Throughout history in fashion, beige has been considered the universal “nude” skin colour. Not only is the incredibly inconvenient for women of colour, it is dismissing anyone who does not match it.
From lingerie, to band-aids, hosiery and ballet-point shoes – the consistent disregard for skin colours outside of white in everyday garments has been a problematic hurdle for women over the centuries.
Simply put – nude is not one colour-fits-all.
Merriam-Webster defines nude as,
“(1): having a colour that matches the wearer’s skin tones; nude pantyhose; nude lipstick.
(2): giving the appearance of nudity a nude dress”
But one quick google search for “Nude heels” gives way to pages and pages of online stores selling cream or beige heels, advertised as nude skin colour.
The redefining of nude has been a long time coming. Celebrities, such as Rihanna with her Savage X Fenty inclusive lingerie line, have powered forward with this movement in order to bring realistic and inclusive options to the table.
Now, Australian model Natalie Roser has brought Australia onto the map with her very own line; Rose and Bare.
According to Popsugar, Natalie wanted to provide a greater spectrum of skin coloured underwear for the women of Australia;
“Australia is such a beautiful, multicultural country and I was surprised that so many underwear brands ignored the diversity…”
The intent behind wearing flesh-coloured underwear or clothing is to blend in and complement your personal skin tone – and look seamless.
The use of language in fashion is important to ensure women of colour are not deliberately left on the sidelines. A powerful piece written by Nicola Smith for online magazine My Black Matters, examined this issue for women of colour;
“This explicit exclusion of women of colour in nude fashion. It is as obvious as saying, that this beige shade is the “norm”…”
While the industry has still got a long way to go – designers and celebrities taking it upon themselves to change the narrative of shopping for nude clothing, may be the push the industry needs to become an environment where all nude skin tones are catered for.
What are some of your experiences with ‘nude’ underwear? Let us know in the comments down below!