Everyone is unanimously outraged with these beauty products as the inspiration for them was the region around the Mexican town of Juarez where more than 400 women have been tortured, raped, and murdered in recent years.
Well, this is no ordinary town. After the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement, US companies flocked to establish factories there, which tend to employ mostly female workers – mainly because they are more likely to put up with working for less in vile conditions. Consequently it’s difficult for men to find get jobs, adding to already high tension caused by the crime the drugs trade brings.
The result is of course that violence against women is rife. Women are being murdered – and often raped and tortured first – before their bodies are dumped, often out in the open. Many of those that disappear are just teenagers and a lot are factory workers: easy prey as they travel back and forth to night shifts. 400 women have been raped, tortured and murdered in Juarez in recent years – and amidst allegations of police and government corruption, most of these killings remain unsolved.
So, what does MAC do? Calls one of its new lipsticks ‘Sleepless’ and one ‘Ghost Town’. There are nail polishes called ‘Factory’ and ‘Juarez’, and a revolting blood-streaked eyeshadow called ‘Bordertown’. The glamorisation of such a grim place is nothing short of mindless.
British Beauty Blogger writes something similar:
Back at MAC base-camp though, someone, somewhere thought that Rodarte’s horribly macabre inspiration of Mexican town Juarez, notable for its unbelievably high murder count, was a fabulously commercial idea. Juarez is also noted for ‘feminicidios’ – female homicides and las muertas de Juarez (the dead women of Juarez). These murders remain largely unsolved. The fact that the desperately underpaid female factory workers have probably never even heard of MAC, never mind Rodarte, let alone be able to afford a slice of either is adding insult to injury.
Beauty Mouth has a great write up too:
These girls/women range in age from 12-22 (in general) and work in the factories of Juarez and Chihuahua. They work insane shifts for about £3.00 a day. The majority of them also have to walk to work in the factories - at all times of the day but usually at night.
And the problem is that a lot of them do not make it home. I would encourage you to read more about it here from Amnesty International.
The new MAC/Rodarte campaign has lines called Factory, Juarez, Ghost Town and Badlands to name a few.
I would like to say the MAC created this campaign to raise awareness of the atrocities in Juarez but that’s not the case. This is their response to the outrage:
Our makeup collaboration with M•A•C developed from inspirations on a road trip that we took in Texas last year, from El Paso to Marfa.
The ethereal nature of this landscape influenced the creative development and desert palette of the collection.
We are truly saddened about injustice in Juarez and it is a very important issue to us.
The M•A•C collaboration was intended as a celebration of the beauty of the landscape and people in the areas that we traveled.
So it’s not looking good for MAC even though they have stated they will donate a portion of the proceeds to help those in need in Juarez. Of course, fashion is fickle and has a short memory so I don’t see this having much of a negative impact on MAC, at least not in the long term.
While it’s not good for MAC’s latest collection, many more people are now away of the issue and what goes on in these factory towns.
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