Sunday, 18 July 2010

Is Mac Rodarte Collection edgy? Insensitive, more like…

Let me introduce you to Juárez. Juarez is a very poor Mexican factory town, on the border of  Texas and Mexico which became notorious for a stomach churning tragedy: Since 1993, the bordertown of Juarez already crippled with a high rate of poverty and narcotics trafficking fuelled violence became the site of a series of the most horrific murders: most of them young women between 12 and 22, raped before being brutally murdered.

Minutes into googling about the tragedy, and you will discover the most tragic thing about it:  "The victims were generally reported missing by their families, with their bodies found days or months later" with the families with only their eyes to cry to mourn the loss of their daughters, as the city is so rife with corruption, and the police would not even do anything about it.

Meet Kate and Laura Mulleavy, fashion designers from Rodarte who teamed up with Mac Cosmetics to launch a new makeup collection for the autumn inspired by the towns on the Texas/Mexico border. Among the products to be launched, 2 nail varnishes named Juarez (bright opal pink) and Factory (Light opal mint) As some poor families are still mourning the loss of their daughters, who disappeared on the way to and from their factory work, Mac Cosmetics somehow doesn't have any problems with this collection. Distasteful? The word 'insensitive' springs more to my mind personally and I am at a loss to understand why they thought for one minute that this was a good idea for a makeup line.

The Rodarte sisters"were struck by the ethereal landscape and the impoverished factory workers floating to work at dawn in a sleepy, dreamlike state". There is sadly nothing ethereal about this place, described as the most grim, depressing and deadliest place on the planet. If you can stomach it, have a listen to this 8-minute radio feature documentary and  let me know if this inspires you to create a makeup look.
I thought not…

Would I have I known about the Juárez femicides and atrocities without this makeup collection? Probably not. But there could have more tasteful and intelligent ways to draw the world's attention on the tragedy. Which other ways? I am not quite sure right now. Somehow the lump in my throat at this distasteful campaign is obstructing my creativity. May the Juárez families finally find 'justicia' (spanish for justice) one day, and comfort in their sorrow xx


What are your opinions on this collection?

Read other Beauty Bloggers thoughts on this collection.
Let me know in the comments if you also reacted to this collection and wrote a post about it xx

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Makeup Savvy said...

Really well wrote post - I think things could of been handled really differently..more like the Viva Glam Campaign...more positivity!No related product names.

Fee x

spittingglitter said...

Well said. There is no way that Mac would call a product 'Dunblane' 'Lockerbie' or 'Chernobyl', so why name it 'Juarez' - a place that has seen equal tragedy?

What also strikes me as highly inappropriate is the fact that Mac is naming luxury, expensive products after places whose inhabitants can't even afford basic necessities. Its almost like a form of mockery.

I'm not sure what Mac and Rodarte's motivation is for doing this, they either didn't think it through properly, were trying to be edgy, or (most worryingly) knew exactly how much publicity it would attract. Like it or not, all of these blog posts will be bringing the collection to people's attention, and not everyone reading them will be as concerned about the ethical issues as you or I. It will lead them to search for pictures of the products, think "oooh that's pretty" and buy it. All of the controversy might make the products even more sought after in some circles.

All in all, a sorry state of affairs and a poor reflection on the morals of these huge companies.

Charlie said...

Great post. No need to be nervous at all x

mizzworthy said...

Well written post - I agree that a lot of us were not actually aware of these issues before the collection was publicised. But that doesn't mean that Mac/Rodarte couldn't have handled this differently does it? Its great to see such a positive reaction from the blogging community about this though - as a female community there is often a lot of un-necessary bitching so its great to see what we can achieve. Sadly, against the likes of MAC, I doubt we will achieve a lot, but it will be fab if we can raise some awareness. Thanks too for the link to my blog xxx

Perfectly Polished said...

spent all night reading all these blog posts! yours is very well written too. im so pleased we are all raising awareness on this topic!

you can read my view here:


Anonymous said...

The more and more I think about this incident, the more I think the blame lies with the Rodarte designers. I don't wish them ill at all and I do think their designs are lovely but they seem to have been blown away by the superficial aesthetics of the "imagery" they happened across and somehow twisted it to fit their collection. There was no deeper thought whatsoever as to the situation and it just adds fuel those who scorn fashion and beauty as dumb, shallow and frivolous. Those of use who care about fashion know that the way we express ourselves via our clothing and beauty choices often have very specific statements but Rodarte seem to have not given any consideration to their words whatsoever.

Jo said...

Fantastic post Liloo. Very well written. Well done hunny for having your say.


BrionyLou said...

A great post on a very important subject


Carly said...

Great post hun, I agree it has brought awareness but in a damaging way. This is not at all positive ad I hope they do something about it. xxxxxxxx

Dreams That Glitter said...

An extremely well-written post.

I have just done a post myself:

Thank you so much for collecting all these posts and spreading the message. You are wonderful.


SEIRAN-晴- said...

I also wrote a detailed post about this mess. Honestly, MAC needs to get their stuff together. I think for now, I'm going to stick to NYX, MUFE and Japanese brands because this is absolutely disgusting. It's disrespectful to glamourize controversy.

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