Actress Thandie Newton is upset with British retailer Boots for, in her opinion, creating a racial divide by not selling make-up for black women. Since the popular store does not stock a variety of shades, women of darker hues are forced to shop elsewhere. Not only is it bad for business, says Newton, but it amounts to retail racism.
The 41-year-old actress is the face of Olay and has her own beauty website for women of color, ThandieKay.com, co-founded with makeup artist Kay Montano. On the site she blogs about Boots. She writes:
I love Boots…Wherever you are on the British Isles there’s a Boots to confirm that you’re home. Growing up in Penzance it was the destination store in town. From 9 years old I’d save up my pocket money to go and shop the aisles. The Boots Own cucumber moisturizer and lip balm were my favourites; the smells still remind me of pre-teenhood.
Now in 2014 my 9-year-old daughter hops off to Boots on a weekend, pupils dilated with the thrill of what she might find. She’s headed for the make-up aisle, her newest crush.
She, unlike me, might come back with coveted finds. Because she’s fair skinned, with green eyes. Of course that’s not entirely true because I could buy lipsticks, mascara, or an Olay BB cream. BUT if I’m looking for decent foundation, cover up and powder for dark skins, I can’t be sure that I’ll find it.
Newton charges that there is a “ghettoization” of cosmetics.
“If the make-up was in there longer, the girls would go and get it and then the stores would get more, and they’d realise that everybody wants it, and then they would stock it,” she noted at a recent Selfridges event, reports International Business Times.
“There’s this ghettoization of make-up right now. The right shade is there for everybody but you can only get it at specialised shops. So you don’t go to Boots. So as a result we are all being physically separated when we go and buy make-up.”Boots, however, says they aim to meet the needs of all their customers.
“It is disappointing when we hear our customers feel we can’t meet their beauty needs, as many of the beauty brands available in store and on Boots.com offer a range of products for black skin,” a spokesman said.