A viral petition is calling on Capezio, one of the biggest names in dancewear, to create its pointe shoes in darker shades to match a wider range of skintones.
Ballet dancers of color often are forced to use tubes of foundation to cake their pink pointe shoes, said the petition, which is asking Capezio to “start producing pointe shoes that are made for more than those who have a white or tan skin tone.”
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“Dancers of color are often told to obtain brown pointe ballet shoes (the hard-toed lace-up shoes you probably associate with ballet), and not the traditional pink,” the petition, which has been signed by more than 284,000 people, reads. “But few manufacturers make brown pointe shoes — not only is there very little diversity in ballet itself, but what exacerbates the issue is that there is often zero diversity in shoe shades. If you don’t fit the one shade of shoe color, you automatically feel like you don’t belong.”
“Little by little we have been adding colors and sizes to our product lines such as our tights and foundations collections because our motto is ‘Dance is for Everyone,'” a Capezio representative told FN. “We will certainly continue these efforts into our many product lines to reflect that statement. Our community is our family.”
In recent years, brands across the fashion and beauty industries have expanded their concepts of what “nude” means to include darker shades in addition to peach-colored options. In the shoe space specifically, both Christian Louboutin and Stuart Weitzman have added increased nude options over the past few years to match a wider range of skintones.
What’s more, another Change.org petition, which went viral last week, called on fellow ballet shoe maker Bloch to expand its line of pointe shoes and offer more colorways. The company recently announced that it will add darker shoes of pointe shoes for fall 2020, telling FN: “we will be introducing darker shades into our Pointe shoes and Blochsox range in fall this year, with further product announcements to follow.”