The beauty industry is a major part of the #blacklivesmatter conversation -- and it is partly due to the leadership of Sharon Chuter, founder of Uoma Beauty -- and her #PullUpOrShutUp movement. (Another is Aurora James, founder of the Fifteen Percent Pledge)
Chuter began the call-to-action campaign on Instagram last week, with a post telling beauty brands that they had 72 hours to voluntarily "pull up" -- or they will be called out. And consumers shouldn't make a purchase until they do.
Chuter posted, "Every 2 days we will post a list of 8 brands for us all to protest their silence and ensure they heard us and chose to ignore. We will give them 72 hours each to respond or we will assume they are not ready to be part of change. We will be publishing the list of those who decline to speak up."
"Pulling up," for now, means revealing the number of black employees a company has, and posting internal hiring statistics. Employees working in stores, warehousing and other con-corporate functions should not be counted.
Chuter says she started the movement because brands shouldn't be allowed to "cash in" and "piggyback" on the Black Lives Matter movement by simply using a trending hashtag and posting a message of solidarity. Brands need to do more - and Chuter, along with @PullUpforChange's 113k Instagram followers, are holding them accountable.
Beauty Brands Respond
Brands are listening - and responding. Nearly 100 beauty brands have posted a response to #PullUpOrShutUp, either voluntarily or after being called out.
The first group of brands called out included MAC Cosmetics and Kylie Cosmetics, and they were both applauded for responding.
Brands that have responded voluntarily include Glossier, e.l.f. cosmetics, Milk Makeup, Flower Beauty, Ulta Beauty, Sephora, Farmacy, Ilia, Murad, Kate Somerville, PUR, Mented, HUDA beauty - and many more.
Major players that have taken part include P&G Beauty, which states it has 13% black representation at the leadership level; Estee Lauder Companies is at 12% black representation inclusive of all its brands, with 4% at executive director level and above; and Coty, which has 17.2% black representation across the U.S., with 2.9% at director level and above.
Chuter explains that the point of the movement is not to use the information revealed against a brand -- but rather, it is to encourage transparency and begin a conversation. Cover FX responded, for example, and is only 4% black. Chuter posted, "It’s very tough to stand up and admit short coming and I applaud you for this brave step of admission. We are here to work with you on solutions." She follows up with a specific solution for Cover FX, tagging the organization 25 Black Women in Beauty, which helps black women network in the beauty industry. Chuter also thanks Cover FX for announcing it would give 70% of its remaining social budget to black influencers.
Stay Tuned for the Next 8 Brands
The 'Pull Up' movement is working, and inspiring real change, Chuter says.
Tomorrow, June 16, Pull Up for Change will announce the next 8 brands it is calling out. They will be chosen by its followers, as Chuter announces in the video below. .
What if a Beauty Brand Doesn't Respond?
If a brand is called out and doesn't respond, Chuter asks of her followers, "Please tweet at them all at once and comment on their photos on IG. Please comment multiple times and tweet multiple times. We must make sure we are heard clearly."
Read Next: Calling Attention to Black-Owned Beauty Brands
Week one recap and next steps! Thank you so much for your work so far. We have just begun. Please tag in the comments below the brands you would love to see pull up and we will share the top 8 tagged to the community tomorrow/Tuesday. Our work has done amazing so far and we have so much more to do. #pulluporshutup