Huda Kattan: Beauty Industry is Sexist, Says Makeup Icon

26 November 2023

Huda Kattan, founder of Huda Beauty, criticizes the beauty industry and social media for their objectification of women and unfair expectations.

Huda Kattan, the founder of the billion-dollar cosmetics brand Huda Beauty, has become an icon in the makeup industry. With a massive following on social media, she has built a brand that celebrates inclusivity and representation. However, Kattan believes that the beauty industry is deeply sexist and that social media exacerbates the pressure on women to be perfect. In this article, we delve into Kattan’s criticisms of the industry and her journey to empower women of color.

Breaking Barriers in a Sexist Industry

Kattan reveals that when she first entered the business world, she faced discrimination and was not taken seriously by some in the industry. She recounts instances where people would ignore her and address her husband instead. This experience motivated her to break barriers and prove her worth. Despite her success, she believes that the beauty industry still has a long way to go in terms of inclusivity and representation.

The Slow Progress of Inclusivity

Growing up as the daughter of immigrants, Kattan was made to feel unattractive. She is determined to change the narrative by offering products that cater to a wide range of skin tones. However, she expresses frustration at the slow progress of the industry in this regard. While some brands are making efforts, she believes that there is still a lack of understanding among manufacturers. Kattan emphasizes the need for deeper shades that truly reflect the diversity of people’s skin tones.

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Social Media’s Impact on Beauty Standards

Kattan’s success is closely tied to her presence on social media, where she shares makeup tutorials and moments from her personal life. However, she has become disillusioned with social media, describing it as a “dopamine-hacking algorithm” that perpetuates unrealistic beauty standards. She acknowledges that she, too, feels the pressure to meet these standards and recognizes her role in perpetuating them. Kattan calls for a more vulnerable and authentic space on social media.

The Burden of Perfection

One of the main issues Kattan highlights is the unfair expectations placed on women, especially in the age of social media. She believes that society has always been hard on women, but platforms like Instagram have intensified these pressures. Kattan admits that she often feels she can never be good-looking enough or accomplished enough. As someone known for her appearance, she sometimes feels like a prisoner to her own Instagram handle, constantly striving for perfection.

Using Her Voice for Change

With her significant social media following, Kattan recognizes the power of her platform and uses it to speak up about issues affecting women and her community. She acknowledges that she is not a political expert but feels compelled to share information and raise awareness. Kattan’s recent posts in support of Palestinians during the conflict in Israel and Gaza attracted both positive and negative attention. She believes that it is essential to use her voice to shed light on important issues, even if it invites criticism.

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Huda Kattan’s journey in the beauty industry has been marked by resilience and a commitment to challenging the status quo. She criticizes the beauty industry for its sexism and the objectification of women. Kattan also questions the impact of social media on beauty standards and advocates for a more authentic and inclusive space. Despite the challenges she faces, Kattan continues to use her platform to empower women and inspire change. As Huda Beauty celebrates its 10th anniversary, Kattan hopes to provide representation and inspiration to women of color worldwide.

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