Beauty isn’t skin deep with these beauty brands that have missed the mark on diversity

Beauty brands profiting off their beauty ideals have always been a questionable topic since the beginning of time. But in this modern time, you would’ve thought that several companies have learned lessons from the past, however, racism, inclusivity, and insensitive ads still pervade everywhere. Here are times when brands neglect to cater to all kinds of complexions and failed to address different types of beauty:


When this Korean brand posted an ad about their new orange nail polish, they didn’t see the obvious: one of the hands in the pictures had apparently been made to appear darker. The reason it’s strange is because the palm is black, and several netizens called out the brand for making it seem like the hand was “wearing a blackface,” a practice that has been used to make a caricature of a black person. The webpage which hosted the images has been taken down and StyleNanda issued an official apology for the “upset” that the photo has caused and promised that the image will no longer be used to illustrate their products.


It’s surprising to see Dove in this list because the brand champions “real beauty,” where, in most of their campaigns, they employ “real women” to represent their products. The brand was accused of racism over the online advertising campaign which showed a black woman removing her top to reveal a white woman underneath supposedly after using Dove body lotion. The white woman then removes her top and turns into a Middle Eastern woman. Following the removal of the advert, Dove tweeted: “An image we recently posted on Facebook missed the mark in representing women of colour thoughtfully. We deeply regret the offence it caused.”

One Twitter user posted the historical context which explains why the ad is problematic and that it simply shows the struggles that people of color have been dealing with for a long time:


This Italian beauty brand drew flak for the name it gave one of its nail polishes. The brand is known for its  makeup, nail polish, and beauty accessories, decided to name the deepest shade in its new line of gel nail polishes “Thick as a Nigga.” Wycon responded by defending the names, calling their choices of shade names ‘a bit crazy’, before explaining that many of their polishes have names inspired by hip hop, such as Bootylicious and Candy Shop. The brand has not issued an official apology, instead writing in their Instagram comments: ‘We’re sorry that this post has triggered these types of reactions: every colour from our Gel On collection is inspired, with a cheerful attitude and a pinch of naivety, by famous song titles, many of which derive from the landscape of hip hop.”

In Asia, it is reported that Asians spend $20 billion (USD) a year to be white.

This video posted by Facebook user Drew Binsky illustrated how Asians spend that total amount of money every year on “whitening creams, pills, lasers, injections, surgeries and various other ways to make their skin appear more pale.”



While beauty is indeed subjective to every individual, at some point we have to question this ideal of beauty that has changed people’s perception of skin color: “When will it all be enough?”


Sources: Twitter, Allure, Metro UK, The Guardian

Feature photo from Pexel/StyleNanda

About Dianne Pineda 394 Articles
Magazine and online writer based in South Korea. Nerdy news writer by day, Korean pop culture writer by night.

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