I started wearing makeup at 15.
When I started wearing makeup, there weren’t alot of makeup lines for Black women. The faithful few (worn by my mother) were Flori Roberts and Fashion Fair.
When I really began to take an interest in makeup, I began to notice how the standard of beauty, which is still every Eurocentric, didn’t see me. Or anyone else that looked like me. There were only certain shades mainstream popular makeup lines would create. I remember Cover Girl only went to the shades Toasted Tawny and some shade of ‘ebony’ or what they called ‘sable.’
Yet, there were forty shades of beige. Moving on.
When I heard of Pat McGrath through the YouTube vlogger/guru, Jackie Aina? Girl! When I heard her sing her praises? My interest was piqued. But when I found out that Pat McGrath was Black?! Oh, I made it a mission to support her and the brand. Peep this quote from Allure magazine in July 2018:
“[However]…you can’t blame us for wanting to give 53-year-old McGrath, a black woman who now sits atop an industry that has excluded black women for decades, all the props she deserves.”
Her brand, Pat McGrath Labs, is worth $1 billion dollars. Get into this! In an area where to be petite, light-eyed and white is to be seen as a goddess, there is a Black woman whom has cemented her talent! From that cementing, she created her own platform and brand! In the age of Black Girl Magic, I am here for this! As a Black girl frustrated by the beauty industry and its standards, you damn right I support this brand! I also support the woman that created it.
I understand to be a Black girl in a world that sees you as alien is a unique challenge. In being a Black girl confident in your pretty, and wanting to accentuate it–and not seeing any product to do so? Infuriating.
It’s not just about beating your face. It’s not just about the perfect shadow, mascara and lip combination. It not even about proper foundation matching. It’s about being seen.
Being seen is to be acknowledged.
Being acknowledged is to be empowered.
And if you can empower a Black woman, you can change the world.
Slay Pat. Slay!
[image from allure.com]