beauty

Cosmetic company shamefully glamourises domestic abuse to sell lipstick.

There are lot of lipsticks in the world. And a lot of potential names you could call them. So why be disgusting?

There has to be hundreds of thousands of lipstick colours in the world. Maybe more. A lot of colours. And all of those colours need names.

Because pink and red and orange and purple are probably taken, beauty labels go with more creative names for each individual shade. They differentiate with a ridiculous use of words that seem unrelated to beauty, like ‘darkness’ or ‘oceanic dream’ or some such rubbish.

So you’ve got to wonder why, when there are a fuckload of words in the world, someone would call a lipstick this:

Via Instagram/@Jeffreestar

Yes, cosmetic designer, Jeffree Star has called a lipstick, “Abused”. ABUSED. And it’s purple. Like a bruise. Like the kind of bruise you get when you have been physically abused. Geddit?

There are also plenty of words in the English language. And in other languages. Hell, you can even make up words. There are heaps of letters and sounds floating around that you could use.

There are more words than lipsticks. Even if you create a mindblowing lipstick that is not like any lipstick that has ever come before, there are going at least a thousand words you could choose.

And of all the words to choose from…. Jeffree Star went with a reference to domestic violence for a product aimed at a female market.  All class.

Now, Jeffree argues that there’s context here.

“We ALL abuse something,” he says. “Whether it’s power, love, money or glamour…”

Want more? Try this: Female journalist stuns TV industry by reporting a news story sans make-up.

It’s true that people are abusers. And at the top of the list of things people abuse is probably other people. At the bottom of that list is glamour. And while I’m not across the epidemic of glamour abuse in this country, I suspect that it isn’t the kind of abuse that leaves bruises and destroys lives.

The truth is, this isn’t about context at all.

Jeffree has chosen a name that is controversial. Because it’s edgy. They’ve chosen it because people will talk about it and debate it and his brand will get publicity. And yes, that is happening right now because we’re talking about it.

It’s a money making ploy. And while one in three women in this country will experience violence in their lifetime and while 31 women have died this year already as the result of violence, it’s a sick marketing ploy. It’s sick and it’s opportunistic and it is making money off the back of people in pain.

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More “Abused” Via Instagram/@Jeffreestar

Of course, Jeffree is not the only one.

Earlier this year, Kat Von D partnered with beauty powerhouse Sephora to sell a lipstick called “Underage Red”. MAC also released a lipstick called “Lolita” after a child who was preyed on by an older man.

Now, before you say: “Calm down, Killjoy. It’s only a lipstick”, I have a few things to add.

1. This is probably not about you. It is not about people who are not offended. It is about vulnerable women. It is about the women who have experienced violence and who might feel hurt that there experience is being belittled by a cosmetic company. That is the best outcome.

The worst outcome is that women may wander into a cosmetic store and see these products and be reminded of their abuse and spiral into a dark and deeply painful place. It might not happen. But when hundreds of thousands of women in this country are victims of abuse, this possibility should be enough for people to choose another fucking name.

Read more: Why every woman feels like she has a target on her back today.

2. Lipstick is supposed to make you feel better. If a product is capitalising on the pain of women for some commercial value then it isn’t going to make people feel better. It is going to make people feel bad. It’s not worth it.

3. Don’t buy it. Companies will keep naming their products’ edgy names to get your attention… and the only way to stop them doing it is to make it less profitable than giving a lipstick a name that doesn’t remind people of violence, pain and abuse.

4. It feels ridiculous to have to say it, but: violence against women is not funny. It’s not cool. It’s not edgy. It’s not glamorous. It’s hideous. Why you’d want such a repulsive association with your beauty product makes no sense.

Now I’m going to sit here and brainstorm ideas for a better name of a purple lipstick…

How about ‘I’m Really Sorry That I Was a Bit of a Goose and Named a Lipstick Such a Hurtful Name’?

I’d buy that.