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This week, Australian beauty influencer, editor and entrepreneur Zoe Foster Blake announced she’s pulling two products from her Go To Skincare range for not being “inclusive”.
However, critics have described her statement as “self-centred” and having more of a “focus on how much it ‘sucks’ for white consumers of the products and how it’s a business detriment”.
On Thursday, Foster Blake informed followers on her Go To Skincare range Instagram account that the business will discontinue the Zincredible SPF 15 Tinted and Pinky-Nudey Lips products after the brand recently committed to promoting “equality and inclusion”.
The brand, launched in 2014, was called out in 2018 for its lack of diversity, as its tinted moisturiser only came in one shade.
“We now understand that a single shade tinted product isn’t inclusive. And neither is a pinky-‘nude’ tinted lip balm,” Foster Blake said in her statement this week.
She also claimed that discontinuing the products “is undeniably a terrible business move,” but that “to us business is more than, yknow (sic), ‘business’”. She also said “sorry” to the “big, passionate and loyal fan base” for whom “a product you love being discontinued flat out sucks”.
Bangladeshi Australian creative stylist and beauty influencer Sophia Chowdhury said it is “great brands are holding themselves accountable for not being inclusive” but that Foster Blake’s statement didn’t speak to people of colour who have felt excluded.
“The post itself to me seems self-centred as it focused on the current demographic that uses the product and how ‘it sucks’ they can’t use it anymore,” Chowdhury told HuffPost Australia.
“They could have used the opportunity to make space and amplify brands that are maybe POC-owned that are already catering to other shades if it wasn’t just about business. For every brand that leaves us out there’s already a Rihanna making up for their lack of inclusiveness,” she added, referencing the singer’s Fenty makeup range that’s known for stocking a range of shades.
Instagram accounts that are known for calling out a lack of diversity in the beauty industry also criticised Foster Blake’s statement.
“Literally not one apology to POC for being non inclusive/racist but several sympathies offered to the white people who now have their fav product discontinued,” read a follower’s comment shared by the @esteelaundry Instagram account.
The account @aussiewoc claimed it called out Go To Skincare two years ago for a lack of diversity, only to be “blocked” on the social media platform.
One Instagram user accused the brand of only caring about racism and injustice “now that BLM is trending”.
“From the comments it says people have been complaining about this issue for a while. It’s interesting that it’s only getting addressed now that diversity marketing is a trend,” she said.
Foster Blake did not immediately reply to HuffPost Australia’s request for comment.