From The Grio – In 1992, Veronica Webb became the first African-American model to sign a major advertising contract with Revlon. Today, it’s not uncommon for black celebs to land lucrative ad campaigns promoting beauty products. So does this trend reflect a genuine commitment from the global cosmetic industry to embrace diverse beauty?

Indeed, twenty-five years ago it would have been near impossible for a black woman to be the face of trusted brands such as L’Oréal, Revlon and Estée Lauder. Today all that’s changed with the likes of Beyoncé, Halle Berry and Thandie Newton snagging profitable, six-figure deals, to market beauty products to women of all races across the globe.

This development, though, is not limited to the beauty industry. Singer and actress Jennifer Hudson fronts commercials for Weight Watchers and 

Sola Oyebade, the chief executive of Mahogany Models Management, Europe’s largest agency for models of color, however, is skeptical about the cosmetic industry’s commitment to embrace multicultural beauty.

“The major cosmetic brands tend to use black celebrities to promote products,” Oyebade told There is still the perception that “black doesn’t sell” and white consumers will buy into products if the women of color are well-known, he says.

(Continue Reading @ The Grio…)

  • aiych

    and don’t forget Liya Kebede, I think she was the first black woman to have a contract with Estee Lauder or something like that…and that was just a few years ago.

  • Ciderkiss

    @Chic Noir & @Aiych

    Jessica White is a white girl dipped in chocolate. She doesn’t make up for the crappy makeup Maybelline makes for black women. Kerry Washington is not used in advertisements as much and is shoved to the background of L’Oreal, they did the same with Aishwarya Rai an Indian woman. Angela Bassett wasn’t doing Olay for very long because I only saw her a few times before she disappeared. As far as the other models go they are advertising high-end brands that most of us don’t buy on a regular basis. My issue is that black women that are used in high-end brands do not relate to regular girls like me who can’t splurge on a $30 tube of lipstick. My problem is that black girls aren’t readily used for commercial advertisements for the products that we buy, and gush about all the time. When we do get hired we look Europeanized. It’s really offensive. I want to see myself represented.

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