In the age of social media, the beauty industry has become increasingly more prominent. In the past, beauty has been focused on makeup and covering up “flaws” and “imperfections.” Magazines and media placed a heavy emphasis on what the ideal woman should look like and encouraged women to alter their appearances to fit said standard. Millennials, however, are working to redefine the beauty industry and everything it previously stood for.
Inclusivity in the Industry
Instead of encouraging women to alter their appearances in accordance with a certain ideal, beauty brands are now preaching self-love and acceptance. It is no secret that beauty advertisements have long been under fire for over-editing, leading many companies to completely nix Photoshop and other editing techniques. Eliminating editing thereby eliminates the radical notion that women are supposed to chase after a perfect appearance that is only attainable through editing. This shift in advertisements allows models and observers alike to flaunt and embrace their flaws.
Millennials have caused quite an uproar in terms of inclusivity in the world of makeup (and rightfully so). Foundation and concealer shades have had embarrassingly small ranges in the past, with very few shades on the darker end of the spectrum. With the help of social media, many brands that have been around for decades are finally coming to their senses and producing more shades that include women of all colors. There are still major strides that need to be made within the beauty industry in terms of inclusivity, but Millennials are working rapidly to create new brands and raise awareness around this issue.
The Impact of Technology and Social Media
All of the recent developments would not have been made possible without the help of social media and technology. With the rise of apps like YouTube and Instagram, beauty “influencers” have created a craze around the makeup industry. They predict the makeup trends, tell followers what products to buy, and have an unforeseen influence on how viewers perceive themselves. Recently, popular makeup influencers have worked to remind their viewers that they view makeup as a hobby and not something that is necessary in feeling beautiful. They’ve placed a heavy emphasis on skincare and taking care of yourself from the inside out in an effort to teach viewers that their beauty does not stem from the magic of makeup. Social media is still a harmful place with unrealistic expectations set for both men and women; however, major strides are being made and we owe a vast majority of the progress made to the work Millennials are doing.
Brands Working to Make a Difference
Glossier and Fenty Beauty are two brands that have actively worked to redefine beauty and inclusivity.
Rihanna has been a powerful advocate in the fight for inclusivity within the makeup industry. She was one of the first to come out with a wide range of shades for foundation and concealer, and many of her products are compatible with any skin tone. She has created such a phenomenal impact in the field of beauty, influencing companies like Dior, Maybelline, Covergirl, etc. to expand their shade ranges. By making this a topic of discussion, she has transformed the lives of many women who have previously never had the opportunity to find their foundation or concealer shade.
Glossier is another company that has completely rewritten the script for beauty. Makeup brands are known to advertise for their full coverage products that will erase imperfections and transform your appearance; however, Glossier has worked to brand themselves as a company that only enhances your natural beauty. Their products are extremely light coverage and easy to apply. They place a heavy emphasis on skincare and developing your beauty from within. This is HUGE in the world of makeup, as women have previously been taught from a very young age that makeup application should be a lengthy process that covers natural attributes and imperfections that are often deemed “undesirable.” Glossier encourages self-love and the embrace of natural beauty.
Awareness in the Industry
A major issue that Millennials focus on is ethical and environmental soundness. This concern has greatly reduced ecological impact on both the beauty and fashion industries. Consumers have rejected the use of animal testing and will actively avoid using companies that are still known to abuse and test on animals. Because of this boycott, many brands have stopped animal testing in a last-ditch effort to keep their customers around. Companies have also worked to develop recycling initiatives in order to meet the environmental needs of the Millennial consumer.
This is not to say that there is no more work to be done within the industry because we truly have a long way to go in making it fully inclusive, environmentally and ethically sound, and free of unattainable beauty standards. However, Millennials are truly reinventing this industry and redefining what it means to be “beautiful.” By continuing to preach natural beauty and the acceptance of imperfections, we will eliminate unrealistic physical expectations and teach a whole new generation what self-love truly means.
Written and Edited by: Kami Strander