Monday, July 19, 2010

MAC & Rodarte - I feel like doing something about it. How about you?

If you were following any beauty blogger on Twitter last night then I don't need to say much here. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, skip past the donation portion of this post and read on about the issue at hand.

One Line Synopsis: Many people in the beauty blogger community feel that the collection conceived by the MAC and Rodarte collaboration glamorizes  femicide along the border between the US and Mexico, particularly in Juarez.

Bottom Line: I am less concerned about what MAC is going to do regarding this issue and more concerned about what I am going to do personally.  I was unaware until last night, but getting angry and doing nothing isn't going to help the situation. Getting angry and yelling at MAC isn't going to do much (though they did say they will donate a portion of the proceeds to helping Juarez). Getting angry and putting my money toward a cause might help.

Feel Like Donating Instead of Getting a Lipstick?
So far I have only found the following charities (no idea how reputable these are):
  • Amnesty International - They accept donations, but don't appear to send them to a particular cause, hence my reluctance to donate.I want to know where my money is going.
  • Mujeres de Juarez - Seem to have a petition up but I don't see a place to donate. Also could be sketchy if you follow around the links...
  • Casa Amiga - seems to take donations, but the site is in Spanish. I'm still working on looking into this one.  
  • Amigos de Mujeres - I don't think this group takes donations, but works with other organizations and channels donations to them. I have written them asking for more information.
  • Justica Para Nuestras Hijas -  A group in Chihuahua City focusing on  family members of serial killing victims
  • Centro de Derechos Humanos de las Mujeres, A.C. - A 24 hour hotline for domestic abuse that also has access to a lawyer and counselors.
If you know of any I should add for this cause, please let me know and I will add it to the list.
Thank you to Healing Beauty for additions!
Regardless of if I purchase from MAC, I think it is only right that instead of just talking about this problem I try to do something, even if it's small.  Looking at the description of the MAC products, I think had this situation not come to light I would have purchased approximately $60 worth of items from this collection.Therefore, I think it only right that I donate at least that much to help out. It's not much, but it's something.

For complete information on the whole situation, I suggest checking out one of the following:
Note: These are only a few of many, and I think they offer some of the most thought provoking discussion.

You can also check out the following Twitter searches:
Bullet Point Synopsis - for those of you who want it it seems to be the following...
  • Are MAC and Rodarte knowingly or unknowingly glamorizing femicide? 
  • Rodarte drew their inspiration for their collection from a drive along the border, and the "landscape" and something about ghost-like factory workers.
  • MAC worked with Rodarte to create the makeup collection and had the bad taste to name the collection items terribly (Juarez, Badlands, Bordertown, Factory, Sleepwalker etc). 
  • Neither Rodarte nor MAC seemed to recognize the connection to femicide that they were drawing. Neither mentioned their collaboration as being a way to heighten awareness in a purposeful manner. 
  • MAC apologized for any offense after the fact and says they will donate "a portion" (unspecified) of the proceeds to helping those in need in Juarez. (I think it should be 100% for their big oops!).
  • Rodarte seems to be justifying their inspiration for their line as opposed to apologizing for it offending people with their collaboration with MAC. (Totally not going to get into what I think about this).
What are Others Doing?
  • Some are choosing to boycott this entire collection.
  • Others are pleased with MACs apology/donation and are planning on making purchases. 
  • Many are passing the word to raise awareness of this issue.
  • Some don't care either way - they see pretty mineralized things.
Where do I stand:
  • This whole collection was, in my opinion, conceived in poor taste.
  • As a promo image, the promo image MAC chose to go with sucks. If it was meant as art to draw awareness to a cause it would be very successful (see below).
  • I think the bloggers who drew attention to this controversy should be applauded for raising awareness of a horrible situation of which many of us were not aware. I sincerely hope they choose to do something about their new-found or continued awareness.
Just for the record... THIS IS NOT A HAPPY PROMO PICTURE!

Image from Specktra
Lets Look At This Image As Art Instead of Promo...
  • The Girl on the Right:   Look at her pose: clutching her gown near her crotch - she is protecting herself, with a gaze that is both fearful and a little defiant. She does have a certain inner strength, but not in a good way. She looks like if I were to reach out and touch her she'd either flinch violently or start screaming. 
  •  The Ghost on the Left: wearing a dress, bloody streaks falling down her back. One could argue the ghost is the Girl's future, or what she fears of becoming.Worse, you could make the argument that she is comfortable with the ghost being part of her reality.
I don't want anyone to look that afraid, victimized, or like they are so scared they will scream if I touch them. All I see is potential violence here. So I need to do something about it, even if it isn't very much. For me, I think that is the right thing to do.

For the record, I'm not much of an activist. I just was self-analyzing my reaction to this fiasco and realized if I put half as much energy into helping that I did into anger and discovery then maybe I could do just a tiny bit of good.