Inclusion through Racism and Colorism
Inclusion through Racism and Colorism
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 press play.
Moderator: Esraa [00:00:37] Hi, everyone, my name is Esraa and I work on the PR and influencer team here at Fresh today on a fresh take. We welcome Ndeye Peinda, who is going to talk to us about inclusive beauty. Now is a New York based makeup artist and influencer. Her Instagram bio breaking the stereotypical mold of beauty with style grace and a beat face inspires all of us and many others as she promotes an environment of inclusive beauty. Thank you so much for joining us to talk about inclusive beauty.
Guest: Ndeye [00:01:06] Thank you guys so much for having me. I'm super excited to be here.
Moderator: Esraa [00:01:10] We are so excited to have you. So tell us, what does inclusive beauty mean to you?
Guest: Ndeye [00:01:15] It means accessibility across the spectrum as far as who can fill theme. So I think when I think of inclusive beauty, I think of individuals being able to look at a brand, being able to look at the product. The brand offers a team that a brand has and just being able to feel like in some way they see a part of themselves, no matter what that part
Moderator: Esraa [00:01:40] as a black woman. Did you feel represented in the beauty industry growing up?
Guest: Ndeye [00:01:45] Honestly, no. We can't talk about race without talking about colorism. Therefore, even as a black woman, the type of black woman or the types of black women that I would see growing up didn't all look like me. Super dark skinned, you know, Senegalese woman. So I didn't see that on TV shows. I didn't see that, you know, on the runway. I remember we had my sister had a subscription to Teen Magazine that will come like every single month, any time we would, like, go through it. There was never an aha moment of, oh, like this person looks like me, was always, you know, beauty tips that I couldn't use. So definitely didn't feel like I saw any representation of black women who looked like me specifically in the media growing up.
Moderator: Esraa [00:02:32] Totally. I can resonate with that point as well. Just trying to be a young girl shopping at a drugstore as a black young woman that is was an impossible task in the early 2000s. So with that being said, when's the first time you felt represented in beauty?
Guest: Ndeye [00:02:47] Yeah, honestly, I thank God for you, too, because I feel like the YouTube, in my personal opinion, is what started to kind of like merge the gap between, you know, the Standard Society told us were beautiful and just like who's who we were almost like for Sissy growing up versus just like seeing other people almost in control. So if I'm being honest, like my first intro to Beauty was in twenty fifteen, I was a senior in college and all of the freshmen, including my sister, who ended up coming to the same college as I did, know how to do their makeup and like they would be at parties with like little fake lashes, the whole nine. And I remember just feeling like I'm a senior, I can't do this. I was like, I need to immediately figure out how do I put on a large how I does my foundation. And as I was searching, I found Jacana and I found that to be godly. And at the time, those were the two black women who were like similar to my complexion, where I would tell myself, OK, if this is Jackie sheet, I'm probably two or three darker and if this is destiny, she'd probably like a shade darker. So thing that I'm really, really, really allowed me to, one, learn how to do makeup, allowed me to get my introduction into beauty, but then also made me feel seen as a black woman when it came to just like doing my makeup, because my theory is that the council was very similar to yours, where I always left after just being told you don't need makeup, which was really code for we don't have your shade.
Moderator: Esraa [00:04:21] So tell us now, what is your definition of colorism?
Guest: Ndeye [00:04:25] The technical definition of color is I'm just like you. It's prejudice or discrimination against individuals with a dark skin tone, typically among people of the same ethnic or racial group. When I think of colorism, I think of that prejudice against people of darker skin tones. But I also think of stigmas that come with being of a certain complexion as well as privileges that come with being a certain complexion. So colorism within itself is super nuance, because no matter where you go across the world, colorism exists. I have friends who are Korean who, you know, in their cultures they're considered darker and therefore that comes with certain social stigma. So colorism to me is a worldwide issue where the darker you are, the less you are seen as being beautiful. And that comes with certain. With certain consequences, essentially,
Moderator: Esraa [00:05:20] I love that you brought up colors of my night, I wanted to talk a little bit more about that because I think a lot of people don't really understand how how relevant colorism is in the topic of diversity and inclusion.
Guest: Ndeye [00:05:31] Right now, it's super important. Even as we're talking, I'm thinking of one of my most asked questions. I always ask questions about skin care. That's first and foremost. But to one of my most ask questions is how do I feed my hyper pigmentation? And the thing that shocks people the most is when I tell them you need to make sure you're incorporating a sunscreen. Why? Because we've never seen sunscreen like heavily marketed towards black women. And for so long, the options that we did have left us looking gray and purple haze, just like who was to be told this is your last step in your skin care routine. But then you look like a ghost, you know what I mean? And so I think there's so much to be said about how beauty and like education and representation and inclusively, they all go hand in hand because we have so many people who literally just don't know that, yes, you need sunscreen. Yes. You can fit your hyper pigmentation hair. The products that might work with you, you need a toner. The sun is my favorite, by the way. Need to make sure that you're using that as the if we need to make sure that your moisturizing and doing all of these things. And they want to know that because they haven't been included in those conversations of, you know what I mean, of certain aspects of skin care.
Moderator: Esraa [00:06:43] I'm curious to hear about your experience working at a beauty startup company that specifically spoke to black women. And how does that kind of make you look at shopping as a younger girl and saying, wow, we really we really got to offer like a fireplace now?
Guest: Ndeye [00:06:58] And so I feel like being at a startup that predominantly focused on black women, it was great in the sense that, you know, the needs of women of color, the needs of black women were definitely put first. And I felt like in a lot of when we look at a lot of, like beauty brands, we don't necessarily see that. And I think for me, it gave me the experience of just seeing what does what is the thought process look like. You know, for brands like as a consumer, we don't know when they say like, oh, well, retailers aren't allowing us to stock darker shades are allowing us to do X, Y and Z, you know what I mean? It's like you kind of you don't know what's actually happening. And I feel like being behind the scenes allowed me to see, like, OK, like what what do the numbers look like? How do you come up with the concept of our products? How do you figure out how deep you want to go? How do you test feeds on people to actually see if they will work on deeper or darker skin? So I think it just gave me insight into the industry as far as just being able to know, like what something looks like from start to finish as well as what good marketing looks like. I think when I think of a lot of brands where we have seen or where I have seen them, Mr. Market, my opinion is like the product may be created or may be available for black women, but are you actually trying to get them to be your consumer of returning consumer? Do they see themselves in your email blast? When they go to the four stores of the stores and they see a gondola? Do they see themselves fun fact. I was on a gondola for First Beauty at Sephora, but I was excited. Like, do they see themselves when they go into the stores and they're looking at, you know, your product round up? Do they see themselves when they go to your social media? Do they see themselves when it comes to who's speaking on behalf of the brand? Like these are always in which you can tap into, you know, the market of black women. So just creating the products isn't enough. And I think that experience allowed me to see, like, there is a way to get the black consumer to spend. There is a way to let the black consumer know that these products for them and you have to do more than just the bare minimum of creating the products. You have to get them to buy it and know that it works for them and educate them on how to use it. Because we've been left out for so long, we don't even know how to use a lot of the product.
Moderator: Esraa [00:09:20] What is some advice you want to give to the future generations of black women, and what are you excited for them to experience?
Guest: Ndeye [00:09:26] I think I'm excited for them to experience coming into a space where there's already changes happening within the industry. And so I think I'm excited for the fact that like little black girls who look like me, they don't have to start from zero, you know what I mean? Like, they don't have to feel as though there's no one out there for them, because at this point now everyone is literally champing, championing for diversity and for their inclusion. So I'm excited that they have that. And I think what I would just tell them is just, you know, you deserve to be here. I think this is one thing to be said of the space being given for black women to thrive. But then there's another thing of when you get there, how do you actually feel? And I know that there's a lot of times where I made myself deal with imposter syndrome or, you know, questioning like, am I just a token in this? I like a certain opportunity or in a certain campaign and my questioning, am I good enough? And so I would tell any black woman coming up that when you are born into a space, you deserve to be there. You deserve to be seen. You are beautiful. You are enough. You are talented just so that they feel that safety within that space.
Moderator: Esraa [00:10:32] But this has been so great. It was so lovely chatting with you. And thank you so much for your time.
Guest: Ndeye [00:10:38] Thank you so much for having me.
Extro [00:11:08] Thanks for listening to a fresh take and indulging in some feel good beauty for the skin and mind.