The cosmetics brand Physicians Formula has been criticized for lacking diversity in the promotion for their highlighters.
A recent Instagram post for the company’s new Butter Highlighter shades did not depict realistic body tones and customers were not happy about it. Physicians Formula was happily promoting a couple of new shades to their Butter Highlighter line on social media, but only featured body tones of fair to tan, nothing darker. Commenters flocked to the account calling out the cosmetics line for not representing all skin tones.
“ok but why not make this inclusive to all skin tones especially with depth. Not cool. Get with the program,” wrote hairartistry_hc_ofassemblyrow.
If the backlash from the first post was not bad enough, the company shared two more new products, but neither would work for a darker skin tone. Oh yes, they shared the same picture with the same fair to tan skin tones and Instagram users (again) were not happy.
The lack of diversity of shades and skin tones is especially important now, as many beauty companies are working to release as many shades as they possibly can of popular products so as to appeal to the most consumers possible. Rhianna's Fenty Beauty, for example, features 40 shades so buyers can find their best match.
Physicians’ Formula’s lack of diversity had people in an uproar after a product launch showed it would not work on people of a darker skin tone. After some serious backlash Vice President of Marketing at Physicians Formula, Alice Chen released a statement to People Style Watch.
Physicians Formula Butter Highlighter Swatches Instagram Sparks Controversy Online https://t.co/bDz8srOSdd— Nicole Vitorio (@NicoleVitorio) May 4, 2018
“Our recent Instagram post for our new Butter Highlighter shades fell short of delivering our promise to represent all our fans. For that, we sincerely apologize. This was an oversight and not indicative of the brand, the brand holders, the future of the brand, nor even of our daily social voice. We know personally how important it is to create products for all, and we strive towards this goal every day. We will continue to work to voice this goal in our social platforms in more transparency moving forward. Thank you for your time,” replied Chen.
Whether or not her response will help with the backlash at all will soon be discovered. The company did respond to comments on the Instagram posts with the same statement. At least they are acknowledging they fell short but will it be too little too late for the company? Has their lack of diversity already cost them dearly in the cosmetics industry? Only time will tell.
Maybe the company will introduce new products to amend this situation, or perhaps their followers will choose to forgive.