M.A.C. And Rodarte Spark Controversy Over Makeup Range

M.A.C. Cosmetics’ collaborative collection with Rodarte is already provoking controversy before it’s even been launched.

The upcoming range, due out on September 15 is supposed to be inspired by the colours and culture of Mexico, however the names of particular products have sparked outrage due to their provocative and somewhat culturally insensitive allusions.

One of their nail polishes, called ‘Juarez’, is named after an impoverished Mexican town known for the hundreds of young women who have been raped and murdered there with just about no response from police; a sheer white lipstick from the collection is called ‘Ghost Town’ – another reference to the regular deaths that have become commonplace to the area; and eye shadow colours include ‘Bordertown’, ‘Sleepwalker’ and ‘Factory’.

Blogger Frisky wrote:

Most of the young women are employees at the border town’s factories, called maquiladoras, and disappeared on the way to or from work. Activists have been applying constant pressure on Mexican police, who have shown little response to properly investigating the murders, allegedly because the victims are poor women. The crime channel TruTV even called Juarez a “serial killers’ playground”!

Why would MAC and Rodarte – which are both hip, with-it brands – name their nail polishes so tastelessly? Even if they were donating the proceeds to justice for Juarez victims’ families (and I haven’t read that they are), it’s a weird way to raise awareness about violence against women. What’s next, a lipstick called Bergen-Belsen?

Texan post-hardcore band At The Drive In wrote the song “Invalid Litter Department” about the brutal conditions that the people of the area – particularly the women – have to work under in the factories on the Mexican-U.S.A. borders. ATDI designed the music video as a kind of public service announcement to raise awareness for the situation that was going on in Juarez – the town that sits across the border from their el Paso home.