We’ve heard the horror stories of Black actresses and entertainers about the struggles they’ve faced with hair and makeup. It’s no secret that stylists in the entertainment industry are often not trained on how to treat black skin and makeup, but Black Beauty Roster is here to change all of that.
The partnership with Warner Media aims to increase the diversity of beauty professionals in the entertainment industry and improve the styling and costumes of Black talent.
Simone Tetteh, co-founder of BBR, shared that the advocacy for Black beauty professionals behind the big screen was inspired by the racial awakening of summer 2020.
“I think we’ve all seen the stories and the tweets and heard about these horror stories that happened when there is just a lack of diversity behind the camera. We’re in a really interesting place where for the first time, I think in my lifetime, I’m able to turn on any channel or any streaming service and see someone who looks like me. And as great as that diversity is, we recognize that at same diversity is not in the hair and makeup chair,” said Tetteh.
Warner Media reached out to BBR in 2021 and joined them in a panel to learn about increasing awareness about ally ship and advocacy for Black talent.
“We’ve listened to the needs of our talent and creative communities’ desire to access beauty professionals that will help them continue to create best in class content while delivering an equitable and intentional experience,” shared Warner Media in a statement. “We acknowledge that not everyone’s the same and the needs of our talent to do their best work is paramount. We are thrilled to partner with BBR, a company that shares our commitment to championing underrepresented artists and inclusive environments to increase across the industry,” says Yvette Urbina, Vice President, Equity + Inclusion, Pipeline and Content, WarnerMedia.
Tetteh expressed the importance of BIPOC characters looking authentic on screen. The biggest elements of making Black characters look as authentic as possible, is through hair and makeup.
Many Black talent bring their own products because of lack of availability in the beauty trailers, but Tetteh shares that’s not the only issue.
Even if the right products were made available, the problem is ultimately education about how to use the products on Black skin and hair.
“You don’t learn how to work on a 4c hair in cosmetology school. You don’t learn how to work on a mannequin with 4c hair in cosmetology school. It’s simply not taught. That is really why there is such a disconnect,” Tetteh said. “That’s really what a major tenant of BBR is too, is providing education – educational resources for not just beauty talent color, but also white beauty talent too they can feel really confident in their skills and be able to work with any texture of hair that sits in their chair or any skin tone that sits in their chair as well.”
“As we continue to see more diverse talent in front of the camera, we have to ensure we are diversifying behind the camera as well — especially with hair and makeup. We’ve seen and heard of too many on-set hair and makeup horror stories from talent of color and it’s time we change the narrative,” says Tetteh. “We’re thrilled WarnerMedia wants to partner with us to not only diversify the industry but lead the charge by changing it for the better.”