Fernanda Tiemi Tubamoto* – Estado de Minas
posted on 8/11/2022 1:36 PM
Makeup brand by Selena Gomez has packaging that facilitates the opening of the product for people with reduced mobility – (credit: Rare Beauty/Disclosure)
Rare Beauty, a beauty brand conceived and founded by artist Selena Gomez, arrived in Brazil. In addition to the novelties involving products that were already viral on social networks due to their good quality, the cosmetics line was also highly anticipated due to its packaging, developed for people with reduced mobility.
In 2015, Selena Gomez revealed to the public, for the first time, that she suffers from an autoimmune disease, lupus, which, in times of crisis, weakens joints and restricts mobility. Other symptoms that can affect people with lupus are depression and anxiety and, for these reasons, when she developed the brand, the artist thought about how to help this specific audience, also including people with disabilities (PwD).
In addition to packaging designed so you don’t need to use as much pressure or finger force to open them, the brand is also part of the Rare Impact Fund, whose goal is to raise US$ 100 million over the next ten years to help fill the gaps in services of mental health in the United States, particularly in poor communities. To achieve this goal, 1% of Rare Beauty product sales are directed to the fund.
Journalist, influencer and PwD activist Ana Clara Moniz says that a large part of the difficulty that people with disabilities have in relation to makeup is caused by the anatomy of the packaging, and not by the product itself. “Although little said, the packaging was designed anatomically so that she and other people with muscle weakness could use it. This is the case with the packaging for the foundation, the concealer and even the lipsticks, which are flat at the ends and are easy to open,” she explains in a publication on her social networks.
She says that when she heard about this differential, she was anxious to try the products. “Selena’s brand is not only about natural beauty, but also about natural beauty accessible to everyone. It may sound silly, but it was with her [Selena] that I learned to be me; to understand, respect, deal with an illness and even to expose myself more on the internet”, reports Ana Clara in another post.
With the viralization of a video talking about the topic, Sephora Brasil invited her to participate in the Rare Beauty launch event on August 3rd. “I spent my English with important people, I made friends and even sang karaoke with friends I made at the time. I was able to be myself and see other people being themselves”, reports the journalist. Despite this, she points out that more people with disabilities could be present. “But it’s a start and a big step up compared to other brands that don’t even think about us.”
Marina Melo, also a blogger and PcD activist, says that most makeup brands reproduce what she calls ‘unconscious capacity building’, when people with disabilities are devalued or disqualified based on prejudice in relation to their bodily or cognitive capacity – without the unless they realize they are doing it. “The marks [em geral] they don’t think; they have to learn. With the arrival of Rare Beauty in Brazil, it’s time to charge the other brands. [A partir desse lançamento]they will have a look, they will be able to see this market”, he explains.
For her, the process of untying the marks of capacitism will be a difficult process, but the first steps are already visible. “We are seeing some results, seeing the positioning of brands, the presence of people with disabilities in events, in soap operas, and even Barbie”, says Marina.
Lack of options on the market
Despite the great diversity of products found in the cosmetics market, there are few that serve the PwD population, which is quite diverse. “I try to buy products that make me feel independent when it comes to taking care of myself in every possible area, and makeup would be no different, but I find it difficult to talk about brands that are accessible to people with disabilities, because every person with a disability has a different kind of need”, explains Ana Clara.
For the influencer, Rare Beauty is one of the first brands that thought about this audience, from development to product launch. “Accessibility was thought of in every detail, not least because Selena herself has muscle weakness. the marks [em geral] they need to look at people with disabilities and make them participate in the product development processes. In Brazil, we have 45 million people with disabilities, who are also consumers, so it would also be advantageous for brands to have this concern”, she comments.
A fan of Selena Gomez since she was 9 years old, Ana Clara told DiversEM what it was like to participate in the artist’s brand launch event in Brazil. “I was really happy, mainly for being a person with a disability and being there representing this public, testing the packaging and seeing what worked for me”, she reports.
She also says that she was surprised by the diversity of people present, which reinforced the brand’s positioning. “Many different people were present, which left me positively surprised and with a warm heart. There were a lot of diverse and important people having fun, getting to know and testing the products and we were happy to know that the brand’s concern is not that we expose our ‘imperfections’, but that we can enhance our natural and unique beauty in each one,” he added.