Fenty Beauty, Dove and colorism in the cosmetics industry

When Rihanna's new makeup line Fenty Beauty hit shelves last month, it included 40 shades of foundation — and darker shades quickly sold out in stores around the country, according to The Cut.

Meanwhile, skincare giant Dove recently stirred up controversy when it posted a Facebook ad showing a black woman taking off her shirt and turning into a white woman, a bottle of body wash visible next to her. Dove has since apologized and removed the ad, but for many the incident is emblematic of larger problems within the beauty industry.

So what does Rihanna understand about the cosmetics industry that mainstream beauty brands don't? And what does the Dove controversy say about the change that's still needed in the beauty industry?

"One of the reasons I think why Rihanna has been so successful with Fenty Beauty is that ... it seems very genuine, that she's trying to be very deliberate in providing makeup access to all women," Jasmine Harris told MPR News host Kerri Miller. "Not just for their money, but because she understands that they're being underserved. And I don't see that in the same way with Dove, as it pertains to diversity."

Miller spoke with Harris, founder and director of communications for The Hues Company and an assistant professor of sociology at Ursinus College, and Natalie Bullock Brown, a film producer and assistant professor in the film and interactive media department at St. Augustine's University.

Seen this absurd Dove ad? Can't wait to talk about this at 9:20 today. https://t.co/n4dRt9HdXq

— Kerri Miller (@KerriMPR) October 10, 2017

@KerriMPR GREAT discussion. I'm so glad ur tackling this. I truly don't understand how people aren't seeing the inherent racism in all this.

— Lisa Johnson (@pastorlisaj) October 10, 2017

@KerriMPR Let's not forget the problematic Korean beauty industry -- telling me that my darker SE Asian skin makes me look poor and dirty.

— Soraida Henne (@sodapantsss) October 10, 2017

Three cheers for Rihanna. Let's not forget Iman, who in the 70's had a beauty line for women of color.

— SmashTheHatriarchy (@smashhatriarchy) October 10, 2017

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