A young ballerina has gone viral this week after she filmed her reaction to finally receiving pointe ballet shoes that match her skin tone.
Not only is this a step in the right direction for diversity, but it is also so heartwarming! Read on to see her incredible reaction...
Now, there's absolutely no denying that people with darker skin tones struggle to find certain products that match properly...
Such as makeup and items of clothing.
Over the last few years, the beauty industry has been slammed for failing people of color...
But change has been happening.
Thanks to the incredibly successful product launch of Rihanna's Fenty Beauty, which addressed the whitewashing of the beauty industry, any brands now launching with fewer than forty shades of foundation are seen to be slacking.
No more is the beauty industry totally dominated by white women and fair skin tones...
But sadly, the same can't be said about other aspects of the beauty and fashion world.
Certain items of clothing continue to lack diversity...
And people of color sadly continue to struggle to find appropriate clothing and footware that will suit their skin tones.
Well, this is exactly what Kira Robinson has been having to deal with during most of her life as a ballerina.
Kira, who is eighteen, is a first-year ballet student at the University of Oklahoma and has recently opened up about her struggles finding ballet shoes that match her skin tone.
Speaking to Good Morning America, Kira explained how she would always have to "pancake" her ballet shoes with her foundation to make them match...
And she explained the weekly routine can be both costly and time-consuming.
"Sometimes it's frustrating and annoying, but it's just how it is."
Kira has just taken these issues with a pinch of salt.
"The dance world is slow to accept POC (person of color) dancers, and I've just had to deal with it and do what I need to do to perform," she said.
But last month, a huge change was finally made that immediately made Kira's life so much easier.
Suffolk Pointe Shoe Co. has finally released brown pointe shoes and when Kira filmed her reaction to receiving her very own pair on TikTok, she immediately went viral.
People have been left overjoyed to see Kira finally own a pair of brown shoes...
But it also made many feel frustrated over how its taken this long for diversity to be acknowledged in the world of ballet.
In the video, Kira is seen excitedly opening the box containing her new shoes.
"This is so exciting because this means I don't have to pancake my shoes anymore," she says as she reveals her new, and much more appropriate, shoes.
Beaming with excitement, Kira pointed out how her shoes match her skin tone perfectly...
And she also explained how revolutionary the release of these shoes is.
"I can't tell you how revolutionary this is that I don't have to pancake them with foundation to make them my skin color like, this is just... I'm so excited!"
Speaking further to GMA, the young woman explained how "ecstatic" she was when she realized Suffolk was releasing the new range of diverse shoes.
"I've been wearing pink ones ever since I was a young girl, but when I heard they were creating brown ones, I couldn't believe it. I knew I had to grab a pair."
"I think we are seeing more diversity in products because of the Black Lives Matter movement," she said.
"A lot of people were fed up with companies' lack of effort in diversifying their brand and it has taken a long time to see that change. Many have signed and sent petitions to ballet brands to create more colors in their products, and Suffolk was one that heard our plea and started making those changes."
Keri Suffolk, director of Suffolk Pointe Shoe Co, spoke to GMA about their new diverse range.
"For generations, the demand was almost exclusively for pink satin pointe shoes as class dress codes dictated a black leotard, pink tights, and pink pointe shoes," she said.
"Professional dancers have been able to pancake their shoes for quite a while, but for a performance, even professionals must wear what the artistic director or choreographer has determined to be the look they want for the piece. Social change in several forms has challenged many to ask why dress codes and costuming choices are limited to pink shoes only."
"Dance reflects the creativity and humanity of our society and pointe shoes should reflect artists of all colors, rather than limit or exclude."
"We are hoping these additions are just the beginning, and that dancers of the next generation will never know being limited to only one color option for their pointe shoes," Suffolk explained.
Kira said she is very proud to be in a place where she can motivate others during Black History Month and commended the modifications that are taking place in ballet.
She also hopes to be a role model for young dancers who want to follow in her footsteps.
"When they see me in brown tights and pointe shoes, it can be inspiring for them. I hope that people will look up to me and realize there can always be a brown ballerina on the stage."
You can watch her video here:
And all we can say is... simply amazing!
Let's hope that this huge step forward will prompt other huge companies to follow suit soon for people of color.