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Painting Hollywood All Shades of Skin with UOMA Beauty

Published March 16, 2023
Published March 16, 2023
UOMA Beauty

UOMA Beauty has been at the forefront of the fight for inclusivity and diversity in the industry, from its 51-shade foundation range to the unapologetic #PullUpOrShutUp online movement, which held a mirror up to beauty brands on the lack of representation in their campaigns as well as their workforce.

Like the beauty industry, the Oscars have also been criticized for their lack of acknowledgment of multicultural talent. In 2002, Halle Berry became the first and only Black female to win the award, and this year’s Best Actress in a Leading Role winner Michelle Yeoh was the first Asian woman to win the category in the ceremony’s 95-year history.

According to the Hollywood Diversity Report 2022, which examined the top 200 theatrical releases of the year, 15.5% of film leads in 2021 films were Black, 7.1% Latinx, 5.6% Asian, and 0.4% Native. White actors made up 61.1%.

Marrying an opportune moment with ongoing activism, the UOMA Beauty team and founder Sharon Chuter, spray paint cans in hand, covered the iconic Hollywood sign in a variety of skin tones for the day of the ceremony. The six skin color groups the brand uses for its foundation range served as hue inspiration: White Pearl, Fair Lady, Honey Honey, Bronze Venus, Brown Sugar, and Black Pearl. UOMA Beauty worked with Brazilian-founded creative agency Pereira O’Dell on the initiative.

“The Hollywood sign quite literally reflects off the city, so I wanted to make it a true reflection of the city and the diversity that lives here and, in the periphery, the rest of the world that looks up to and is highly influenced by Hollywood. What an amazing sight to see!” Chuter states. Unfortunately, the sign was back to its original, all-white font by the end of the Oscars.

“I know people will ask and question—‘did that really happen?’ Who cares? The conversation is what matters. We need to continue to push for equity. We must never fatigue. UOMA Beauty is focused on the mission and the importance of this message, and this is a strong visual of the world we want to see,” she adds.

Given the vast influence of Hollywood in shaping consumer views and mindsets, as well as the beauty industry at large—think of the far-reaching trends set by productions such as Euphoria—putting the brand’s message right in the heart of the district is a clear message for change. “Putting this visual in the minds of people hopefully sparks something in someone somewhere and makes them feel hopeful and seen,” she says. “In the end we are all trying our best to figure out how to successfully cohabitate in this new globalized existence and how to remove the historic structures that have created inequities to the benefit of a select few.” 

In a time where social, racial, and economic injustices are becoming more and more pressing, those stepping in for change must do so with an amplified voice. Whether it’s Dame telling anti-abortion rights politicians to “Get F*cked” or UOMA’s guerrilla makeover of the Hollywood sign, in challenging times, the power of the bravery to be bold will prevail.


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