Who Qualifies as a "Woman of Color"?

Back in February, I attended A Conversation About Women of Color in the Clean Beauty Industry with Beautycounter at the Prince St. store in NYC. Early on in the conversation, the consultant next to me raised an interesting point that I hadn’t previously considered: She said she had invited her friend of Indian-descent to the store that night, but her friend opted not to come because she didn’t feel like “women of color” included her. In other words, she thought the term “women of color” was synonymous with black women.

By definition, “women of color” includes everyone who is not white, although I can understand the confusion. WoC is often used interchangeably with "black women,” and can be misinterpreted as an exclusionary term for Asian, Latina, Native American, mixed race, and anyone who falls outside of the black-white binary. And it’s worth mentioning that that’s the way I use the term here at Freckles On Point.