“Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder.”
Plato’s words have never been truer. With beauty consumers increasingly seeking diversity, inclusivity and gender equality from brands—and new perceptions of beauty more freely accepted than in the past—leaders in the industry have more opportunities than ever to develop a deeper understanding of many cultures and embrace them in our products and services.
And this is happening all around us, as we see in the embracing of Asian influences––such as K-pop––in the West, the multitude of cosmetic shades now available for different coloured skin from brands like Rihanna's Fenty Beauty, and Dior’s announcement of Korean celebrity Jisoo as the company’s global fashion and beauty ambassador in March 2021.
Now, with the advent of the Metaverse, some are wondering how virtual reality and technology will change women’s perceptions and acceptance of not only what is real, but what is beautiful (assuming the Metaverse isn’t just hype!).
Some could argue that virtual reality and even artificial reality will make outer beauty less important. After all, what does it matter how you look in the real world if you can create an artificial self to interact with others in virtual reality? Isn’t this the next step beyond using the photo and video editing techniques common on social media and virtual reality platforms?
My belief is that as leaders in the beauty industry, we need to do all we can to show our clients that inner beauty must shine even brighter than in the past through the virtual faces we are creating. No matter how we alter our virtual selves, what we can’t change is our soul and our personality.
Many teen girls spend hours every day using editing apps to make themselves look however they want to look. They are growing up in a world where this is ubiquitous. It is on us to remind them there is a life outside of digital platforms, one where it’s possible to spend time outside, in nature, with real people, as their true selves. It’s only by embracing real life in the real world that they will develop self-confidence.
It’s crucial that we do this through our marketing and advertising, and our brand messaging. Otherwise, when these girls come back from the Metaverse to reality, they will inevitably be unhappy. It’s not surprising they are suffering record rates of depression and anxiety, particularly after months of pandemic life lived virtually.
In case you missed it: 5 Asian Women on Beauty, Wellbeing and Loving the Skin You're In