I was not surprised to see this FB 'friend' post this yesterday. She tends to share a lot of unsubstantiated content from left leaning news sites and blogs, along with racially biased invalidated information. I don't bother wasting my time trying to have a conversation with her because I believe it wouldn't be very fruitful. I do, however, like talking about these things here on Steemit because from my experience, the people here are much better at having constructive dialogue without mudslinging and ad hominem. So let's talk about it!
This person happens to be a black female, thus she insists on buying products that work the best for her type of hair. It just so happens that these products that work the best for her, cost more than other products, specifically those aimed and marketed towards white people. Because of this, she believes in something called a black tax.
If you recall, there was some news circulation recently about how women have been paying a pink tax. Women's products tend to cost more than the 'exact' same product that a man would buy. Razors are the best example of this, imo. Women will pay more for a pink razor than the gray or black razor that a man would buy, even though the actual use of the product is the exact same...it's a razor, color is irrelevant to its usage. If the only difference is that a product is pink, why don't women just buy men's razors?? Well, it's because they're not the same product.
Readers Digest did an article and asked razor manufacturers why the price discrepancy, here is what they said:
- The most important difference to the consumer is the “shave angle” of the two. A man’s razor has a greater angle on the blade, what the razor industry calls “aggressive exposure,” for two reasons. Men’s beards are tougher than women’s leg or underarm hair, and require more effort to be cut and, at least as important, women complain much more than men about nicks and cuts, the inevitable consequence of the aggressive exposure of the men’s blades. Women don’t particularly like putting hosiery over red splotches, while men seem perfectly content walking around their offices in the morning with their faces resembling pepperoni pizzas.
- Most women’s razors have a greater arc in the head of the razor, so that they can see the skin on the leg more easily as they shave.
- Women don’t shave as frequently as men, especially in the winter, when most wear pants and long-sleeved blouses. Schick offers a “Personal Touch” razor line for women that features guard bars that contain combs, so that longer hair is set up at the proper angle for shaving.
So in fact, they are not the same product (same goes for common pain meds vs. pain meds for women during their menstrual cycle). If you still think they are the same product (or you're fine using a men's razor as a woman) why would you even bother paying more for the same thing? If your only answer is because you prefer the pink over the black or gray, then you can't call it a tax. Your choice on purchases is completely up to you. If all women bought men's razors because they are the exact same, do you really think razor manufacturers would even produce pink ones anymore? I think not.
So now let's look at the aforementioned black tax. This fable is just as ludicrous as the latter. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that black people and white people tend to have different hair types. Which would makes sense then that products for different types of hair would have different ingredients to care for the specific type it was designed for. I'll spare you the differences in white people vs black peoples hair types because I think it's rather obvious. But to say that because your hair product costs more (and you get less) simply because of your skin color, is preposterous. It simply comes down to the economics of the product and the market willing to buy it.
I liken this example to the fact that an oil change for my wife's imported car (BMW) costs three times as much as the one for my American car (Lincoln). Does this mean there is an import car tax when it comes to oil changes because they are more expensive than an American car model? Of course not. The BMW has a different engine and different requirements that make it more expensive. I'll omit the difference in cost for labor and stick strictly to product cost for comparison reasons. Regular oil for my Lincoln costs a lot less than the synthetic oil that my wife's BMW costs. That's because even though they are both engine oil, they have different ingredients for different reasons.
To shut down this pink tax and black tax and insert any other color tax here nonsense, is to think economically. If there truly was a color tax, it wouldn't last long, as we know for a fact that competition lowers prices in a free market. If I can make the same woman's razor as one of the big companies and not have it be pink but a lower price, it would already have been done. We wouldn't even be having this conversation.
So to my FB friend, I kindly say, that there is no such thing as a black tax. The products you use for your hair are more expensive for a myriad of reasons. More than likely it is the ingredients in the products that cost more than the ones white people tend to use. Also, the market for black hair products (at least here in the USA) is not even close to being on par with hair products for white people. Economics tells us that because of the smaller market, prices will tend to be higher than the mass marketed products to white people.
Your hair products don't cost more simply because you are black. They cost more because of ingredients, market size, market research, product testing, and a lot of other factors which determine how these products get on the shelves in the first place.
So, no, there is no #blacktax.