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,