I generally keep politics and drama off of this blog, as I like to think of Strawberry Mochi as an archive of my happy memories, but I don’t think I could ignore the current issue at hand (which is, of course, makeup-related) and I am so upset I want as many people as I can reach to read about it.
As many of you may have heard by now, MAC is collaborating with designer label Rodarte for a makeup collection due out in September. The collection follows Rodarte’s last runway collection, which was inspired by a road trip the designers took between El Paso and Marfa, Texas. Rodarte (and MAC, I guess) claim that both collections were inspired by the ethereal beauty of the landscapes they saw, which is interesting considering slashed-up, black, red and grey grunge don’t exactly whisper “ethereal” to me. Then, there’s the MAC x Rodarte promo image, and the names of products in the collection including: Juarez, Factory, Sleepwalker, Sleepless, Badlands, Ghost Town and oh, Quinceanera.
For those of you who aren’t aware, Juarez Ciudad is a border town of Mexico, one of which where some US companies set up factories (maquilladoras) after the 1994 NAFTA agreement. These factories, by and large, employ poor, young women. Juarez, in particular, is where hundreds, if not thousands of women, as young as 12, have been found dumped in the desert: raped, beaten, murdered and mutilated (though not necessarily in that order). Juarez’s status as a drug cartel headquarters and incredibly corrupt police have led international human rights activists to call it a “Serial Killer’s Playground.” Please read NPR’s “Who’s Killing the Women of Juarez” and Amnesty International’s “The Juarez Murders” for more information.
If MAC and Rodarte meant to bring attention to the plight of women in US-Mexico border towns, they certainly didn’t announce it and both brands have actually issued statements apologizing for the outrage their collections (well, mostly MAC’s) have aroused. MAC has stated they will donate a portion of the proceeds from the collection to help the women of Juarez. I think that it’s distasteful and incredibly insensitive to try and profit off such a tragic story. I think if MAC had wanted to make a stand on it they would have announced beforehand that all the proceeds would be donated to the women of Juarez, like their Viva Glam line. And, like London Makeup Girl, I find the inclusion of a product called Quinceanera particularly callous, in juxtaposition with the rest of the collection and the history of Juarez.
For freaking shame. I wasn’t particularly a fan of MAC to begin with, but you can better believe I won’t be buying any more of their products anytime soon.