Mother calls out major supermarkets for ‘make up discrimination’ and says she is fed up with giant retailers only offering a narrow range of skin tones
- English-Aussie mum calls out Woolworths and Coles over make-up ranges
- Her petition calls for wider range of skin tones, citing racial discrimination
- She shared the responses of both chains, which acknowledged her complaint
An English mum has called out Australia’s two major supermarket chains over what she says is such a limited range of skin tones in beauty offerings that it constitutes racial discrimination.
Rebecca Willink targeted Coles and Woolworths in her online petition and said the lack of darker skin tones in the chains’ in-store and online make up ranges was unfair.
‘A person of colour cannot currently purchase foundations, concealers and other skin products in the right shades due to these items not being stocked on shelves,’ she said.
Mum of two Rebecca Willink (pictured) called out Coles and Woolworths for racism over the lack of diverse skin tones in their make up ranges saying Australia was behind the United Kingdom and the United States in this area of equality
A screen shot from Ms Willink’s online petition (pictured above), which surpassed 2,000 signatures, showed how limited the range of skin tones was at Woolworths and Big W
‘The current limited stock sends a message that consumers of these shades do not matter, that we are not valued, and that we don’t belong in the same sphere as other Australians.’
Her petition has so far gathered more than 2,000 signatures and she is aiming for 2,500.
She added that ‘people with darker complexions’ end up paying more because they can’t buy what they need from supermarkets.
‘This is a form of racial discrimination and must be addressed immediately.’
‘I’m a busy mum of two kids who would definitely benefit from the chance to top up my make-up at the supermarket while I do my shopping.’
Ms Willink said people with darker complexions have to pay more because they cannot get what they need from the major supermarkets
Ms Willink told 9News she moved to Australia at 15 years of age and for 20 years found it ‘impossible’ to find a shade in the two big supermarkets to match her skin tone.
‘My cousins in the UK can’t believe it because over there all of the shades are available on the supermarket shelves,’ she said.
‘You can go into Tesco and Asda and all of the brown shades are there. It’s the same in the US.’
She said Australia has ‘a long way to go in achieving equality for our current society and generations to come’.
‘Now is the time for Australian supermarkets and retail stores to step up and ensure that all customers are given the representation we deserve and are treated equally.’
Ms Willink shared responses she says she received from Coles and Woolworths – both of which acknowledged they could do more.
Woolworths said it aimed to reflect customer diversity in its range.
Australian comedian Celeste Barber promoted a mascara by MCo which is available at Woolworths
‘Across the entire supermarket we select products based on the volume of demand, but we understand a different approach is needed to offer a more inclusive range in cosmetics,’ Woolworths’ statement said.
‘We’ve previously trialled a broader selection of cosmetics tones online, and will continue to listen to our customers to help improve our cosmetics offering both in-store and online.’
Coles said, ‘We will review the opportunity to increase our range online in line with customer demand.’
Ms Willink also posted a response from make up line MCoBeauty, which said it wanted its entire range to be stocked at Woolworths and Big W, but ‘it understood this wasn’t possible due to shelf space limitations’.
Ms Willink rejected explanations about demand.
‘The ‘supply and demand’ excuse doesn’t really cut it – even if only a small percentage of the population need these colours, that still equates to hundreds of thousands of people in Australia who are being ignored and excluded.’