There’s been an interesting art project floating around the internet this week, which came to my attention via Facebook. It’s called “Not My Nude” and is a photo project that draws attention to the narrow current labeling practices of the beauty industry, where ‘nude’ or ‘flesh’ tones are always a light form of beige or ivory; in other words, white. I’ve recently been looking at different opinion pieces lately to educate myself on systemic racism and this was a good visual reminder of the lines that still exist.
When a product is labeled as nude or flesh or natural, and the tone of the person’s skin isn’t that, it implies that the person’s skin tone isn’t ‘natural’ or ‘normal’. While some beauty companies are aiming to offer makeup shades for all different skin colours, it’s still true that many shades just aren’t widely available in mass markets. Sure, if you live in a city where Sephora exists or you have the opportunity to order makeup online, it’s likelier you can find what you want, but if you’re not, then your choices are drastically limited. I’d love to see the beauty industry remove ‘nude’ or ‘flesh’ from their colour descriptors and offer a wider range of choice for embracing every skin colour, not just the ones that are lighter than others.
If you are searching for makeup options and finding it tough to get colour choices, here are some options to start:
Here’s a link to the Afropunk article that I first saw on Facebook, which highlights the art project and has the links to the photos. You can also check out the artist, Anastasia Warren on her tumblr blogs.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this issue, please comment below.