Konglish Beauty

MAC, Rodarte, the controversy and why we care

Posted in MAC, news, personal by konglishbeauty on July 19, 2010

“M·A·C Cosmetics honors the beauty in everyone – all races, all sexes, all ages. Upholding the rights of everyone for creative self-expression, M·A·C offers an extraordinary collection of professional quality cosmetics. Eschewing the high-price “face” of traditional fashion marketing, M·A·C lets its products speak for themselves through seasonal runway debuts and its commitment to providing customers with sophisticated retail environments that in design, ambience, and artist-based service, lie outside the mainstream. Beyond a brand, M·A·C is a culture that extols the provocative, and upholds high style, while staying real. It’s efforts on behalf of AIDS, cruelty-free testing, and recycling programs remain an integral aspect of the culture, ethos and identity of M·A·C.”

The above is taken directly from MAC’s website about their philosophy.

If MAC is just another make-up company to you, then you might be wondering what all the fuss is regarding the upcoming MAC and Rodarte collaboration make-up collection. To get the lowdown on the situation I’m going to direct you to BritishBeautyBlogger’s post on the whole affair. It’s thanks to her and her network of beauty bloggers that the news of this controversy has spread throughout the beauty blogging community. I first came across it yesterday whilst on Temptalia catching up with upcoming MAC and make-up news. In short, the upcoming MAC & Rodarte collection is supposedly inspired by the landscape and imagery of the people, events and geography of Ciudad Juarez, a bordertown city in Mexico across from Texas. Tragically the town is infamous for poverty, high murder count and ‘feminicidios’ – female homicides and las muertas de Juarez (the dead women of Juarez).

Controversy and dodgy “inspirations” in fashion imagery in the name of art is nothing new. Rodarte are just another fashion house to me, beautiful clothes, but their collections  and inspirations don’t concern me. What has saddened me is that MAC are behind this. To many many many people MAC are not just a make-up company. They are supposed to be for everyone, all races, all sexes, all ages. They are political in their creation and their causes. Their first brand spokesperson was Ru Paul. They signed up K.D. Lang for their 2nd Viva Glam lipstick. They are supposed to be aware of issues and sensitive to the world beyond make-up, and fashion. They are the brand famous for giving 100% of the proceeds of Viva Glam lipsticks to their AIDS causes, and promoting this cause at their own expense.

Time and time again when make-up enthusiasts name MAC as their favorite make-up brand, it’s not just about the make-up. It’s about their philosophy, their politics, their causes and the thinking behind their decisions.

I’m glad that this issue has brought up discussion and awareness. I was not aware of the situation in Juarez before this. MAC please make it right. I don’t care about Rodarte, but I expect something more, something different from the company behind Viva Glam, Back to MAC and Kids Helping Kids.

  • Change the product names.
  • Give 100% of the collection proceeds to Juarez causes.
  • Be aware that, like you set out in your philosophy, to your fans you are more than just another make-up brand.


7 Responses

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  1. MizzWorthy said, on July 19, 2010 at 8:20 am

    Great post – lets keep raising awareness over this – the vicims of the femicides do not deserve to have their memories further deecrated in this manner!

    • konglishbeauty said, on July 19, 2010 at 12:30 pm

      I have been really heartened by the great response to this. Whilst I don’t want to flame an “us versus them” debate, it’s a shame that the fashion bloggers (and fashion world in general) haven’t responded the same way. I think people are so used to controversy in the fashion world that they’ve been desensitised to situations like this and apathy is the main sentiment. I’m glad to see the beauty fans are more emotional about it.

  2. Tasha_ch said, on July 19, 2010 at 8:24 am

    This is so true. I love the MAC line of make-up for the fact that its one of the only make-up brands that actually can work on everyone. What an awesome post. 🙂

    • konglishbeauty said, on July 19, 2010 at 12:33 pm

      Thanks T. Any make-up brand doing this would have been wretched but it stung all the more because it’s MAC. And you know…. MAC doesn’t hold the full spectrum of foundation shades in Korea? I know that it isn’t very multicultural society over here but I think the freestanding MAC pro store in Seoul should at least carry foundations and concealers for darker asian and black skintones. What are darker skinned ladies expected to do: get everything shipped in from abroad? That’s really “all races”. Not.

  3. liloo/tsunimee said, on July 19, 2010 at 8:37 am

    Great post, beautifully written. I’ve just seen your comment on perfectly polished and wanting to hear your views too. Maybe we can make it right, or maybe I am too foolish that a small handful of bloggers can make a difference. This is truly revolting stuff, how on earth did they think this was a good idea, i don’t know.
    I’ve added you the growing list of other bloggers united for the ’cause’ >> http://bit.ly/bloggerzunite
    and this is my 2 centimes comment on it. http://bit.ly/macrodarteshame

    • konglishbeauty said, on July 19, 2010 at 12:39 pm

      Thanks Liloo. We can make a difference but I won’t be satisfied until MAC have shown they’ve taken the issue seriously and not just issue a corporate speak apology. I don’t get the impression that MAC have done this intentionally, I blame Rodarte for the original fashion collection but MAC completely have it in their power to make amends before this stuff lands on counter. It’ll sell out anyway: what’s some extra work to rename, relabel and repack the products, compared to knowing you’re offending a lot of suffering people and your customers but not doing anything it?

  4. Jorge Lerma said, on August 2, 2010 at 3:39 am

    Have U listen about the orphans on this war?
    Well: nobody talks about the kids. who help´s to ride the pain & frustration.
    The war is everywhere , that´s true. México was kidnnaped by a corrups politicians, Narcos trought the media (news papers) just helped to made the fear grow.
    Nobody talk about how the kids see all the violence.
    Let´s start by the boy´s means psycological atention, info about the violence, how to react in case. that´s all.
    ” Please Stop TO SAY SORRY “. what we need its support; profesional attention to our childs.
    Chihuahua Goberment begins about a projetc since 2 years ago if u want to help that´s the way in my opinion.
    Im a 1rst price o Journalism 1995 About violence. Now im a make up Artist fan of
    M A C products since 1995, but now…. MAC sounds really STUPID to me.

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