I can't even begin to explain how taxing it is to scroll through social media in search of beauty inspiration and not see a single shade or style suitable for your skin tone. Imagery is powerful, and the lack of representation when it comes to showcasing diversity has taken a toll on women (and me) for far too long. Growing up, it was rare for me to see aspirational images of women with dark skin tones in the mainstream media. This is why Pinterest's latest search feature is so incredibly monumental.
Yesterday, Pinterest announced the latest addition to its visual platform that allows users to search its beauty category by skin tone. (This is currently available to U.S. Pinterest users, but will hopefully roll out to other territories soon.) According to a press release, Pinterest recently conducted a study surveying its users, which revealed that 70% rely on Pinterest for everyday beauty inspiration. The problem? Many users stated that they couldn't find what they were looking for.
To sort out Pinterest's eight-billion beauty resources better, the team decided to add the skin tone search function to its platform to make the experience more personalised and inclusive. This is major.
If you're wondering how the search function works, look no further: Once you log on to Pinterest, type "beauty" in the search tool. On the left-hand corner, you'll see four palettes of skin tones ranging from deep to medium to light. (Pinterest plans on expanding these shade ranges even more in the future once its technology improves.) Speaking of technology, the platform utilised an app called ModiFace, which specialises in artificial intelligence that detects paint chips to accurately identify a range of skin tones. Moreover, Modiface helps Pinterest produce algorithms for skin-tone detection.
"We want to make discovery as inclusive as possible so that anyone in the world can find personally relevant ideas," Pinterest's head of discovery product Omar Seyal told Teen Vogue. "[Beauty] is one of our most searched categories, and most people are looking for beauty ideas they can try in their daily life," he says. "While skin tone is only one element of trait-based personalization, we felt it was the right place to start in order to help pinners find more relevant pins they could try from makeup tutorials to skincare products," says Seyal.
So long to the endless scrolling on Pinterest in search of products made for you. This new function makes discovering diverse skin tone images easier (something that women everywhere have been yearning for). Let's hope Pinterest keeps the good work up and launches the search functionality worldwide. Progress looks good.