‘I’ve had enough’: Huda Kattan calls time on ‘toxic’ beauty standards

By Becky Bargh | Published: 10-Mar-2021

Dubai-based beauty mogul demands brands and influencers declare when an image has been edited

Huda Kattan, the entrepreneur behind multi-million dollar brand Huda Beauty, has called time on what she is calling 'toxic' editing of beauty products.

In an eight-minute intimate YouTube video, the Dubai-based beauty influencer said she had taken time to rethink the way she uses her platform, and admitted that she does not “do enough” to tackle unrealistic beauty standards.

“I’ve had enough,” she said in the video shared with her four million subscribers.

Kattan opened up about her entrance into beauty and how it helped her address her insecurities of feeling “ugly” and “unworthy”, and that finding cosmetics made her feel inspired.

“But there are some ugly aspects of the industry, where it has been used to capitalise,” she said.

The beauty mogul went on to accuse corporations and marketers of creating a “rhetoric” that encourages people to buy products in order to “feel more beautiful”.

“We’re told that we need to be a certain way, we need to look a certain way, we need to fit into this very small criteria that big beauty companies have created, so that they can get us to buy things, and that is a problem on so many levels.”

She added: “The problem lies when they’re not being honest with it, and selling an unattainable beauty standard.

“They are using models, or celebrities, who, quite frankly, don’t even use their products.”

She spoke about her frustration and anger towards other skin care brands for using touch-ups and editing when marketing their products.

“Why do you need to use these things if the products work?” she asked.

“Let’s remove the beauty standard, let’s remove all the bullshit, all the photoshop, all the face tune, all the filters.

“Let’s get back to the place where we all accept each other and embrace each other.”

Kattan has also kick-started a petition for better regulations from the FDC, calling on influencers to declare if they have enhanced their photos on their social channels, which has been signed by more than 3,000 people.

Social media has been the focus of multiple studies that have been linked to mental health issues in teenagers and adults.

Researchers have found that body image discrepancy, which can be caused by heavy use of social media, has negative impacts on people, causing anxiety and depression, according to HelpGuide.

In response to the negative impacts that social media has found itself attached to, the UK’s advertising watchdog, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), earlier this year ruled that beauty brands and influencers should not use filters to promote a beauty product that could exaggerate its efficacy.

“An ongoing focus of our work in this area continues to be on raising awareness of the rules and supporting influencers with the guidance and tools they need to help get their ads right,” a spokesperson for the ASA said.

“We’re also working closely with social media platforms who can and will enforce our rulings where an advertiser is unwilling or able to work with us.”

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