On Sept. 8, the long-awaited Fenty Beauty make-up line was launched and there was so much hype about it on social media. The hype was not just about Rihanna, the line’s creator, but also about the range of skin tones included in the cosmetic lines. 40 shades were introduced for women of all colors. Women of color were the most excited, as they felt they had finally been represented by a top makeup brand. This excitement could be seen in sales, as all dark shades sold out within two days of the release date. This made many people wonder how hard it is for women of color to find their shades and tones in makeup brands.

From personal experience, I can attest to the fact that finding darker makeup shades can be very hard and frustrating, especially in the Fargo-Moorhead area. Walking into a drugstore like Walgreens, Walmart, or even Target to find your shade can be a stressful job. Most times in order to find the “perfect” shade you might have to visit stores such as Sephora and ULTA that sell high-end makeup products. Inclusion by makeup brands has been an issue for many years. Many makeup brands are white-owned and made to cater for the white population, which makes it hard to get the right shade for darker people.

Inclusion, however, goes beyond makeup brands. It stretches out to our community, right down to our college campus. One might argue that the community is inclusive, but are you saying this because you are included and you can’t see outside your bubble? Just like Fenty Beauty, which has tried to cater to people across various races and has tried to be inclusive, I think the campus can also work towards that. The answer might be to get more students of color, have more events that are aimed towards students of minority groups, and employ more faculty members of color. One way or another, we have to work towards the main goal of making everyone feel like they belong here.

Looking at the state of America at the moment, making sure everyone feels welcome and like they are part of the community is very important. I will commend the school management for its effort in creating a more inclusive and culturally diverse environment. However, I am targeting the students and faculty to put in their own personal efforts to ensure that this community is welcoming and inclusive of all, regardless of personal backgrounds. Concordia is a small school, in a small Minnesota town and is predominantly white, but it can still be the “global” community it aspires to be by working with the diverse students who are already here. By making sure that everyone feels included, retention rates for diverse students will increase and these students won’t feel as if they are strangers in their own school.

Whether it’s in the makeup store or on Concordia’s campus, I strongly believe that no one should feel like they don’t fit in. If they are in a situation where they feel that way, they should have the resources they need to help them find a better fit and sometimes it just might be finding a faculty member of the same race/ethnicity, finding a student group with people like them or even knowing that there are people like them to help them fit in.

Ehi Agbashi

Ehi Agbashi is a senior double-majoring in Biology and Psychology. During her free time, she travels and takes lots of photos and also blogs.

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