Pure Beauty

Why is the beauty industry still failing people with disabilities?

By Sarah Parsons | Published: 14-Jan-2020

Beauty brands are more inclusive than ever, but the world's largest minority group are being left behind when it comes to product launches and representation

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The word you can’t currently escape in the world of beauty marketing? ‘Inclusive’. At the time of writing, Google searches for ‘inclusive beauty’ have increased by 300% over the past five years.

Meanwhile, a study by Shutterstock revealed 88% of marketers believe that using inclusive images helps a brand’s reputation, and an exclusive survey by Cosmetics Business found 83.2% of British women think cosmetic brands were more inclusive in 2019.

On top of the positive ethical impact, it’s not surprising that brands are being more inclusive – after all, it’s good for business. One of the biggest launches of recent years has been Fenty Beauty. It’s inclusive messaging has turned the Rihanna and LVMH partnership into a US$3bn operation, while Superdrug’s Shade of Beauty campaign helped the retailer boost sales of its people of colour category by 80%. But is beauty really that inclusive?

Seemingly every week there is a brand launch ‘celebrating’ plus-sized women, ethnic minorities or the LGBT+ community. But in the pursuit of inclusivity,

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