What is PullUpforChange? Who is Sharon Chuter?
During the latest racism protests for #BlackLivesMatter, African Americans and Black people across the globe took to social media to speak out about their frustrations toward systemic racism reflected in everyday life. While police brutality is at the forefront of our current situation, there are several different systems that are effected by racism and non inclusiveness in business. The beauty industry is known for dragging behind on representing black voices, faces and natural beauty. The #PullUporShutUp challenge was created by Sharon Chuter to encourage corporations and businesses to be transparent about how much black representation they have in their companies within 72 hours.
Sharon Chuter is the Founder, SHE-EO and Creative Director of the very popular makeup company, UOMA Beauty. This Nigerian beauty has created a very colorful brand that celebrates inclusiveness, women’s empowerment and of course, African Pride. Sharon previously worked with huge well known corporations and big name brands that we all know and love for their products. She feels that companies have to be held accountable for their lack of representation when it comes to the Black Community.
Here is what Sharon had to say!
Which brand do you represent?
As far as the Beauty Community goes, there’s a big difference between a diverse brand and an inclusive brand. While PullUpforChange isn’t geared toward beauty brands alone, I’m going to try to break down how this issue relates to the beauty industry. Like Sharon, I believe the first step toward making a positive change is understanding where the brand is currently. The second step is creating a realistic goal for the brand that works toward supporting POC and Black voices as well. Keep in mind that this is only meant to give incite on how beauty brands are viewed from the outside.
A diverse brand markets and advertises to appeal to different races and cultures. They create products, campaigns and other opportunities for people outside of the company to take part in, in effort to make sales and bring brand awareness only. While I do believe that some companies have good intentions when promoting the “diverse” image, it leaves the public questioning the brands image because of the lack of representation in-house. Unfortunately, it translates to “We’re outsourcing for Black models, influencers and other POC to APPEAR to be more inclusive than we are at the core of our business.”
An inclusive brand markets and advertises to appeal to different races and cultures based on analyzed information from the different represented voices within the company. These brands usually make sure that the images, ads and products that we see are backed by data that reflects a collective effort from for all groups being targeted for sales. That means the company’s core isn’t limited in racial, cultural, sexual or age related opinions when it comes to the brands decisions. The overall picture of an inclusive brand should translate to the public as “the people that you see representing this company, are the same kind of people that WE ARE AT this company!”
I believe that an inclusive beauty brand shows diversity naturally because of the different perspectives being represented within their team. Big brands have opted out of tackling this issue publicly, head on for years. #PulluporShutup is geared toward companies issuing statements about their support for Black Lives and POC. While that doesn’t go unnoticed, this challenge is directly addressing the issue with these groups being overlooked when it comes to general employment on lower levels and on corporate levels. On an even larger scale, it contributes to the massive number of minorities whose culture is used to sell products but aren’t seen as good enough to be apart of the brands bigger picture.
Here’s what we’ll be discussing in Part 2:
- How #PullUporShutUp affects Small Beauty Brands.
- Product Problems that contribute to POC/Black people not feeling included.
- How drug store/affordable brands have disappointed us in PullUporShutUp.