Thursday, November 29, 2012

Illamasqua and blackface - a study in poor customer relations

*EDIT* Trigger warning for racism, swearing, angry gifs. So, so many angry gifs.

Today's post derails from my normal review-based content, but it is something I feel very strongly about. Skip this if you want, but honestly, I would much more prefer you read ahead for my thoughts on a recent incredible cock-up by a beauty brand. To preface - this is not me acting as a mouthpiece for the black community. I'm literally the whitest person ever, and it would be not on for someone of such white privilege to hijack other personal experiences and diminish their meaning. That is not my place. This is the retelling of a beauty brand royally fucking up, and their continued offending of customers.



You might have heard about Illamasqua's Christmas campaign with the tagline "I'm not dreaming of a white Christmas". Cute, right? There's a lot they could do with this, and I've always been a fan of their products.

Then I saw that they had chosen this image to represent the campaign on their Australian Facebook page.




Remind you of anything?



Stylised, sure, but a definate example of blackface. The black make-up, exaggerated lips, formal tux, bowtie and top hat. All of these things feature heavily in blackface, historically used to belittle, mock and discredit black people, who you may remember were also enslaved and treated miserably simply because of their skin colour. To use blackface is a terrible thing to do. To exploit the history of blackface to sell a product is even worse.

If you don't know the history of minstrel, please don't claim ignorance. Even Wikipedia has a decent description.

I immediately wrote a comment beneath the picture (which was being used to garner competition entries) to say I was disappointed in Illamasqua's choice to use the photo due to its very strong resemblance to a hateful stereotype. I was joined by more voices asking the brand to take the image down and apologise. We were then joined by those who were defensive of the brand.




These defenders fall into several groups, and I'll describe the two most vocal here.

Firstly those who understand that people are offended by it, but claim Illamasqua as an entirely innocent party. They may have recognised those images as racist, but insisted the brand didn't mean to offend, and it was an accident!   If this is your opinion, I'd like to direct you to this well written piece, that helps explain that intent does not matter, it's how the action is perceived. You're almost there, but not quite.They may try to explain blackface as something we need to "get over it" as it happened soooooo long ago you, guys. To that I say, it's not that long ago at all, racism is alive and well and we simply cannot "get over it", and lastly images like this prove blackface is still being used today.

Others called those calling the brand out too sensitive, that we needed to harden up, some said as "art" the Illamasqua campaign was above critique and yet more said that they don't see race and anyone who finds anything racist must be the racist. These arguments are severely damaged, incorrect and misleading. They also make my head hurt.




Then there are those who most likely have a Southern Cross tattoo, sport a 'We grew here, you flew here bumper sticker' and believe they are victims of that magical beast "reverse racism". They make me facepalm so hard I can't tell where my face starts and my palm ends. No arguing with these mouthbreathers. They don't even deserve Internet access.




Illamasqua then made the situation worse by failing Internets 101, and deleting the entire thread. Because it's the Internets and people tend to keep records of things that piss them off, here's the thread, archived in full. In the interests of full disclosure, I'm the comments in orange. Go ahead and read through, I can wait.

Illamasqua then appeared to do nothing. No response, no apology. Nada. At this point, I said, fuck it, let's bring in the big guns. I tipped the now-deleted Facebook thread to Jezebel.com, who immediately wrote on it because sometimes they can be rad. This was picked up by Huffington Post, The Daily Mail, Perez Coco, Fashionista and a ton of blogs.

Illamasqua then released this statement, which is still active and filled with slightly more pissed off comments that I'd love for you to scroll through.




"We thank and acknowledge your comments regarding the above image. Obviously it was never our intention to cause offence; Illamasqua has always celebrated the right to self-expression and we continually push creative and artistic boundaries, priding ourselves on working with models of many ethnic backgrounds to reinforce this point. Alex Box, Illamasqua's Creative Director, has emphasised that this campaign is about colour ON the skin, not colour OF the skin, depicting polarity between the two images (both images are the same model) not race."


First, the faux-pology. Yuk. If they "thank and acknowledge" the critical comments, why were they deleted? Why were they not responded to comments directly? Why haven't they apologised for offending and degrading a very large group of people with a harmful statement? Why, why, WHY would they repost that very image that caused so much hurt?



It boggles my mind that something like this can happen and rather address the issue by apologising, removing the clearly offensive material and committing to a race relations re-education plan, Illamasqua chose to take the 'we didn't mean to offend you' route, in a scenario where intent is completely irrelevant. Again, the link above explains it far more beautifully than I ever could.
This non-response means NOTHING, but does a fab job at showing how little they care about customer's feelings and feedback, as well as y'know not being all racist. Total damage control fail.

Now to the image! This time around our minstrel friend is joined by a lass all in white. Illamasqua explains that it's the same (white) model used for both photos. Which leads me to ask, why are her lips cartoonishly inflated in the black make-up photo?



As you can see, the pale top lip is pumped up, again recalling the make-up of a minstrel. Is this really accidental?



That it obviously is high fashion, and fashion is above criticism. Fuck no, it isn't. I'm pretty Dolce and Gabbana, Vogue Italia and French Vogue know this too well after their own controversies.

That Australia doesn't have blackface here! This isn't America!
Seriously, back away from the keyboard before you do some damage. We are global citizens, and that means realising your actions don't occur in a vaccum. We accept American TV, pop culture, food, fashion and all that, but we refuse to acknowledge their history. That's some A-grade fuckery. Do we not remember this? Let's try real hard not to keep painting Australia of the backwoods of the world. I know we're better than this.

To conclude, and to all my readers, I hope I haven't been lecturing you. That is not my intent. I only hope to be an ally against racism. I am not looking for drama or to shit-stir. Nor am I a voice for people of colour. That is not my place, as their experiences are their own and not mine to claim or exploit. The best I can hope to do is to stand and say "That's not cool!" when something is offensive or degrading, and listen and learn from those directly affected. This post is based around how poorly a brand can react to customer feedback, and what not to do. I'm not going to further discuss the shades of racism in the offensive campaign, as it's simply inexcusable.

I know people have an emotional connection to cosmetics companies, because make-up IS personal. We live and die and grow with our favourites. However, it is clear here that Illamasqua does not love you, the customer, back. They will happily vilify and degrade an entire race, using a hate-charged history against them. Illamasqua will not listen to customer complaints, or apologise when an image from their advertising campaign obviously causes so much offense. They will miss opportunities to make it right to their fanbase in exchange for a quick buck and the exposure controversy brings. I used to like Illamasqua's range and advertising style. I even reviewed their products, and recommended their Skin Base range. I like the people I've met who work for them and always thought the company was just dandy.

However, this breach of customer's trust and basic fuck y'all attitude towards not apologising for an offensive campaign means that I have not desire to purchase anymore of Illamasqua's products. They have lost my money, my recommendations and my respect.


Before I hit publish, here's Illamasqua's latest non-apology, posted on their global FB pages.

 "Illamasqua is an independent British colour cosmetics brand founded on the principles of fairness, self-expression and delivering customers professional quality make-up. We embrace the diversity of humanity and feature people of all colours
, ages and genders in our campaigns.

Illamasqua has received some negative attention in regard to one particular image from our Christmas 2012 campaign launched earlier this month. It features a model theatrically painted white juxtaposed to the same model painted black. The model painted black has been interpreted by some as "black face". This was certainly not our intention nor inspiration.

Given that our objective with this imagery was to be playful, striking and fresh with the creation of mirror images in white and black, using colour ON the skin it is very saddening that those making negative comments are focusing on colour OF the skin. The colour of the skin didn't come into it at the time we created the imagery so we are shocked by the cynicism behind some of the comments.

The Huffington Post wrote about our campaign yesterday and a lot of the comments were very positive...

"Super dark girls look great... As such if a woman who knows this wants to achieve that sort of look, it's cool ... She can wear darkening make-up... It's her body (as the feminists love to say) ... I say, go for it!"

"Oh come on, this isn't racist. I'm a black woman saying this. It's obvious this is art. There's more than enough real racism in this country to deal with without attacking legitimate art"

In addition to the statement issued yesterday, we again acknowledge your comments regarding the Christmas imagery and thank you for taking the time to comment on our Facebook page."




Love how they yet again failed to apologise, cherry-picked only the positive comments from a Huffington Post article that calls the image offensive, ignored the complaints that far outnumber them and AGAIN served this up with the offensive image. You guys, I can't even with this fresh new fuckery. *rage-stroke*


 


63 comments:

  1. Holy shit M, that's a rant. BUT A GOOD ONE. I'm going to go all out and throw myself to the lions when I say the minstrel thing didn't click with me. HOWEVER, my immediate thoughts were along the lines of "WHY WOULD YOU PUT THAT PHRASE ON TO A NON-WHITE PERSON'S IMAGE" and 'HOW THE HELL IS THAT THE SAME MODEL, HER LIPS ARE DIFFERENT" - why yes, my thoughts were scattered. I may not have made the minstrel connection (just call me country), but I definitely saw that this image was NOT okay, and offensive at the least. So, being the sheltered country kid, if I can see racism there without historical relevance, why the fudge can't anyone else? (By the way, I have since read up on what minstrel is and I do recall seeing it as a child, not completely sheltered ha ha).

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  2. EVERYTHING YOU SAID AND CHERRIES ON TOP FOR THE USE OF LESLIE KNOPE'S STINKFACE.

    I am at the point now where I just do not want to know people who don't think this shit is any big deal. Blackface is a symbol of very real oppression. Would people defend a makeup company using swastikas in a campaign? Confederate flags? I have had it to the back teeth with willfully ignorant, privileged bubble-covered loser. Fuck all of you.

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  3. Which really upset me in all of this is that, even if in a 1-to-a-million chance that this was not intentional (hello!), they actually HIRE people to do their ads and stuff. It means people are PAID to do a certain job that includes, of course, RESEARCH! How can they not acknowledge this? And not apologize above all?
    Even if they were right, it would only look good for them to apologize in they hurt anyone's feelings! That's how a brand should work! Not defensive, not at all... Pathetic!

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  4. You're rants are always so entertaining! I completely agree with everything you've just stated. It angers me that they've deleted all the comments from people voicing their opinion just because it wasn't in support of the campaign. Did they really not expect that though? Poor market research or lack of common sense? It boggles my mind!

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  5. I saw the first apology on facebook and it was news to me that such an image was used in the christmas campaign. While I have very little knowledge about blackface I saw the racism straight away. There are so many things they could have done with the slogan "not dreaming of a white christmas" like playing around with seasons etc yet they come out with this??? wtf?

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  6. Your best post ever! So true and well researched. We LOL'd.

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  7. Speaking "as a person of colour" or whatever else you want to call me, I've noticed that white people tend to get offended by this sort of thing much more than the "victim" group. It's an interesting middle class hypercorrection sort of phenomenon (relevant SWPL link:http://stuffwhitepeoplelike.com/2008/05/28/101-being-offended/). I find this sort of open thing far less problematic and disturbing than the more subtle allusions to otherness that I come across every day, from well-educated but largely clueless white peeps who have no personal experience of this sort of thing ("Where are you originally from?" "Oh you're Chinese! I love your food" "Your English is really good for an Asian!"). It's hard to explain why one is so much more (for lack of a better word) insulting than the other - possibly because one is deliberate and in-your-face, and the other is a subconscious reflection of a social issue that no one really knows how to deal with, apart from waiting for society to evolve.

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  8. As a middle class white girl, I can't imagine how frustrating it must be to be from a race or culture that is underrepresented in the media and in the beauty and fashion industry. For a brand to be so unapologetic for their actions is concerning as it questions how they really feel about their customer base. Kind of ironic that their marketing team did not pick up on this image being offensive, they must have been too busy creating campaigns lowering their prices for Australians. You know, because they care so much about us having to pay higher prices when it's money going into their pocket either way. It's not that I'm not appreciative of the gesture but I mean really we know it was just a massive marketing tactic to get their brand more well known in Australia. I will be interested to hear more on who Illamasqua do and don't care about in the future.

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  9. Thanks so much for your input, Michelle. I know that I'm definitely not the best person to be discussing this, so I've kept the racial analysis to a minimum as it's not my place. This was a beauty-related issue, and something I've been thinking about recently in regards to my own biases, and as such an obvious example of beauty marketing fail, I thought it would be worth touching on.
    You're again right about subtle racism being very harmful as people who would flare up about this may still ignore their own hurtful language, which is such a sneaky way of othering people.
    I admit my own very white privilege, and hope that I check myself well enough to avoid spreading those harmful types of statement you've mentioned over.
    Feel free to call me on my shit, I always willing to sit my arse down and listen, as your experience is extremely important and I have no right or claim on it.

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  10. Was it a rage-LOL?

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  11. Thanks for reading and commenting. It's sad that they've decided to go with this when there were millions of other worthwhile images they could have chosen.

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  12. I think they panicked and are now trying to be all "but it's art!". Poor move.

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  13. I'm starting to think it was a shameless marketing move, seeing the lack of remorse.
    1. Blackface campaign.
    2. Outrage.
    3.????
    4. PROFIT!

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  14. It was a LOL of pleasure. Once again, a very good read. x

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  15. Thanks for that link, Chels!
    I wouldn't begrudge you for not getting it to start with. What's important is you took this as a learning opportunity, clicked around to educate yourself and listened. That's the very best thing you can do, and I encourage to keep doing it!

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  16. Eep, link not working?

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  17. Speaking of failures, I fail at putting links in brackets. Try this one http://thesocialskinny.com/and-finally-a-real-social-media-fail-to-learn-from-the-story-of-channel-7/ x

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  18. I think racism and sexism are often quite similar, and the range of experiences of racism are quite large (I've been relatively lucky to only have gotten at most a few name-callings and public transport harassments, and a boyfriend who likes to remind people in public that I have a slanty vagina), so it's difficult for me to pretend I have more of a claim on this issue than most people, but I do like to ramble on about my weird experiences meeting all my boyfriend's upper-middle class family friends in their super white neighbourhood with one Chinese Restaurant called "Chinese Restaurant". And rest assured that I will flick you on your permanent sunburn if you ever get too white...

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  19. You're so right, we can't understand, but we can listen to those underrepresented and apologise when we offend.
    Someone has also pointed out to me that their lower prices campaign has co-opted the Black Power political image of a closed fist.
    Because fighting for civil rights is totes the same as a brand marketing a price change....

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  20. ohmygod. This is incredibly well written, great job. I saw you tweeting about this the other day - glad you wrote this up as I'll now be avoiding the brand completely. I missed the FB hoo-haa so am reading through the comments now with interest.

    I cannot believe their response. I mean, to be offensive in the first place - that is pretty atrocious, but their reaction just says it all to me. To me, that is a bigger issue than the offending image. Everyone makes mistakes but it's how we learn from them and react to them that matters. In my opinion, anyway.

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  21. Chiming in here to say I think it's really sad that you have any experience with name-callings and public transport harassments in regards to race. Fuck. That.

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  22. I am not going to pretend that I have a right to be offended or not offended, but I think this is a good case of where perhaps a little marketing creativity wasn't executed quite right and then the backlash could have been handled a bit better. If the idea had be squashed at the little marketing creativity phase then it wouldn't have become as offence as it stands now.


    Personally, I do not know a whole heap about blackface. It certainly wasn't something I was taught in all my years at acting school nor in regular school. I would say Wikipedia has taught me more about it then anything else. I personally chose not to like this particular Illamasqua campaign when it hit my inbox weeks ago because I thought their message was unclear. I didn't recognise the blackface association until you pointed it out but when I first saw the campaign it was the tagline that through me. As you said, it could have meant many things and it was the imagery they chose that confused me.


    I guess what I am trying to say is that I don't like the campaign but I don't think it changes my opinion of the brand as a whole because I know how one little idea can be seen in a certain way but then seen the complete opposite by the public.

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  23. Wow I had no idea. That's pretty sneaky. I have to stop reading the comments on their Facebook page because it's making me too angry.

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  24. Hi

    Thank you so much for posting this. Maybe as a follow up, we could
    put together a list of Illamasqua alternatives for Aussies? There are a lot good independent make up brands in Australia now which deserve the spotlight.

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  25. Not to mention if they really thought that was unfair, then why did they price gouge us in the first place? Why did customers have to subscribe in addition to the petition? Their tactics are stupid and appropriative.

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  26. I would not say that white people get more offended by this. I am a WoC and I am offended by this, a lot people posting on the FB are also PoC as well.

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  27. That's disgusting! A pox on all those who harass you!
    And that restaurant name is actually bizarre, guess the patrons need it spelled out for them?

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  28. Glad you came by for a read! I agree, Illamasqua's reaction to this is what is further damaging their brand. Good brands listen, adapt, and don't delete customer concerns.

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  29. Totally understand where you coming from, Kimmi. Blackface is something not really expanded on here in Australia, and I only really understood myself a few years ago.
    If they had taken a different route and apologised for their mis-step, this wouldn't have been as big a deal. I doubt that I would have boycotted the brand - mistakes do happen. But they dropped the ball and failed to show that they listen to genuine concerns from customers, continued offending and that's what gotten me worked up. That type of played out ignorance is insulting in a whole new way.
    Really appreciate you coming by.

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  30. Thanks for coming over to comment, I really appreciate your input, and hope that I haven't overstepped or hijacked your experience (noting that you've identified as a WoC).
    That's a great idea re. promoting the independent MU brands. I've bookedmarked the ones you've mentioned on that other thread, and am looking forward to getting decked out in local brands.

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  31. Oh dear.
    Firstly Michaela, I want to say you did a fantastic job on this article. I love that you included all of those references for those who do claim ignorance, and that you included an extensive screenshot for those of us who did miss it on Facebook.

    As a white person I can't really say that I will ever truly understand what the black community (here and across the globe) have been through. I don't think this is a matter of being offended if you're part of the black community because it's targeting them, or being offended because of white guilt, it's just a matter of right and wrong. No matter what your race, gender, sexuality or any other type of stereotype, you shouldn't have to put up with a huge international brand poking fun, especially using something like blackface.
    If you choose not to be offended (whether you are from the black community or not) is your personal decision. As a white person, I'm not offended because I'm guilty, I'm offended because it is wrong. I'm even more offended they didn't have the decency to just understand what they did, apologise to everybody and move on. I can understand their desire to be "understood" that they meant no harm, but their faux-pology just took them 10 steps back.

    Again, thank you Michaela for a great article. Sorry for the rant, this kind of thing just gets me so fired up, but it makes me have faith in the world to see that so many people agree with you.
    xx

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  32. If anything, THANK YOU for the gif's! Freaking hilarious.



    And yes, totally behind your statements.

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  33. No, that's fine. It's good to have a write up and support from allies. I think you nailed it in this one.
    It's good to see some sanity from people because the comments on the FB are rage inducing.

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  34. "One little idea" that passed through the hands of who knows how many people at the company and NOT ONE of them thought, "Wait... this is a bit off."? I think that people who are not outraged by this just don't want to take a stand because god forbid that they have to stop buying something they like for the sake of principles.

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  35. Or, possibly more importantly in some cases, getting their freebies...

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  36. Well, that is definitely interesting but I can assure you me not being AS outraged as Michaela is not because I am fearful of losing freebies. If I were to be outraged by something it would more so be the handling of the situation and the lack of apology ... as Michaela pointed out.

    It is human nature to be moved by some things and not others, and in this case I feel it is my lack of knowledge about blackface that is possibly why I am not AS outraged. I value your opinion and it is a shame you cannot value those who do not see it your way,

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  37. Oh dear! I had no idea and thank you for this post! I am outraged but never could put my rage into words like you've done. Now that I know what illamasqua is made of (stupidity, arrogance and racism) my money goes elsewhere, maybe to one many indie brands which makes far more 'different' and quality stuff that is not overpriced.
    Just wondering, why isn't the blackface image on their UK FB page? So they think it is okay to do racist things in Australia but not elsewhere?

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  38. If that's true, then they're really shameless... Lost all respect!

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  39. Loved this post!! It's so unbelievable when big companies like Illamasqua fail to have the guts and admit they've done something wrong. Instead, they're tip-toeing around the topic and make it even more worse, WHERE ARE YOU, OVERPAYED PR-MANAGERS?? Maybe drunk. Or full of cocaine, Or both.


    Reminds me of an article I've just done about an online store and how they trick their customers - needless to say the store NEVER EVER replied to all the mails I wrote them, it makes me angry and I wanna puke. Just wanted to say I love your spirit and keep on doing!

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  40. Thanks for reading! Gifs do maketh the woman ;)

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  41. Admitting to making a mistake isn't so hard to do, and actually admirable, rather than trying to trick customers.
    Will go check out your post now!

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  42. Glad you found the piece helpful, Jasmine!
    You're totally right about with your comments about being offended. I'm so proud that my commenters are all amazing, empathic people who know when to listen to others and check their own privilege *insert heart-warming gif*

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  43. D, I know for sure, Kimmi isn't someone who wouldn't play nice for some freebies (just naming her as you're responding to her OP). Her commenting here about admitting to not quite understanding the history, but making that effort to educate herself is on the right path, and her commenting here on a controversial post is very much appreciated.

    In more general terms, I found A LOT of the defensive comments on social media came from those who either worked for them, MU artists who use them in their kits, and people who purported to be huge fans of the brand. I don't expect much sense from those who drink the marketing Kool-Aid, but it's a good reminder to me that brands rarely have your best interests at heart, unless they get your cash in return.

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  44. I'm so proud that you're making that effort to learn more about this subject, Kimmi, it's something a lot of people sadly don't bother with as it doesn't affect them.



    In regards to Illamasqua's handling of it, would you agree that it would have died down quicker if the campaign was retracted and sincerely apologised for?

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  45. i know right! More danger fuel - they that the images used no Photoshop, just make-up! but my superimposed image clearly shows it's the exact same image, just coloured and detailed differently. Yuk.

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  46. I 100% agree that the handling of the situation is where the downfall really came crashing. This is something I am constantly trying to educate brands and businesses when they decide to use social media but the short of it is every company has a different policy and when it comes to very damaging circumstances like this, it is at that time the need to show complete transparency, apologize sincerely and follow through with an action plan to recitfy the situation. They should have thrown whatever policies they had for dealing with such backlash and just removed it but they didn't.

    I think anyone who does choose to never support the brand again has ever right to do so. As I said, it hasn't changed my view of the entire brand but more so their handling of their consumers.

    I know this may seem somewhat unrelated but for me personally, it is kind of like people who buy Volkswagen even though to me they were Nazi supporters. It still hurts me to see people support a brand with such a horrific personal meaning to me but I understand those who are not Jewish and do not understand the occurrences of the holocaust to have the same reaction as I. I don't hold it against those people for not being educated on the conflict.

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  47. Im black and thanks for this post your so sweet :)

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  48. Thanks for coming by x

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  49. I don't believe it's the same model. While it can be hard to see because of the face paint, the shape of the eyes, the facial structure (chin, cheekbones) is different. You also brought up a good point with the lips!

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  50. Hi Frith, and thanks for leaving a comment.
    Illamasqua said this in their third statement - "It features a model theatrically painted white juxtaposed to the same model painted black."

    They've just used the same image, coloured in differently.

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  51. wow that image is nasty ;-) thanks for posting about it. i'm sure illamasqua have created the buzz they were looking for, but what a shame they had to do it in such an offensive way. nothing would induce me to give them any more of my attention after this.

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  52. Oh my shit. Thank you, Michaela, for posting such a well written, well researched article on this. I've just gotten back from holidays and spent a large chunk of my morning at work reading through it all - including the entire facebook thread. I started off liking comments along the way, then realised if I did that with all the comments I liked, then I'd be annoying the crap out of you and 3 or so others with all the notifications that would've come up for you, so I ceased! I so love that there's people like you out there, campaigning for what people like myself see as what should be obvious, but tragically, it just isn't. I used to have so much respect for Illamasqua - their entire ethos seemed to be so spot on - but they've crushed all that respect in one swift blow. And like you and some others have said, had they only taken it down, backtracked and apologised, it would've been ok. But to stand by their creative and spew bullshit about it being art and not at all inspired by blackface is just...well I don't even have words to describe how fucked up that is.

    I already loved you for your quirky and extreme lol inducing blog and twitter (and for being my hair twin!) - but love you even more for not backing down on this at all. Massive props to you girl.

    And ps the gifs just add a whole other level of awesomeness to this.

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  53. No problem, I'm surprised more beauty bloggers haven't addressed it actually. Offending for PR is so distasteful, and I think a lot of their customers won't forget this.

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  54. Oh you are too kind, Lucy! Seems like we've got a common train of thought - an apology wouldn't have absolved them of their mistake, but it would have been the right thing to do in regards to both their 'born this way' type branding and y'know, treating their customers like actual human beings.

    ps. Hope you had a fab holiday!

    pps. hair twins forevs!

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  55. Whatever your experience or where you're coming from, it's not hard to see that this image feels very, very wrong. I understand Illamasqua has made a fuss explaining it wasn't their intention, but I cannot for the life of me fathom how the campaign came to be. Or maybe like Stephen Colbert, their marketing people don't see colour?

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  56. Hmmm. I think they've just scored a bucket load of free publicity. People will forget the scandal, but will now know of the Illamasqua brand. Its one the basics of publicity for weasels.

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  57. Heh, there was a bit of 'only racists see racism' going on there too, Sabine. Sigh.

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  58. True, but I do think some people will remember this. I sure will, next time I need a new lippy!

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  59. Can anybody explain to me what a black face is and what is the problem?

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  60. Hi Kamila,


    I shared a link above for anyone unsure of the history of blackface.
    In short, blackface was a way for white people to further dehumanise and mock the already marginalised black people by darkening their faces and exaggerating their lips to perform in minstrel shows as a caricature of the black community, portraying them as simple, easily tricked and non-threatening.
    There is also a history of blackface in Australia and the UK to similar effect.


    The problem here is that this advertisement references a look popularised during very racist period, which still ripples through society today and uses it as a way to sell product. That's not cool at all.

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