The Mac mexican makeup controversy: naming colors "Juarez" offends
MAC Cosmetics and Rodarte created a makeup collection inspired by Kate and Laura Mulleavy's trip to Mexico. The sisters said they "were struck by the ethereal landscape and the impoverished factory workers floating to work at dawn in a sleepy, dreamlike state." which may explain the hollow-eyed gothy pale look the makeup created. The Mac Rodarte collection contains pale lavenders, shimmering lipglosses and pale pinks.
A few well-chosen make-up bloggers were sent samples and the press release, but there was a makeup-blogger backlash. Forget mommy-bloggers, and grannybloggers, makeup-bloggers are fierce - and they were all very offended by the names of the colors in this collection. "The Frisky" headlined with: MAC/Rodarte Makeup Collaboration Names Nail Polish After Impoverished, Murdered Women. Liloblog called it not edgy - "Insensitive", and Yinka at Vexinthecity tracked the issue plus all blogs posts about it, and while she was at it declared the whole palette B.O.R.I.N.G. You tell'em, girl. Chicagoblog agrees: MAC Rodarte makeup named for Juarez is not pretty, but mainly because poverty, factory work and women being killed in Juarez is not pretty.
Color lines has a whole story on The Beauty Bloggers Who Blew MAC and Rodarte's Juarez Cover and now finally MAC Responds To Rodarte Controversy With Action. The New York Mag says that Mac will donate a portion of profits, for programs to help the women and girls of the troubled city Juarez.
Bill at MakeTheLogoBigger discards the idea that the brand protest was engineered, even though the collection was announced six months ago and the controversy erupted just now. "Sex sells and so does controversy. If they could build controversy out of sleepy bordertown themes, then don’t you think they would have?"
If you look at Rodarte, they love the ghostly, the fairies & the dreamy witchcrafty type stuff, check out their studio as The Style Rookie Tavi saw it when she visited. That they would come up with something that looks like a pale-pink goth chick seems quite natural. What is stranger is that Kate and Laura Mulleavy's mom is latina, yet they created a palette with Mexican names that is so pale it will vanish on darker complexions - and stranger still is that MAC who have always offered palette colors for all colors, bought it. Right, it goes with all that pale layered tulle. Gotcha. Perhaps Sookie will be wearing their collection in her next True Blood fairy-coma dream. I know who won't be wearing it, and that is anyone with olive skin.
The names "Bordertown", "Factory" and "Badlands" may not seem so controversial out of context, but coupled with the city name Juarez, the unofficial female murder capitol of the world, it's downright creepy. M.A.C cosmetics have an AIDS fund, and have been involved other causes for years, so it seems they of all brands, should know better. Did they? Was this just a clever way of getting more people to think about it and notice the issue, maybe rent that Jennifer Lopez movie to study up?
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