Now if you’ve been on the blogosphere in the past 24 hours, chances are you’ll have heard about the whole Mac cosmetics/ Rodarte collaboration controversy. I shan’t go into it in too great detail as there are many bloggers out there who have done a fantastic job in explaining the matter in an eloquent, detailed way. In a nutshell, the Mulleavy sisters have joined forces with Mac for a collection coming out in September. That, unsurprisingly is not the issue. The reason the beauty world is in an uproar is because the collection was inspired by the sister’s trip to Juarez, Mexico. Ever heard of it? No, me neither before this whole issue. Juarez is a bordertown, known for it’s violent drug culture. Amok with rival drug cartels, the citizens of the city have to fear for their lives daily, with the presence and threat of shootings a very real reality. In fact, just a few days ago a car bomb in the city left by a drug cartel killed at least four people, but this is not the only issue the people of Juarez face. There are huge numbers of so called ‘missing women’, indeed 3000 women have been reported missing in less than 20 years and in the same period of time there have been 400 femicides (murders committed simply because the victim is female). Many of these women worked in the Maquiladoras, or factories and this is where the controversy begins.
Several of the products have rather eerie names associated with Juarez and it’s violent history, including ‘Ghost Town’, ‘Bordertown’, ‘Sleepwalker’ and, leaving no room for misinterpretation ‘Juarez’ and ‘Factory’. Understandably many feel that these names are uninformed and in poor taste on the part of Mac/Rodarte. Since this started causing shockwaves, the companies have both released statements and Mac is going to give a portion of their profits to a relevant charity to help the people of Juarez.
Hmm now unlike most I am in two minds about this collection. What is happening in Juarez right now is undeniably terrible. Something needs to be done and it is shocking that due to various factors these murders are for the most part unsolved. It is also beyond my belief that a company such as Mac, who are behind the brilliant Viva Glam campaign, thought that the names of these products were acceptable without a charitable donation. Did Mac think that their intelligent consumers would simply not notice/care about the morbid names and even morbid-er (not a word but I’m stickin’ with it) promo pic? But this is perhaps where my thoughts differ from some, who think that the products should be renamed or even pulled. I don’t necessarily think that the names of the products are totally inappropriate. Shocking world events have long inspired art and fashion, with beauty being an extension of this. I actually would have had no problem with the names of the products if the collection had been in the manner of Viva Glam with a donation to a suitable charity from the start, as opposed to a vague, rushed afterthought. This could have turned what is now an unmitigated PR disaster into a thoughtful and useful collaboration campaign. After all, I, like many other previously ignorant bloggers and consumers am now thoroughly educated on the situation in Juarez, which is surely a very positive thing? While most believe that the names are inappropriate, if the products hadn’t had these controversial names, we would have remained oblivious to Juarez and it’s terrible and violent happenings. In one respect I think it is a good thing that these names somehow passed through the Mac corporate ladders, if someone, like most are suggesting had indeed suggested that less evocative names had been chosen, we would still be in the dark about the situation and bloggers galore would not be posting about the situation in Juarez and educating thousands of people, who perhaps will make an effort to inform others, donate and generally spread the word about this impoverished Mexican bordertown and it’s missing women.
Will I be buying anything from the collection? Perhaps, though probably not. If Mac step up to the plate and donate their entire profits I will be that much more inclined to support the collection and in turn the people of Juarez.
I’d love to know what you think, please let me know in the comments.
For far more detailed and educational posts on Juarez and the Mac/Rodarte situation, you can visit some of my lovely twitter friends and fabulous beauty bloggers who have commented on the situation. Here are just a few...
and many of them have more links to other fab beauty bloggers who have also given their two cents,
Love Sophie xx
ps. In less serious news I will be posting my thoughts on my spray tan just as soon as I scrub the orange off my legs, just kidding! x