Huda Kattan: Beauty industry is sexist, says make-up icon

Huda Kattan, founder of Huda Beauty, criticizes the beauty industry and social media for perpetuating sexism and unfair beauty standards.

Huda Kattan, the founder of the billion-dollar cosmetics brand Huda Beauty, is a force to be reckoned with in the beauty industry. As one of the influential women on this year’s BBC 100 Women list, Kattan has built an empire on her passion for makeup. However, she is not afraid to speak out against the industry that has brought her success. In a candid interview, Kattan discusses the sexism within the beauty industry, the slow progress of inclusivity, and the detrimental effects of social media on women’s self-esteem.

Sexism in the Beauty Industry

Kattan boldly asserts that the beauty industry is sexist, objectifying women and reducing them to their appearance. As a woman who enjoys glam, she knows firsthand the frustration of being judged solely on her looks. Kattan criticizes the industry for not taking her seriously when she first entered the business world, recounting instances where she was ignored in meetings while her husband was given preferential treatment. She highlights the need for change and greater recognition of women’s expertise and contributions in the industry.

Slow Progress in Inclusivity

Growing up as the daughter of immigrants in Tennessee, Kattan experienced firsthand the feeling of being unattractive due to societal beauty standards. She is committed to selling products in deeper shades and creating foundations that cater to a wide range of skin tones. While she acknowledges some progress in the industry’s inclusivity efforts, she believes it is happening at a snail’s pace. Kattan emphasizes the need for a better understanding of diverse skin tones among manufacturers and brands.

Social Media’s Damaging Effects

Kattan’s success can be attributed in large part to her social media presence, where she shares makeup tutorials, reviews, and glimpses into her personal life. However, she has grown disillusioned with social media, describing it as a dopamine-hacking algorithm that perpetuates unrealistic beauty standards. She criticizes the pressure it places on women to be perfect and the constant comparison that leads to feelings of inadequacy. Kattan acknowledges her own role in perpetuating these expectations but also recognizes herself as a victim of them.

Speaking Up for Women and Her Community

With her large social media following, Kattan recognizes the power of her platform and feels a responsibility to speak up about issues affecting women and her community. She has used her voice to raise awareness about political events in the Middle East and has been vocal about her support for Palestinians. Kattan acknowledges that she is not a political expert but believes in sharing information and using her platform to shed light on important issues.

The Need for Vulnerability in Social Media

Kattan desires a more vulnerable and authentic social media space. She believes that the pressure to maintain a perfect image on platforms like Instagram is detrimental to mental health. She encourages the creation of a space where people can be open about their struggles and insecurities. Kattan herself limits her screen time and does not allow her 12-year-old daughter to use social media, noting the negative impact it can have on anxiety levels.

Conclusion: Huda Kattan, the make-up icon behind Huda Beauty, is not afraid to challenge the beauty industry and social media’s damaging effects. She criticizes the industry for its sexism and slow progress in inclusivity, while also acknowledging her own role in perpetuating unrealistic beauty standards. Kattan uses her platform to speak up for women and her community, advocating for a more vulnerable and authentic social media space. Through her success, she hopes to inspire women of color and provide representation in the beauty industry. As Kattan continues to make her mark, her voice and influence will undoubtedly shape the future of the beauty industry.






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