A question we get quite frequently is “how did you so effectively tap into the gay market?” and, we have to be honest when we say, we take offense to this. In the wake of other beauty supply companies “coming around” or “adopting tolerance” to avoid being boycotted by normal humans and to expand their market to the LGBTQIA community, we think it is the opposite of acceptance and equality, and is, instead, a sickening sales tactic.
Since the 1970s, Manic Panic® has been the name of colorful hair dyes that allow people to express themselves. We have always adopted the policy that there is no point to fitting in when you can stand out instead. And, in doing so, we embrace all people and believe that everyone has the right to express themselves — so long as it doesn’t come at the expense of animals, of course! We have never excluded any type of person and have always celebrated individuality, no matter who you are. After all, our differences are the spice of life!
So, sure, we could exploit movements like Pride month to target our lesbian, bi-sexual, gay, trans, queer, inter-sex, or asexual customers, but why would we? Every month is pride month here at Manic Panic and everyone is, and always have been, welcome here! In today’s post, we will attempt to give some advice to those who are struggling to adopt an inclusive view or need some pointers on how to be an ally for all people.
And, as a side note, we’d like to mention that this article is meant to help, but is not an all-inclusive “how to overcome your bigotry to make sales” how-to guide. This is simply a reflective attempt to qualify what we’ve always just done.
Live in color.
Life is too short and beautiful to live in black and white. Express yourself and your individual point of view with some color. At Manic Panic, we love semi-permanent hair color because we know that moods change with the stars and your hair color should too. We also know that attempting to label and define everything on a scale of black to white is just so….. Confining. Restrictive. Boring. Hateful. Love, like life, is fluid, it ebbs and flows, it comes and goes. Your hair color should too!
Takeaway: toss your labels in the trash and celebrate outside of your own thoughts. Uniqueness is what makes life worth celebrating!
This is big, listen closely. You have to identify your own internal bias and be honest about it. We were all raised a certain way, but you can only blame ignorance for so long. It is 2019 and people know better, the information is there. The only way to be ignorant is to choose to be, and that’s just hateful.
Being an ally is not a noun, it is a verb. It requires constant action. Correcting ill behaviors and consistently advocating for those you care for. The thing about oppression is that it is as constant as your heartbeat. It never rests and nor shall you. Being an ally is not stating your support, donating to the cause, or having an LGBTQIA friend. Being an ally is not retreating into your privilege when it is convenient or easier.
The days of “BEing the change you want to see” are gone, and now is the time for action. Look within yourself and identify the things you think, do, or say that express your bias and only serve to perpetuate hate.
Don’t target groups.
Here’s why we think we have been the unofficial LGBTQIA cosmetic company for decades - we have never singled this community out. At Manic Panic, we have always welcomed anyone and everyone who wants to make a statement or sport brightly colored hair (oh, and lips and nails too!). We didn’t have to make a commercial flaunting the fact that we are an inclusive company because it’s just understood. We’ve never had to advertise that Manic Panic supports the LGBTQIA community because our customers already know. As we’ve said, we have never excluded anyone. So, in the height of racial movements, feminist agenda, Pride month, and political unrest, here we are just waiting to color your hair.
The power of inclusiveness cannot be understated. A feeling of belonging and acceptance is what people seek more than anything. And, as we all know, actions speak much louder than words. We hope this has helped answer some questions and allowed you to identify where Manic Panic differs as a company. If you are ready to live in color and give inclusivity a try, find the Manic Panic hair color that suits you and color up! Our products are as human-friendly as they are animal-friendly! Check us out on Instagram to get ideas and inspiration from our Manic Panic community!