Amid calls for racial equality, people question why 'beauty means white skin'

How could the beauty industry be held liable?

Multinational companies like Johnson & Johnson, through selling skin-whitening products and delivering messages on advertisements, are also responsible for shaping beauty standards, said [Zifeng] Liu from Cornell University, and thus they bear the responsibility to correct it if the standard is racially insensitive.

"By pulling skin-whitening products off shelves, they essentially stop promoting the message that whiteness is desired," he noted.

But some argue that the acts are largely performative. When corporations came out to make public statements in support of racial justice, they are rarely followed by actions. After Amazon issued a statement saying that it stands in solidarity with the black community in the fight against systematic racism and injustice, it was criticized for its poor working conditions and low pay that disproportionately affect black employees in the company.

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Zifeng Liu