Beauty Campaigns that Reflect our World
Beauty Campaigns that Reflect our World
12 min listen
Intro [00:00:03] Welcome to a fresh take, where we welcome experts from all backgrounds to have mindful conversations around relevant topics, all timed perfectly to your masking experience, sit back, apply your favorite mask and Pressplay.
Moderator: Esraa [00:00:31] Hi, everyone, my name is Esraa from the PR influencer team today on a fresh take, we welcome back Ndeye Peinda. Ney is a New York based makeup artist and influencer who inspires many of us to promote an environment of inclusive beauty. Thank you so much for sitting down with us and talking about inclusive.
Guest: Ndeye [00:00:52] Thank you guys so much for having me back.
Moderator: Esraa [00:00:55] We talked about the diversity and inclusion in the beauty space, specifically about how it really evolved around race. The topic of inclusive is so broad that today I really want to talk to you about body inclusive and what that has meant to you.
Guest: Ndeye [00:01:08] Absolutely. And I think when I think of myself, there's so many different aspects in so many different facets of my being that I'm so excited to talk not just about race, but also about body inclusiveness.
Moderator: Esraa [00:01:18] What was your experience with seeing your body represented growing up?
Guest: Ndeye [00:01:23] Who I can go on for hours about this? A loaded question. It's loaded because first of all, I'm excited to be talking about body inclusively in general, because I think, you know, when we had our first discussion about what inclusively looked like, we spoke about people just being able to vote, seen in different aspects of their identity. So that for me, meant that, like as a black woman, it was I was excited to see black women, but rarely ever did I see a black woman who was also plus size, who was also dark skinned. So just being able to access inclusively from so many different facets is super important. But if we're talking about body inclusively, a lot of times on shows when there were women who are plus size, they were the sidekick. They honestly weren't even, in my opinion, what I would consider to be super plus size. Like I'm thinking specifically of a show called The Parkers. And a lot of the jokes made on Kim were about her size. And I look back and I'm like, she's probably a size eight or size 10, you know what I mean? And it's just like the fact that she was getting so many let's just call it what it is, so many fat jokes, so many things being put on her on the spot about her size. It's mind blowing to look at right now. But as a child growing up, taking that in, that's what I saw, is that if there was someone who looked like me, they were the joke of the show. They made jokes about themselves. And that definitely impacted me. I felt like I was very much so guilty of self-deprecating and like making jokes about my body among my friend groups because that was the norm. That's like what we did. That's how we communicate it. That's how we joked. And it's what we learned based on what we saw on TV. And then beyond that, you know, in beauty itself, I don't remember seeing anyone that was not even just plus sized, but even midsize or what I would consider to be average was always a super thin models that were represented.
Moderator: Esraa [00:03:23] I 100 percent agree, and I love that you brought up the intersectionality of being a black woman, but also a plus sized black woman and how that experience is very different. So what's the first time you felt your body was represented in the beauty industry?
Guest: Ndeye [00:03:35] So, again, I think you two, when I think back on it, I remember when I was first even trying to brand myself and start my platforms, I remember thinking, who's going to want to watch you? Like, I genuinely remember having that that thought of who's going to want to see you, because all of the successful beauty gurus looked a certain way. And I mean, I even thought about, like, am I too tall to be a beauty influence because so many of them speak and see how they're high and then being short. And I remember thinking it looks like you have to be short, thin, dark, but not too dark in order to really be successful in the beauty industry. And I remember thinking if I go to an event, I'm going to stand out and what is that going to look like? And it wasn't until I saw two people saw one Nobel winner and two editorials where I was just like, OK, you don't have to be skinny. And I just remember that being my thought is, OK, you don't have to be skinny. You can be plus size, you can be a bit bigger and still be successful. But I never and I don't think to this day saw someone who has millions who is up there in that in that realm of the beauty industry, who has the three identity markers of being plus size of being black, but also being dark skinned. So even though it almost seems like it's impossible to get to that point, but I know I first felt represented when I saw at least one influencer who was super, super thin.
Moderator: Esraa [00:05:06] We've certainly seen a change in the last decade regarding beauty standards in the industry across all levels of diversity. Do you think we've come far enough in the body inclusive body movement?
Guest: Ndeye [00:05:17] No, I think that when we think of exclusivity in general, a lot of the focus is being put on complexioned and on race. So sometimes I envision I'm like, OK, when people are in rooms, I imagine the conversation be like, OK, we have a black girl, we have a white girl, we have a person that wear the hijab. We have a person that is Asian. We have a person just like this idea of like checking off boxes. And I think when it's very formulaic in that way, it leaves room for the lack of inclusion of certain people. And so one of those groups of people are plus size people, but it's also people who are differently abled. It's also people who, if we think of skin care campaigns, a part of their body is their skin. And we don't see a lot of people with acne prone skin, with texture, with with breakouts that are there for most of the year represented. So I think while we have come far when it comes to body inclusively, we have a lot, a lot, a lot Lappe way more to go because body inclusively is not just about your size and your weight. It's also about your skin type. It's about having scars visible. It's about being differently abled. And it's also so much more.
Moderator: Esraa [00:06:29] I feel like I've seen a lot of back and forth with the term body positivity and is that term actually inclusive? So I was curious about your opinion. What do you think of the actual term body positivity?
Guest: Ndeye [00:06:39] So I think it's so nuanced, right. Because when we think of the body positivity movement, feeling positive about your body is something that everyone should be able to experience, because in the media we've seen it's almost like you have to be thin but not too thin. You can have curves, but only in the right places. And so that leaves out people who consider themselves midsize. That leaves off people who consider themselves plus size, that these are people who consider themselves skinny, who maybe they are slimmer or thinner than the average and maybe they don't feel. I have a lot of people who I know who feel as though, you know, growing up they didn't feel seen as a woman because they didn't have those curves. And so to me, body positivity is feeling comfortable in your body. But we do have to be honest and say that the stigma or the stigmas and the discrimination that come with being bigger far outweigh that then people in different body categories, the stigma or the limitations to people who don't have access based on, you know, being differently abled is much different than that of someone who might be midsize or thin. But it's nuanced. And I always hesitate when speaking about it because I want to give respect to everyone who maybe they don't feel 100 percent positive about their body, but I think everyone should feel good about their body. So body positivity at best, is the belief that you in the way that you are and the way that your body is, is OK and that you deserve to be loved. You deserve to dress your body up. You deserve to have access at minimum. And when we think more about it, we have to be honest about who those stigmas impact negatively, more specifically and like health care in so many different aspects.
Moderator: Esraa [00:08:26] Do you mind talking a little bit more about the concept of access when it comes to body exclusivity?
Guest: Ndeye [00:08:32] Yes, when I'm thinking of body inclusively and I'm thinking of access, I'm thinking of the ability to actually shop for your body, the ability to actually dress the way you want to dress. We can't talk about the way that the beauty industry or just the media in general has portrayed black women without talking about the way in which they are physically dressed. A lot of the outrage we see when like plus size women get covers is that they're not dressed in the same way that their peers who aren't plus size are dressed. And that definitely impacts self-esteem. That definitely impacts the way in which you view yourself. I truly believe when you feel like you look good, you feel good. I even have a story that I find funny, but at the same time super disheartening. I remember when I was graduating eighth grade, going into high school and I had to wear a white dress for graduation. That was like the official color x y. And the only place I could go to get like a white dress that would fit me was David's bridal. And I remember being 14 years old, going in the store. And of course, all of the cuts, all of the patterns are for that of like a young girl. And just like that feeling of how difficult it was to shop, how like it wasn't fun at all. Definitely not only impacted my self-esteem, but it impacted the way in which, like I viewed myself in the world. And when I think of access, you can't have it without thinking of how can we allow people any size to feel as though they are deserving and not just cutting patterns differently to make us more covered, just create the same thing in multiple sizes. I promise you, if you create items including for plus size women, they will sell out.
Moderator: Esraa [00:10:11] What makes you hopeful for the next generation of women growing up, as you look at the beauty industry in regards to inclusively, specifically around body?
Guest: Ndeye [00:10:21] I'm excited about GenZE, GenZE is not playing GenZE said we're here if you are not only going to just care about my money, you have to look like a trend that I feel that I'm super excited about is that consumers are more aware and consumers are demanding visibility. Consumers are demanding exclusivity. And consumers are saying, if you don't give us this, we will not shop with you. And I think that that excites me because it's forcing brands, it's forcing marketers, it's forcing brand owners to actually have to do the work of not just like creating products and making sure that they're tapping into the market of the consumer who literally is holding their dollar in their hand and just waiting to see what will be done. So I'm excited about that. And I think I'm also just excited about the fact that these conversations are actually happening now. I'm sure years ago this wasn't the conversation. Years ago it was the status quo. Years ago, it was just your standard. This is how we're promoting this product. But we have to be more thoughtful. Brands have to be more thoughtful. And I'm excited just that the fact that these conversations are happening, because that's the only way that we'll get to see a place where exclusivity we're talking about exclusivity in a positive way versus talking about the lack of exclusivity in something new.
Moderator: Esraa [00:11:32] Thank you so much for joining us again, and thank you for sharing your experiences as we all work together for a more inclusive future in the media industry.
Outro [00:12:01] Thanks for listening to a fresh take and indulging in some feel good beauty for the skin and mind. Bresch.