Friday, October 15, 2010

Blog 8: The Politics of Makeup

So, I could not really figure out a correlation between this week’s readings and my topic of makeup.  I came closest in finding a topic in Tricia Rose’s essay, “A Style Nobody can Deal With: Politics, style and the Postindustrial City in Hip Hop,” however, what I got from this essay was how hip hop developed from the postindustrial cities in New York in the 70s and 80s when the urban areas were basically left with a less than desirable economic situation, and how the youth of New York took these experiences and hip hop blossomed. To sum in up.  This, however, is not something I want to address in terms of beauty and makeup. So instead, since politics is mentioned in this essay, I am going to write about a recent political issue that was recently raised in the beauty community.

“MAC collaborated with designer brand Rodarte to release a collection called Rodarte, which they claim is inspired by the ‘etheral beauty of the towns that border USA and Mexico.’ In particular, they named two of their nail polish colours Juarez (a pale pink) and Factory (a pale green). These two names in particular received much backlash, as people accused MAC of exploiting the controversy and violence there for their own profit. In particular, Juarez and Factory were really offensive to many girls, because Juarez is pretty much a poster child for violence, drug crimes, cross-border trafficking, and border-town factories.”1 But the main crimes in particular that are associated with this Mexican city are femicide and rape. Many women in this town are raped and go missing every year with little to no report of these crimes.

Even MAC’s campaign photo for the collection is quite disturbing:

If you look at the photo, the model is quite skinny, pretty much emaciated, and her makeup is done to make her skin look extremely pale, her eye shadow is just a ring of dark shadow around her eyes, and her face is contoured to make her cheeks and face look even more sunken. If you look even closer, on the left of the ad, you can see an outline of a women. A ghost.

Coming from an uber, major makeup company like MAC, I think they should know better and I find this extremely stupid and ignorant on their part. Yes, some companies like to push the boundaries such as NARS naming a couple of their blushes orgasm and deep throat, but they did not come out with an entire collection based on sex or porn. Even if they did I think it would have been less offensive than this Rodarte collecion.


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