Discrimination, Skincare, Topicals, French Spa

Topicals Skincare Brand Shares Racist Experience At French Spa

The Black woman-owned company has made waves transforming the world of skincare with its inclusive messaging and formula.

The skincare brand Topicals reported that they faced racial discrimination and harassment while visiting Megève, France as part of a brand trip, according to a series of posts on X from the company. 

“At one of the establishments on our itinerary, we experienced discrimination, harassment, and were threatened to have law enforcement called on us,” the Black-owned company shared in a thread to its 25,000 followers. 

“Experiencing racism and Islamophobia in this magnitude as a group of Black and Brown creators was horrific to say the least,” it continued. “Nonetheless, our guests and team are good. And in true Topicals fashion, we took our business elsewhere —quick, fast, and in a hurry.” 

The brand trip hosted several prominent Black and brown creators from the US and the UK, including influencer Nella Rose, who rose to fame after producing content on YouTube and Tik Tok. Though Topicals did not name the establishment or its location, Rose reposted a story tagging @qcterme which, belongs to the spa QC Terme Chamonix, advising her Instagram followers against visiting. 

The former I’m A Celebrity contestant took to her Instagram stories to recount the experience, where she alleged that she and her friends were stopped by a man when visiting the establishment’s swimming pool, who refused to let them in due to her friend’s modest swimwear and hijab. 

“I’m speaking to him in French and I’m just like, ‘they’re wearing swimwear and it might look like it’s legging and a top but it’s actually swimwear. Like the material is swimwear, they’re not breaking any rules or whatever,’” Rose said in the video.

She then stated that the man directed them to a nearby shop to purchase bikinis or other swimwear but that they were not allowed in as they were. Rose and her friends planned to leave and share their experience on social media. “You’re not going to discriminate [against] our friend and expect us to stay or whatever,” she said. Several cities across France have banned ‘burkinis’ since 2016, a common modest swimwear among hijabis, according to CNN. 

However, before departing, they were once again stopped by a lifeguard at the establishment, who told the group that people felt “uncomfortable” with their presence.

“So not only are you Islamophobic but people are uncomfortable because 20 black people with pink eye patches have come in and they felt uncomfortable,” Rose continued on her story while laughing. 

Rose stated that she believes that nobody was actually uncomfortable and that the people around them were happy to see them. However, she says that it was instead the establishment itself that had an issue with them being there. She then revealed that they were threatened with arrest following the confrontation.

“What we getting arrested for,” she continued. “That Islamophobic s—, that racist s—, we wasn’t going to stand for it so we left.”

On X, formerly known as Twitter, Topicals expressed a commitment to its mission to continue platforming marginalized influencers. “As a Black-owned brand, we will not allow this to stop us. We will continue to place Black and Brown creators at the forefront of our branded experiences. Discrimination cannot and will not stop us,” it said. 

The company also pledged to donate $10,000 USD to French Muslim and Black organizations and encouraged its followers to list organizations in need. “Thank you to everyone who has supported and found joy in our #TopicalsSlickAlps brand trip. There’s much more to come,” it wrote.

QC Terme Chamonix has not yet responded to BLACK ENTERPRISE‘s request for comment.

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