Photo Courtesy of SheaMoisture
The universal standard of beauty has been one-sided since forever. A European look of fair skin and straight hair has haunted women who were not in that group. While completely untrue, women of color have been growingly balking at this narrow and short-sided standard of beauty. It is hurtful, detrimental, and unhealthy to perpetuate such a limited view of beauty. While it warps the psyche of many a people of color, it symbolizes the limitations this world has on diversity within the beauty world. As if we needed a reminder, this world is not fair, perfect, or lovely most of the time, but we can make it better. 

SheaMoisture is taking on this limited perception of beauty by attacking the discrimination we see every day in the beauty aisles of every major store. Women of color having to find the ethnic section for beauty products—separate from the beauty aisle—perpetuate the narrow ideal of beauty in our society.

SheaMoisture has been fighting this exclusion for years and recently created a TV commercial and a national awareness campaign called #BreakingTheWalls that highlights the struggles women of color face every time they have to walk away from the beauty aisle to find their own beauty products. Richelieu Dennis, founder and CEO of Sundial Brands, shares why this campaign is necessary: "I have often said over the last 20 years that the beauty aisle is the last place in America where segregation is still legal, and separating 'beauty' from 'ethnic' has only served to further perpetuate narrow standards of what is considered beautiful in our industry and our society—which is why we began leading the efforts to break down those walls.”

I clearly remember growing up and knowing I would have to find the ethnic section—usually just two or three shelves—for my hair care needs. It was humiliating and isolating to never find what I use for my hair in the beauty aisle. This awareness campaign opens real wounds concerning the lack of inclusion women of color feel ostracized. This is one of the last few places to find blatant segregation in product placement in retail stores, and while women of color have suffered in silence, SheaMoisture is breaking down the real walls of exclusion to topple the narrow perception of beauty to include all women.

At NaturallyCurly we were thrilled to see this campaign launch because "since was founded 18 years ago, we've had the philosophy that texture transcends ethnicity" says Michelle Breyer, President and Co-Founder of NaturallyCurly, "I've engaged in a lot of debates over the years about this topic, but believe that the consumer - and brand - benefits when the haircare aisles aren't defined by ethnicity." Dennis also adds, “This movement is about so much more than selling shampoo, lotion, or cosmetics. We're advancing a mission and vision to change the social dialogue about how we're looking at beauty as a society and how those archaic structures and views are debilitating to the establishment of new and more inclusive ways of viewing beauty – whether in the images we see or in the aisles that divide…With SheaMoisture, we have built a successful brand by recognizing that beauty comes in every hair type, skin tone, shade, and feature and by honoring the natural beauty of every woman with natural products that address her individual needs and empower her to celebrate her unique journey."

With YouTubers like MahoganyCurlsNaptural85, SunKissAlba, and others taking part in the commercial and behind the scenes videos, we see the problem taken head on, addressed, and then shattered by the very symbolic and real approach to breaking down the segregated walls of beauty norms. It is a powerful voice in a world where silent acceptance is no longer tolerated and action takes over and wins.”

Watch the video below to see how this impactful message embraces a universal beauty that is long overdue.

SheaMoisture #BreakTheWalls commercial

Richelieu Dennis, founder and CEO of Sundial Brands and Whitney (Naptural85) vlogger on The Real discussing #BreaktheWalls Campaign