A concerned shopper is raising awareness about the “unacceptable” shade range in the beauty aisles of Woolworths, Coles and Kmart.
Sharing on TikTok, Rufaro Zimbudzi hit out at the “systemic racism” that exists when Black people do not access to their correct shade of foundation.
Watch the shopper discuss inclusive shade ranges in the video above
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In her video, Zimbudzi shows the various foundations, powders and concealers that are available at some of Australia’s leading retailers around Melbourne.
The ranges at the Woolworths, Coles and Kmart stores that she featured appear to cater to mostly lighter skin shades, with not many darker shades available.
At the end of the video, Zimbudzi showed the range available at Priceline – which included a solid range of options for darker skin tones.
“Come shopping with me to see if Aussie drug stores have inclusive shade ranges,” she said.
“You guys already know that Australian drug stores would be called lacking, so let’s use this as a way to open up a conversation about systemic racism.
“Systemic racism or institutional racism is racism is embedded through the laws and regulations of certain institutions or through a particular society or organisation.”
The TikTok user claimed that offering a limited range of make-up sends a message that “Black people do not deserve access to their shade”.
“That would be an example of systemic racism because this racism/lack of accessibility is due to that brand and that organisation thinking we are not worthy,” she continued.
“And that manifests in criminal justice, education, housing, healthcare to name a few.
“And also, the beauty industry. Let’s also remember that inclusivity does not mean tokenism.
“This means that brands shouldn’t be able to get away with having one dark shade of foundation. They need to work a bit harder than that.”
In August 2021, Coles and Woolworths both took steps to expand its range after a petition with 4,000 signatures called for change.
Coles announced a three-month trial where it would stock the entire shade range of two popular Maybelline foundations in all stores.
Woolworths, meanwhile, launched an online trial to offer a broader range of foundation and concealer tones for home delivery orders in select metro areas in New South Wales and Victoria.
As part of the Woolies trial, 47 tones in Maybelline New York’s Fit Me Matt+Poreless range are available. This is Woolworths’ most popular Maybelline foundation.
In February 2022, an additional five shades went into 217 Woolworths stores nationwide.
Responding to Zimbudzi’s TikTok video, a Woolworths spokesperson said it is working to expand its in-store range.
“We serve a diverse mix of customers and aim to reflect this in our range of makeup and other beauty products,” the spokesperson told 7NEWS.com.au.
“While we do select products based on demand, we know there’s a different approach we need to take to have a more inclusive and representative range in cosmetics.
“As we make this move across our stores, we have expanded our range of foundation and concealer tones that can be purchased online and conveniently delivered to a customers’ doorstep.”
It’s understood that Woolworths will continue to consider opportunities to increase its range of cosmetics tones, considering a range of factors including the right offering, limited shelf-space and its online distribution model.
A Coles spokesperson said the supermarket will also review ways to expand its online offering.
“Coles values and celebrates diversity. We work with our suppliers to provide a range of cosmetics that is inclusive and meets the needs of our customers,” the spokesperson told 7NEWS.com.au.
“We appreciate customer feedback and are always looking for ways to improve our offering. We will review the opportunity to increase our range online in line with customer demand.”
Zimbudzi’s video – which has attracted more than 25,000 views, likes and comments – struck a cord with TikTok users.
“They have 30 light shades and then two dark skin shades,” said one.
Said another: “Makeup in a ‘diverse’ country should be catered to every skin shade not just the different tones relating to lighter skin.”
A third wrote: “So disappointed seeing this.”
Added one more: “This us why I can’t buy cheap makeup, but every other person around me can.”
Another added: “It’s unacceptable that this is happening.”
‘Never realised this’
Others applauded Zimbudzi for educating people through her video.
“I feel so bad, I never realised this. It’s so disgusting,” one TikTok user responded.
Another added: “I will happily stop using non-inclusive brands until we start seeing companies show up for people with darker skin – we can ALL help!
Said one more: “I was hella ignorant to this until lately when I actually went into a shop and I found only one dark shade. Nothing else.”
Zimbudzi shut down one TikTok user who argued that “there’s not a lot of demand for darker skin tones compared to lighter ones, so naturally there’s less”.
“Babes,” Zimbudzi wrote. “Supply and demand is the most stupid argument.
“Read these comments and think again.”