.
Released by the UK’s Sky News on Sunday, the feature is based on the British Beauty Council’s criticism of what it calls the “apartheid” in the beauty industry.
Kattan was tapped to share her opinion in the feature, which is titled “The ‘Apartheid’ in the Beauty Industry.”
“The beauty industry is absolutely still failing people of color,” she told journalist Sabah Choudhry in the documentary. “Being inclusive is hard. It takes so much work. When I used to go to the factories and I’d say I need a deep or richer shade of foundation, they’d sometimes put black pigment in the formula... it’s harder to serve a community who doesn’t have a skin tone that hasn’t been worked on so much,” she added.
“There’s still not enough care and consideration taken when they’re creating the products,” she added. “I mean, you can use people of many different ethnicities in a campaign, but that’s just not enough. It’s a good start, but it’s so far beyond where we should be in this day and time. So, I would say absolutely, it’s still failing all people of color right now.”
Dubai-based Kattan founded her cosmetics line Huda Beauty in 2013. In 2018, the company was valued by Forbes at more than $1 billion.
Meanwhile, Dr Ateh Jewel, a spokesperson for the British Beauty Council, was featured in the report saying Caucasian people are offered a wider selection of products for their hair and skin.
"We are living with the hangover of empire… what I'm really interested in is power, and measuring that by beauty standards and how we see ourselves,” Jewel said.
She explained that the term “beauty apartheid” was coined to describe brands who simply add a small sample of darker shades to their portfolio in a “tokenistic” approach to diversity.
The mental health impact for people of color is “painful,” she said, adding “walking into a beauty hall was pleasure and pain all wrapped up into one. Not seeing yourself reflected in advertising or diverse colors can also be really damaging to your sense of self…. to your self-esteem... and taking your rightful place in the world.