MAC Rodarte Collection – WTH?

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.

@tsunimee has compiled a list of bloggers who have also written on this subject.

19 Responses to “MAC Rodarte Collection – WTH?”

  1. ilyana says:

    I totally agree with this entry 100% I’m disgusted by how MAC is taking this “lightly”, they should really donate all proceeds to the women of Juarez as you’ve mentioned in this entry.
    .-= ilyana´s last blog ..Gyoza! ぎょうざ! =-.

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  2. Cynthia says:

    I’m appalled and disgusted of what MAC Rodarte collection is doing. I feel like they do not have any simply of what a lot of girls going through in the factories and how they are treated. It’s inhumane! I’m certainly going to stop my MAC collection too and wish that there’s a petition where we can sign up to stop this collection being presented in stores.
    .-= Cynthia´s last blog ..Sephora Haul =-.

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  3. Jess says:

    I read about this issue, and I’m not amused about this collection either.
    .-= Jess´s last blog ..Haul from Sasa and Make Up For Ever FOTD – Glowy Pink =-.

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  4. Lulu says:

    Wow i had no idea about the upcoming collection, their names, and thanks for bringing up this issue, I will go read all the links you mentioned and make myself more aware of Juarez!
    .-= Lulu´s last blog ..Operation Lippies =-.

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  5. This is incredibly crass. Thanks for putting a post up, I didn’t know about this at all
    .-= makeup morsels´s last blog ..Hemingway Nails- Take 2 =-.

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  6. Mary-Cate says:

    I just read about this via a British blogger! I’m not buying from this collection… I’m not a *huge* MAC fan, but I have bought a few pieces recently. What a shame this is :(

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  7. Minona says:

    I´m with you here. But it´s not entirely Mac´s fault, is it? I´d say that Rodarte is to blame, too, for this strange and tasteless decision. I never been very keen on Rodarte and certainly not after this!

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  8. K says:

    I thought this collection was appalling. If they really wanted to show the beauty of Mexican culture, they should have done this a lot more tastefully. Think what a bright and beautiful collection it could have been!

    I also read MAC’s twitter page to see their reaction… again, I felt they were out of touch.

    I will not be buying from this collection for sure!
    .-= K´s last blog ..Weekend shopping in Osaka! =-.

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  9. Cynthia says:

    Opps misspelled something wrong. Please delete the first comment that I post.

    I’m appalled and disgusted of what MAC Rodarte collection is doing. I feel like they do not have any sympathy of what a lot of girls going through in the factories and how they are treated. It’s inhumane! I’m certainly going to stop my MAC collection too and wish that there’s a petition where we can sign up to stop this collection being presented in stores.
    .-= Cynthia´s last blog ..Sephora Haul =-.

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  10. Argh! I’m so disappointed in MAC, how could they not have foreseen how tasteless this collection is? I simply abhor companies that try to make money off of the plight of human beings.
    I posted about it too >.<
    .-= kaisermimivii´s last blog ..NARS Rajasthan Duo – Fall 2010 =-.

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  11. Jennifer says:

    Thank you for bringing this to my attention.

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  12. Popcorn says:

    OMG~ This collection is ridiculous! I will definitely NOT be buying anything from this collection. It is pissing me off! First, just by looking at the model for this collection is disgusting. In the beginning, I had no idea what Juarez was, so thanks for letting us know! But what pisses me off the most, after knowing, is that Mac is saying that they will now donate 100,000. WTH!!!!!!! If they really cared about the woman and the people in Juarez, they should have said they were going to donate $100,000 in the first place. Which proves that MAC does not care about Juarez and is only after the consumer’s money. tsk tsk shame on MAC.
    hmph! thinking that they can resolve the issue just by giving money and changing the products names.
    .-= Popcorn´s last blog ..Missed ME Probably NOT! hehehe =-.

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  13. SEIRAN-晴- says:

    I have also written about this on my blog. Let me tell you, I had no idea about Juarez or any of the atrocities that go on there. If you take a look at that blush, it looks like blood and dirt on a fucking wall. It’s disgusting. Is this their definition of ethereal? Who do they think they’re fooling. I’m sticking with NYX, Make Up For Ever, Japanese and Korean brands, and other stuff that sells the same things as MAC. >_>
    What a way for the company to show their class and sophistication. I also find it a little strange how they feel the need to come out with recycled garbage for a new collection almost every fricking month >_>
    .-= SEIRAN-晴-´s last blog ..M∙A∙C × Rodarte- Fiesta or F UP! =-.

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  14. Tomi says:

    That promo image really takes the cake. How sad.

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  15. Blair says:

    The promo image is really distasteful! *tsk tsk*

    I’m sure they did this for PR purposes.. there is no such thing as bad publicity -.-
    .-= Blair´s last blog ..A Little Bit Of Everything =-.

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  16. Ringo says:

    I say not only we should not buy the MAC collection but also boycott Rodarte for good. I am ashamed to find out that those designers go to the same school I go to!!

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  17. Annabel says:

    no way! i wondered what all the MAC x Rodarte hullabaloo was all about but never bothered reading up on it. your post explained in pretty clearly in black and white :-S mind if i “retweet” it in my blog? lol. i’ll do it soon. when i’m procrastinating packing. but DAMN. wtf MAC! and Rodarte! jeez, one of their cardigans cost like a thousand dollars. and yeah i never was a big MAC person anw tho everyone else seems to be. i prefer NARS. anyway see you soon cat xxx
    .-= Annabel´s last blog ..what up san francisco =-.

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  18. Kayla says:

    The collaboration has created awareness, thus the uproar. It’s a blessing in disguise, more people know about the situation in Juarez and more will be willing to help. If all of you are so concern about the women in Mexico, DONATE. Boycotting MAC is the most useless and foolish way anybody can think of. What’s the use of criticising? Talk but no action.

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  19. Karen says:

    I disagree. Boycotting MAC will demonstrate that consumers oppose to the use of femicide as a marketing tool. Don’t forget the images in this campaign. MAC/Rodarte are selling an image of death as beautiful. A dead woman is powerless. They want you to think a powerless woman is beautiful.

    Linking death/powerlessness to beauty isn’t new. In ancient China, footbinding was considered beautiful. Footbinding renders a woman unable to walk correctly, or even to walk at all. She is a powerless woman who can’t run away.

    You have to look at the images the beauty industry is presenting because when people buy products, they also internalize the image. I don’t want women to internalize the message that death and powerlessness are beautiful. MAC/Rodarte slapped all women in the face with this campaign, but especially the murdered women of Juarez. I am truly disgusted with MAC/Rodarte.

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