If anyone knows how to capitalize on social media, it’s Cardi B. The famous singer and rapper not only took off her career thanks to Vine and Instagram but now she’s using her fan base to teach the public a lesson in Afro-Latinidad.
The daughter of a Dominican father and a Trinidadian mother, BElcalis MArlenis Almánzar (aka, Cardi B), knows firsthand the identity segmentation among the Hispanic community, where racism and distancing from Afro roots are deeply marked.
One only needs to remember her followers’ reactions when Cardi B decided to show her natural Afro on networks to understand how little is known about Afro-Latinidad.
“Being Hispanic/Latina don’t make your hair long, don’t make your skin light or don’t make your face features slim specially Latin countries from the Caribbean islands (sic),” she wrote in the caption of a new picture on Instagram after announcing her new haircare product line.
“Dna have something to do with your hair not your nationality but guess what you can always maintain your hair …..and one more things not everyone that speaks Spanish is Mexican,” she added.
“This year I will be coming out with a haircare line,” Cardi B wrote. “I think [it is] time for people to educate themselves on nationality, race and ethnicity.”
Cardi B said the haircare line was something she had been working on for herself and her daughter’s hair. We still don’t know if the line will contain a hair mask product, the recipe for which she shared online last year. The mask included avocado, argan oil, mayonnaise, black castor oil, olive oil, two eggs, honey, and banana.
The Latina rapper’s business bet has its eye on a growing market.
According to Nielsen, in 2020, Latino consumers under 35 spent $663 million on beauty products, with hair care, hair color, and nail care dominating.
Juvan Jose Amaya, a partner at consulting firm Juve, said the Latino beauty market is in transition.
“We are slowly shifting the idea that Latinas have nice hazel or green eyes, or look ‘exotic,'” he told WWD. “As a generation, we hate the word exotic, that’s a big ‘no’… [beauty is] starting to become a little more … inclusive and accepting of natural features, such as curly hair.”
However, for Cardi B, the initiative is twofold because if anything has been lacking in the industry, it’s fair representation.