Juarez. It's a city
that suffers from a violent and wide spread drug war. It's a city where most live in poverty as the average hourly wage is less than two dollars. It's a city home to a great femicide of which hundreds of girls are raped and killed every year. It's not a city that should be demeaned into a cosmetic line that minimizes the suffering of many.
According to MAC and Rodarte cosmetic line creators, "Juarez" was inspired by the beauty and struggles of women living in Juarez. The inspiration of this line came from a road trip that several fashion designers took through Texas and the southwest.
The cosmetics product names included "Juárez," "Bordertown," "Sleepless" "Ghost Town," and "Factory." The names were to be paired with pale nail colors and bloodstained eye shadows.
Sleepless was "inspired" by the thousands of women who trek to work early in the mornings in hopes to provide for their families. "Factory" was meant to catch the hardworking spirit of these women working unthinkable hours in the maquiladoras with a glamorized pail mint colored nail polish.
A statement issued by the Rodarte company read:"Our makeup collaboration with MAC developed from inspirations on a road trip that we took in Texas last year, from El Paso to Marfa... The MAC collaboration was intended as a celebration of the beauty of the landscape and people in the areas that we traveled."
MAC intended to capture the city with their line only to create a make-up line that trivialized it. The pale colors of the line- not quite flattering for Mexican and Latina women- can hardly create the idea of celebrating a city that flourishes on bright colors. Not to mention, the pale, anorexic looking models for the campaign who look like death itself. The models were to be seen as the ghostly victims of Juarez's drug wars. I don't know if they thought this deathly image would bring justice to the happenings of Juarez or if they didn't think much about it, but either way it was in poor taste and has been put down by the entire fashion industry.
When MAC and Rodarte released their line, they were swarmed with criticism, not from human rights activists but first from fashion critics and bloggers.
They publicly apologized for offending many with their poor name choices. The companies are now frantically looking for a solution. They announced that they would change the offending names of their cosmetic line and that hey plan to donate $100,000 to a non-profit organization that has proven to help women in need and would directly support women of Juarez. That wasn't enough, though, and the companies continues to receive criticism for the profits that will come with the line. Now they promised to use ALL profits from the line to raise awareness about the issues and living conditions of women in Juarez.
Still, "Juarez" cosmetic line only proves that capitalizing on behalf of other's suffering is not only wrong but demeaning.