Jackie Aina, a top beauty vlogger who is also a powerful voice for racial equality in the cosmetics industry and beyond — in terms of advocating for diverse shade ranges and other forms of Black representation on social media and at the corporate level — has joined a new call to action.
Yesterday, Aina posted on IGTV to help amplify the #PullUpOrShutUp challenge — a movement launched by Nigerian-born entrepreneur Sharon Chuter, who is the founder of cosmetics brand Uoma Beauty. The movement seeks to challenge brands who have sent out messages of public support in the wake of the George Floyd protests to go beyond public relations messaging and bring about lasting, systemic change.
To do so, #PullUpOrShutUp is asking brands to release, within 72 hours, the number of Black employees they have at their corporate and executive levels. (The movement says its benchmark for this figure is 10%). “Do not purchase from any brand and demand they release these figures,” Aina wrote yesterday on Instagram. “Ask them to pull up for real change or shut up and retract their statements of support.”
And responses are rolling in. On a dedicated Instagram page for the campaign, Chuter was the first to disclose that 58% of Uoma Beauty‘s employees are Black. Subsequently, E.l.f. shared that its team is 7% Black; Milk Makeup shared that four of its 45 employees are black; Pur said its full-time team is 30% Black, including 17 of 57 employees; Versed said that just 6% of its team was Black; and Wet N Wild shared that African-Americans filled 15% of corporate and executive level marketing positions. Other brands also reported the percentages of their Black team members, including P. Louise (15%), Miss A (14.7%), and Farsali (25%).
That said, Black-owned beauty businesses tended to fare far better, with The Crayon Case reporting that its executive and administrative teams are 100% Black; Mented Cosmetics sharing that all of its employees are Black — as is 75% of its board. Additionally, Makeup Addiction said that all of its employees are Black, while Beauty Bakerie said that its executive team is 75% Black.
You can stay tuned to Chuter’s Pull Up For Change Instagram page for updates. Aina, too, is seeking to do her part to help prospective Black employees apply for corporate and executive-level jobs by offering personal recommendations to those she has interacted with in the industry.
Aina, who received the NAACP’s first-ever ‘YouTuber Of The Year’ award, has collaborated on products with Too Faced and Anastasia Beverly Hills in the past, and has recently hinted that her own makeup brand may be in the works.