It Cosmetics is the last brand that comes to mind when I think of diversity and inclusivity. Let me give you a little insight why. Founder Jamie Kern Lima has built It Cosmetics into a billion dollar brand now owned by L’Oreal. She went from catching a 10 minute break selling concealer on QVC to an entire skin, brush and makeup line sold at Ulta and Sephora. You can’t knock that hustle!
I applaud Jamie Kern Lima for building a billion dollar beauty brand. Using real women with real skin issues (like herself) to demonstrate the quality of her products was iconic. I’m also impressed with the way she manages to weave skincare technology into all of her products.
However, those are the only accolades Jamie Kern Lima will receive from me.
For years, women of color have been asking Jamie Kern Lima to expand her color range to include deeper shades. They’ve been ignored. We almost thought Jamie heard our cries earlier this year when she announced more shades. Unfortunately, those “new shades” included 2 more additional shades for white women. With just a reformulation her signature Rich shade and the addition of Deep for darker skin tones. Not enough, Jamie!
To make matters worse…
Recently, Jamie Kern Lima attended a beauty conference in which she was honored to give a speech. In her speech, she spoke of the difficulties of building her brand without having the “ideal look” of the beauty industry. She went on to discuss the challenges she faced being curvy and not seeing herself in beauty ads. Jamie Kern Lima’s entire speech was about her and other women feeling as though they don’t fit into the typical mold of the beauty industry. She encouraged other brands present like NARS, Clinique and more to be more selective and inclusive with the images they promote to the masses.
Excuse me, sis?
Here’s where this whole “diverse and inclusive” rant went terribly wrong. Jamie’s own brand, It Cosmetics, isn’t diverse or inclusive at all. To be honest, it’s a brand made exclusively for white women. Because that’s the only demographic It Cosmetics can completely cover.
It Cosmetics has come a long way since their early days on QVC. In fact, It Cosmetics was sold to L’Oreal earlier this year for over $1 billion making it a global brand. Which means that Jamie Kern Lima has more than enough money and resources to get into the lab and crank out a more diverse color range. She just chooses not to.
Where’s the women who look like me?
You can see from the images above that diversity and inclusivity aren’t a priority at all for It Cosmetics. It was a slap in the face to watch a white woman lift up plus size women and even transgenders in the name of diversity. But never once mention women of color. The very people who have been begging to be seen, heard and represented for years. The average white woman can walk into any beauty store and at least find her correct foundation shade. Whether she was plus sized or transgendered or not. Even today, this is still far from the case for black women.
And quite frankly I’m offended (and a little pissed) that a white woman with only 7 foundation shades has the nerve to speak about diversity in the beauty industry. Excuse me, sis. What about the women who look like me? You know. The women who can’t change the way they look.
It Cosmetics is cancelled!
It’s already disheartening enough to see that Jamie Kern Lima can still only come up with just 2 shades for WOC for her entire line. But the privilege that seeped through her speech was close to having my blood boil. I don’t believe all people should look the same at all. However, I found it extremely offensive that Jamie was trying to pretty much lend diversity to just plus size women and transgenders. And here’s my issue with that.
There are things you can do to change the way you look if you are unhappy with your weight. Or if you’re unhappy with your God given gender. You can diet. You can exercise. You can go through hormone therapy and other procedures. My point is: you can change the way you look to fit in, if you so please.
People of color don’t have that option. We can’t just magically decide to be lighter when people tell us we’re too dark. Or completely transform our hair when people say it’s too nappy. We are simply stuck with what God gave us. And we learn to love and embrace it. Even when people like you don’t, Jamie.
No tea, no shade
I don’t doubt that being plus size or transgendered is a struggle. But I’m not buying this whole “diversity” business Jamie is trying to force on other brands. There’s already plenty of images and campaigns for plus size women. We’re seeing more transgenders in ads, print and tv, too. Could there be more? You friggin’ bet! Just like there could be more black and brown girls in the mix. But Jamie doesn’t seem to care about that. Not once did she mention the entire group of people she and the rest of the beauty industry has ignored for years. Not a single word.
You can’t sit with us!
You know social media catches on to shade quickly. So it didn’t take time for Jamie’s diversity speech to go viral. YouTube sensation Jackie Aina weighed in on Snapchat and Twitter with many others jumping in. And there seems to be a general consensus here. Jamie Kern Lima and It Cosmetics can have a seat next to Jeffree Star and Kim Kardashian. Right in the CANCELLED section!