The original advertisement is for a foundation by Chanel. It has a very attractive woman with flawless skin at the center of the advertisement. The Chanel Perfection Lumiere foundation is advertised on the Chanel website as adapted to all skin types. It is advertised to perfect the skin along with being long wear. While the advertisement may seem fine at first glance I found one big problem with this specific product.
This product has an extremely limited shade range of 8 shades which all seem intended for women with light skin tones. There is not a single shade for women of colour past something that can only be described as slightly tanner. Currently, many makeup brands have an extensive range of colours for women of all backgrounds. Examples such as Fenty Beauty with 40 shades for their “Pro Filt’r matte long wear” foundation and Nyx’s 45 shades for their “Can’t Stop Won’t Stop” foundation. While Nyx and Fenty are brands striving to be inclusive of women of all different skin colours, Chanel is still only targeting a certain group of women. Looking at the advertisement and the price range, this product advertisement seems to target middle to upper-class white women. This is completely disregarding the market for women of darker skin colours.
After all the readings about the difficulties women of colour have on a daily basis, this advertisement really stood out to me. Even this product designed for regular use to make women feel more beautiful is not available to those who are darker skinned. Women of colour should also have the option if they want a specific product to make them feel beautiful. While many cosmetics brands are becoming more inclusive for women of all types, there is still this struggle for women of colour to have as much variety. The problem I will be “jamming” with is how this brand is still blind to the fact that there are women of all different skin colours who are all worthy of being “perfect” and beautiful. The stereotype of lighter skin being the symbol of beauty has to be addressed.
In my jammed version of the Chanel foundation advertisement, the first thing I changed was the line “Perfection has never been so simple.” to “Perfection has never been so limited”. This is to highlight that beauty is not as simple as only being for women of these very restrictive shades. Women that have darker skin tones should be able to pursue this so-called “perfection” if they desire.
I also added the exact shade range from Chanel’s website to show exactly just how limited these shades are. People should know before they get excited about a product that it may not even be available to them. Also, the small caption of “only for light skin” as all the shades in that range is very fair and all labelled under the colour beige. Also, I put an emphasis on how there are only 8 shades for this foundation to really emphasize how the brand is not being inclusive.
While other brands are making upwards of 40 shades of foundation Chanel still has such a limited shade range for a brand of its size. All women should have the ability to feel that they can be beautiful and brands should know by now that women of colour also deserved to be recognized. The brand could have a much larger customer base if they become more inclusive with their products and their advertising. Many brands may start with a more limited shade range but eventually expands it to suit more skin tones. The stereotype that light skin is more beautiful seems to still be prevalent. Beauty can come from a variety of different women of different backgrounds, there should be no reason to limit that.