The ad above, featuring the model on the left in black makeup, was originally posted to the UK beauty brand Illamasqua’s Australian Facebook page where Jezebel’s Jenna Sauers spotted it yesterday. The backlash accusing the brand of racial insensitivity has been anything but mild as the ad obviously stirs up a modern day minstrel show experience. The original thread was eventually pulled and Illamasqua had this to say in response, after posting the image on the right:
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.
Feelings are divided. Do you find this ad offensive?