Black Opal is among the most respected cosmetic lines that are popular with women of color. So it’s a bit worrying that they are distancing themselves from their mostly black customer base.
They launched ads that distanced them from their black customer base. And when their fans saw these ads on social media, they were confused since they were under the impression that the brand caters to black and brown-skinned women more than any other.
In their response, Black Opal claimed that they had never catered for black women; instead, they were for “all shades”. They further asked the followers not to associate them with black women.
“Our leadership has never issued any “non-inclusive” statements about our product offerings…so please don’t associate us with untrue statements. Our brand positioning is about providing beauty solutions for skin of color. We are a brand for every shade of beauty.”
Since its inception, the people who have turned Black Opal into the cosmetics giant it is today are black women. And the brand has never hesitated in associating itself with them–until now, that is. In 1994, they started off by introducing the Advanced Dual Complex Fade Gel, which was geared towards black women. In 1997, it expanded into Africa through Kenya.
It has received acclaim and won awards from black-centric publications like Essence and Allure. And it was even the Official Cosmetics Sponsor of the Miss Black USA Scholarship Pageant in 2009.
With such a history, it’s natural that the brand’s users feel insulted when Black Opal turned on them. And what’s worse is that this isn’t even the first brand to do something like that.
An overwhelming majority of cosmetic companies cater to whites. There is a makeup kit for literally every shade of ivory and olive.
But when it comes to dark complexions, the options are usually in the extreme: either too light or too dark. That’s why the handful of cosmetics companies that cater to dark-skinned women sell so well; there’s not really much of a choice. And these companies easily make profits.
But it seems like the black demographic is just a means to an end. When these companies fill their pockets with cash from blacks, they start ignoring them and try to attract whites. Yes, expanding your reach is important. But there’s a way to do it without making your current customers–the ones who made you–feel alienated.
Do you use Black Opal? Will you keep using their products after their comments?