Sephora is my favorite place to go for all things beauty, but in 2019, it's almost impossible to separate a company's politics and inclusivity practices from their services and products; that said, when the beauty community started to open up about negative experiences with the retailer and certain employees' approaches to diversity, I was upset, to say the least. However, Sephora is a community-based company that listens to their customers and places value in their feedback and opinions, so I'm not surprised to see them taking steps in the right direction to make up for past issues. That said, Sephora's "Identify As We" Campaign feels like the perfect move for Pride Month, and the campaign couldn't have a more beautiful message.
If you haven't heard, Sephora recently launched their "We Belong To Something Beautiful" platform, which revolves around the manifesto that diversity should be encouraged and celebrated in the beauty world, and everywhere else. "Sephora believes in championing all beauty, living with courage, and standing fearlessly together to celebrate our differences," the brand declares on their website. "We will never stop building a community where diversity is expected, self-expression is honored, all are welcomed, and you are included," the statement continues.
It's a powerful message, one that I hope others will acknowledge and keep with them in their daily practices:
If you're worried they're all talk, though, then feast your eye on Sephora's latest campaign. The "Identify As We" vision comes after the backlash that began after musician SZA taking to Twitter to discuss an experience at Sephora during which she claims she was racially profiled by employees, but according to a Sephora rep that spoke with Bustle, the issue was not what caused the new campaign. "While it is true that SZA's experience occurred prior to the launch of the 'We Belong to Something Beautiful' Campaign, the campaign was not the result of this tweet," said the Sephora rep, per Bustle. "However, it does reinforce why belonging is now more important than ever. Our entire organization is exited to set aside this time to re-commit to building an environment of inclusion." Right on.
So, what does "Identify As We" look like, you asked? Beautiful, incredible, and inclusive:
Pictured above is Fatima Jamal, an artist that identifies as transgender, who is one of ten LGBTQ+, non-binary, and/or genderfluid people that are featured in the "Identify As We" ads. Amazing, right?
To check out some of the other incredible people included, you can watch the campaign video on Sephora's YouTube channel:
The models, the visuals, and the message are all truly beautiful:
In addition to launching the new campaign and debuting a new manifesto, all United States Sephora locations will be closed for an hour on the morning of June 5 for a day of diversity training. Talk about taking strides towards positive change! No company is perfect, and clearly, Sephora has had their fair share of issues, but I give major props to any retailer willing to be proactive and right their wrongs — especially when it means highlighting the wonderful diversity of the beauty community in the process.