By Lindsay Cooper It seems the world is in a near constant state of disappointing international communities with a lack of diversity. From fashion, to music, to film, talented people of colour are snubbed in nearly every industry. To examine these narrow boarders of acceptance, Canva gathered an average of 10 photos of different brands' spokespeople across the industries of beauty, electronics, food and beverage, retail, clothing, and even insurance sales for comparison. Usually criticized for lacking shades to suit darker skin tones, the beauty industry has been highly critiqued for denouncing (rather celebrating) various forms of beauty since its inception, so it comes as no surprise the studies revealed their definition of beauty to be very narrow. Examining seven brands, Canva found the different spokespeople for each brand tend to look similar. Advertisements for the beauty industry feature models with strong bone structure (specifically high cheekbones and a prominent jaw) with full pink lips, and unblemished skin. Nearly all subjects from the study also had a light complexion and light eyes. Another narrow category of beauty was, unsurprisingly, clothing and shoes. While models for shoe companies tended to be more varied, more symmetrical faces were more likely to appear in high-fashion advertisements and the pages of Victoria’s Secret catalogues. Some industries showed variation, though. Spokespeople for car insurance companies tended to be more relatable and were often middle aged. The most varied category was electronics, with men in their forties and young blonde women. While these industries are less likely to feature the most recent trend in beauty (think six foot tall underwear models), all models in the study remained comfortably within standards of beauty, with very few models outside the realm of what is conventionally attractive. Even when vying for consumers to identify with their brand, like is the case for insurance and electronics companies, advertisers continue to alienate a huge part of their audience by only showcasing a very narrow demographic.
Photos courtesy of Canva.