Allergan Aesthetics’ DREAM initiative partners with Shutterstock to promote racial equity in aesthetics

The effort seeks to better address the unique perspectives of women of color who buy aesthetic products.

The program was informed by Allergan's Forces of Beauty report.

Allergan Aesthetics knows a thing or two about the aesthetics market, but has spent the past few years listening to consumers in order to better understand the unique perspectives of women of color.

To that end, Allergan Aesthetics launched The DREAM Initiative (Driving Racial Equity in Aesthetic Medicine) this fall, supported by a partnership with Skinbetter Science to address systemic racism in the industry and make aesthetic products more inclusive for an increasingly diverse consumer base. 

Additionally, the DREAM Initiative partnered with Shutterstock to create a gallery of royalty-free images to broaden the idea of what beauty looks like beyond established Eurocentric norms. These include a wide range of pictures inclusive of gender, color, race, age and abilities.

The topic of health equity has been a pressing one for healthcare leaders in recent years as the COVID-19 pandemic and racial inequality protests during the summer of 2020 prompted a nationwide conversation on how to improve the living experience for marginalized communities. Both Skincare Science and Allergan Aesthetics took that message to heart and let it fuel the DREAM Initiative.   

“Helping to make aesthetics and dermatology more inclusive and fair, and enabling physicians and healthcare providers to bring that to life, is an important place to start,” Jonah Shacknai, executive chairman of Skinbetter Science, said in a statement.

For Allergan Aesthetics, an AbbVie subsidiary, the program was further informed by their Forces of Beauty report, which examined micro and macro aggressions that exist within the industry as well as opinions from consumers of color. 

Notably, less than one-third of multiracial women said that unrealistic and unattainable beauty standards set by the media drove their beauty insecurities. A similar amount said they believe society pressures them to look a certain way. 

One-quarter of Black, Latina, and multiracial women said they view society’s current beauty standards as racist and only 11% of all women say that society makes them feel beautiful.

Nicole Katz, VP of corporate affairs and customer engagement at Allergan, said these findings were a driving force for the company to set up initiatives that educate consumers and raise awareness of their concerns about the aesthetics space.

Katz added that the initiative seeks to remove barriers to access for aesthetics consumers of color, empower them in their decision making and promoting diversity in a way that the company plans to continue in the future. 

“The message we’re trying to send to the entire market is one of education and information, so we’re doing that by preparing things like a curriculum that can make people understand, be more aware and provide residents and physicians more understanding of how disease states represent themselves in all skin types,” she said. “This continues all the way through to the partnership with Shutterstock and making photos available for use for free by not just people in our industry, but anyone who wants to leverage them.”

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