We Need To Talk | Inclusivity In Green Beauty Episode 2: In Conversation with Chantel Rodriguez
Clean Beauty For All?
Last week, the very first episode of “We Need To Talk” series went live and with it, I introduced this series’s purpose: to bring awareness to the existent problematic aspects of the Clean Beauty Industry. (check out the series’s page here)
We dove right in and started off with a big one: Inclusivity! We touched on the lack of representation, limited shade ranges and a very obvious and unacceptable scarcity in communication between brands and consumers. And today, we continue this important conversation with another fellow content-creator - Chantel Rodriguez!
As always, I want to highlight that this series is not an attempt to answer all the questions, but rather a platform advocating for much-needed change. I hope you enjoy reading and I urge you to please join in on the conversation!
And now, without further ado, I bring you Chantel and her thoughts!
Please tell us a bit about yourself and how & when did you get into beauty?
It can be hard to describe myself since I’m passionate about so many things but in short I’m a plant-based wellness blogger, freelance artist and proud Latina mom. My journey into beauty/makeup really began around the age of 19 but as you can imagine I was using the WORST stuff possible.
My awareness to begin exploring clean beauty didn’t start until 5 years ago during the pregnancy of my son. Believe it or not my husband really helped me make the connection between chemicals and main stream makeup! As is the case with most new parents, we wanted to research everything possible to ensure we were offering the best to our son. I began switching out my makeup back then and haven’t looked back since.
When did you first hear about the Green Beauty Movement? What excited you about it?
After making the commitment to do better with my beauty, the fun part really began - finding the products that really worked. This is when I learned of the “Green beauty” world. Naturally my first instinct was to just go to Whole Foods because all the natural people went there right? Haha. The green beauty scene has certainly evolved since back then and I’m stoked to have become a voice for it myself.
In your experience, is switching to Clean Beauty easy? If not, what are the biggest hurdles you encountered?
I would definitely say that switching to clean beauty is a process. My advice to anyone considering it is to start small with the items you use the most and go from there. With that being said, finding brands is half the battle - finding ones that cater to everyone is a whole different thing. Sadly this is the case for a lot of brands in the beauty industry and isn’t specific to clean beauty. I guess I just hold green brands to a higher standard because well, that’s the whole point of safer options right? HIGHER STANDARDS. But how can we be mindful in the topic of better ingredients but apathetic to who has access to it?
In your opinion, are the Clean Beauty Brands doing enough to make sure their lines are inclusive? If not, how does that make you feel?
Absolutely not. The lack of shade ranges and diverse models/representation in the green beauty space is baffling. As a light skin Latina woman I will definitely admit that I don’t experience the same struggles or discrimination as some of my other sisters but that doesn’t mean I’m not equally as angry. By not offering WOC options a clear message is sent: You Are Not Welcome Here. You’re not worthy to experience cleaner options and you’re not worthy to see people like you here. It’s absolutely unacceptable.
What do you think is the best way to bring awareness to this problem? What is the one thing that all clean beauty enthusiast can do to promote change?
Well for one, doing exactly what you’re doing - talking about it. Making it a necessary and common conversation that sheds light on a very unhealthy problem. Beyond conversing though we need to also hold companies accountable. Call them out when they put out wack shade ranges and have a feed full of white women. Comment on their pictures and leave all the reviews. We live in a generation where companies are dependent on the internet and social media like never before. Let’s use this to our advantage.
I also encourage the brands themselves to reach out to WOC and see what their needs are. What shades, undertones and products are they seeking? Invite us to the table and prove through action that you’re dedicated to representing all communities.
If you could sit down and talk directly to the CEO of popular Green Beauty brand that is not inclusive in your opinion - what would you like to say?
I’d remind them why they’re in this space to begin with. That their mindfulness can’t be something of convenience and selection. Everyone is deserving of healthier beauty and if you can’t afford to put out proper ranges from the beginning then this needs to be expressed. Ensure your consumers that more are being developed and that you recognize the need to include any and all skin tones.
But beyond shade range show your support of diversity in your feed/branding and I’m not talking one token Latina or African woman. Truly incorporate us in your mission and let us SEE people who look like us regularly.
Do you have favorite Clean Beauty brands that are in your opinion striving to be inclusive? Can you share them with us?
Two brands that come to mind for their efforts are Alima Pure and Vapour beauty. Alima pure more specifically has a very commendable range. (Editor’s note: Alima Pure Satin Matte Foundation is available in 45 shades)
Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and experiences with us! Is there anything you would like to add?
I would just like to thank you for inviting me to share my insight and for caring enough about issues to do something about it. We need more of this and I look forward to what change your series will bring!
Huge thanks to Chantel for sharing her insight and for participating in the “We Need To Talk” series. As this project’s purpose is to start a conversation and to hopefully promote change, I urge you all to please join in on the conversation and share your thoughts on this topic on your socials!
Make sure you follow Chantel on her social channels:
Check the 1st Episode of the “We Need To Talk” series HERE.