Posted in: Glam

Racist? Makeup Brand Under Fire for ‘Blackface’ Ads

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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?


Your Call

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12 comments
trinitodbone
trinitodbone

I am conflicted.......On the one hand, this ad does not really offend me, as a Black woman. Black people paint their faces white to mock white people (think 'White Chicks' and 'Chapelle's Show' for example). We should be able to take as much as we give, to a point. But it really makes me wonder about people- advertisers, that is. Everything about the ad is clearly intended to evoke images of Minstrel shows- from the outfits to the font used for the text, to yes, the blackface. What really was the purpose, the message? Could they have not found another way to portray the stark contrast (even if still using the black makeup and the white makeup) without setting it in this minstrel-esque landscape? Did they expect it to go over easily? Idiots...... I agree that sometimes we can be too sensitive, but racism is alive and well, and when one can avoid the appearance of impropriety, oh gorm, avoid it, nah! (Meh Trini coming out!)

ladykarma200
ladykarma200

I am a black woman, and I dont find this ad offensive at all. It is clearly just makeup expression and people are so sensitive these days geeze

LadyLeeLee
LadyLeeLee

I dont find the ad offensive at all.  Now if the model was shown in black make up ONLY, without the white make up, that would be offensive. I know my history and I am very proud of where I come from and even more proud to know where we are going, but not everything is a race issue. I think the artist was very cautious with their expression.  I can understand the older generation's view of this expression as well, but the bottom line is there isnt any racial under tone to this ad at all.

DonnaRogersPenton
DonnaRogersPenton

Usually dark skinned women don't even need makeup of any kind. Their skin is always smooth and beautiful. I have never seen a dark skinned sista with hi-tech color lipstick.

UrbanSprings
UrbanSprings

The ad is so not racist. I know women who are black-skinned that wear hi-tech color lipstick and they look wonderful so I don't get the drama over the ad.

BaldHeadQueen
BaldHeadQueen like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

Amazingly enough, I'm not offended by this in any way. I personally think the concept is beautiful. Although racism still exists, it is up to us as individuals to not take offense over everything that reminds us of a hurtful place. We could stand to adopt this thinking in every area of our lives.

To me, "modern day minstrel" = (for example) Lil' Wayne, 2 Chainz, Nikki Minaj and others who perpetuate negative stereotypes of the Black race for entertainment's sake. This ad shouldn't offend  anyone no more than Nikki Minaj's unhealthy infatuation with looking like or "being" a Barbie, a traditionally white doll who remained that way until the late 60's (still having "white" features but darker skin well into the 80's).

ajjenkins
ajjenkins like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

No i'm not offended at all. I find that this is just art and marketing strategy. I get the concept.

JAZZYCHIC80
JAZZYCHIC80 like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 3 Like

I AM NOT OFFENDED. PEOPLE GO TOO FAR TAKING EVERYTHING IN THE WRONG WAY. NO HUMAN BEING IS ACTUALLY THE SKIN TONE OF MODEL OF IN THE PHOTOS. WHO CARES?? IT'S ART.

RadiantSunPoet
RadiantSunPoet

Being a woman with two ethic backgrounds I don't get the feeling that the ad was racist or even trying to depict the old school minstrels shows.  They are advertising their product for everyone.  I can see how some will be offended by the pictures but isn't time to uplift, restore, and teach for the next generation so they will understand how to handle racism and be able to laugh or even stand up.  It is time to let go, you can not always think that people are going to do what you think that they should do.  Hypersensitive or not we have to let the past stay where it is at..the past.

msfee
msfee

I am very offended by ad. The ad on the right was not posted until after thebacklash came out. Anytime you paint a white person in black face that can beoffensive. Why did't they use the ad on the right in the first place. Usuallywhen someone speaks of Afrikan-Americans being hypersensative they are often awhite person. Therefore, you can't relate why we are offended. Would you doanything that would offend a Jewish person and then say they are beinghypersensative? Probably not.

swtstiletto
swtstiletto like.author.displayName 1 Like

I didn't feel the ad was racist at all.  While I think we should all be aware that racism still exist, I look forward to the day that we are not so hypersensative about these things.  Both pictures dipict a person entirely in black and entirely in white...did not appear to be ab attempt to reference race in my opinion.