Black Opal, a well-established cosmetic line, found themselves in hot water yesterday when they responded to a series of Facebook comments regarding ads which seemed to distance them from their overwhelmingly black customer base.
When Black Opal’s Twitter and Facebook followers saw the ads, they asked some valid questions. Most were black women who were under the impression that Black Opal was a brand geared toward black women or brown-skinned women in general. In their replies the brand made it crystal clear that they never claimed to cater to the skin care needs of black women. We were able to capture screen shots of the comments from Clutch Magazine.
Although all of these ladies points are valid, the real meat of this discussion is how Black Opal responding to their consumer’s concerns by claiming that they were never for black women. I’m trying to figure out when that happened. For as long as I can remember, the brand has been in almost every local beauty supply store and drug store in black neighborhoods. And I’ve always associated the brand with black women because those were the women featured in their ads. When did this transition to being a “brand for every shade of beauty” take place? And what exactly does that mean? If it means that they will no longer gear their products toward black women, then they should say that directly. According to their current website, Black Opal’s original muse was a “professional woman of Jamaican descent, who embodied the Black Opal customer”.
“Recognizing the importance of building from that strong heritage, Black Opal later introduced a line of makeup specially designed to address the beauty concerns of women of color.” — Black Opal
Call me crazy, but there seems to be quite a bit of evidence pointing in the direction of Black Opal being created to address the skin care needs of black women. Perhaps they’ve exhausted the black dollar and now want to branch out. That’s fine. Just don’t insult your consumer’s intelligence by telling them that they were never your priority when your WEBSITE and overall longevity in the beauty industry clearly illustrates otherwise.
Ladies, what are your thoughts?