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It's the colour of my skin: race and beauty discourse with Fenty beauty captions and user comments on Instagram

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posted on 23.05.2021, 10:11 by Sarah Boodram
People of colour have long endured a lack of makeup products formulated for melanated skin. In 2017, Fenty Beauty released 40 shades of its foundation and concealer products and expanded its selection in 2019 to match 50 distinct skin tones. These events inspired a new industry standard, labelled “The Fenty Effect”, that prompted other makeup brands to practice greater inclusivity toward darker skin tones. This Major Research Paper (MRP) uses a narrative approach to examine discourses around race and beauty. With a theoretical perspective on power and hegemony, it interprets the intersections of representation, colourism, identity, consumption, and counterpublics through an analysis of Fenty Beauty captions and user comments on Instagram. The results of this study provide preliminary knowledge toward a larger investigation on the shift in racial representations in the beauty industry. Keywords: race; representation; colourism; beauty; social media; identity; consumption





Master of Professional Communication


Professional Communication

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type


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