Thirty-two Grammys, 30 MTV Video Music Awards and now the first Black woman to top the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart with her latest single “Texas Hold ‘Em.” In terms of accolades, Beyoncé is in a league of her own. But when it comes to navigating the tempered plight of beauty politics, the Houston native is in abundant company.
Whether it’s how we style our hair, the shape of our bodies, or even the depth of our skin, the appearance of Black women is under an unrelenting microscope — and no amount of Grammys can shield you from the vexation that comes with a hyper-focused lens pointed at you at all times.
These polarizations don’t discriminate based on class or creed; no matter your tax bracket, your looks are open to merciless dissection and ridicule. This unhealthy affair with the inner workings of a biased beauty system has been lyrically chronicled by Beyoncé for years, making her recent venture into the beauty sphere a logical choice and a celebrated sequitur.
From her love letter to deeper complexions in “Brown Skin Girl” to her lyrical analysis of the harms evoked by unrealistic, white-centered beauty standards via “Pretty Hurts,” or even shouting out Jackson 5 nostrils and baby hair with afros in “Formation,” entangling herself in the parables of beauty scripture is a core pillar of her career.
This is likely why the announcement of her haircare line, Cécred, which officially launched on Feb. 20, was not met with the same disdain we’ve seen expressed at the announcement of other celebrity-owned or -backed marques. Blame it on late-stage capitalism or general celebrity fatigue, but we have undoubtedly reached a stalemate in our tolerance for celebrity-fueled beauty brands.
Beyoncé, though, has so expertly nestled herself in the bosom of passions born of earnestness, that her endeavors don’t leave the same gimmicky residue of deceit in our mouths.
Like many of Beyoncé’s projects, Cécred highlights an indisputable commitment to artistry, craft and intention. From the heritage-seeped origin of the brand relating to Beyoncé’s upbringing in her mother’s salon to the ultramodern packaging and high-profile ingredient list, it disrupts the space in a way that does not feel like the same rinse and repeat cycle we’ve grown begrudgingly accustomed to accepting.