“Is that hand wearing blackface…” View Entire Post › from BuzzFeed – Latest https://ift.tt/2myWcr8
I read this interesting news on my WordPress Reader and to be honest, it took me a while to realize what was wrong with the hand, and how they can tell that it’s blackface.
Naturally, I went online to see how other netizens were reacting to this news. Surprisingly, this news actually hasn’t made its way to my newsfeed on other social media channels, so I had to read more about it from other international news sites and of course, Reddit.
My first reaction to this news was naturally one of dismay – how could a famous cosmetic brand like 3CE (that’s the name of the brand under StyleNanda) make sure a terrible mistake? I know Korean brands are not accustomed to reaching out to people with darker skin colours, but that’s not much of an excuse to do such a poor job.
My second reaction was of course, to contemplate if it was worth applauding their effort for diversity and include more people of colour.
We all know by now that Korean beauty is hardly inclusive – everything seems to be catered to fair-skinned people, and so many products are marketed to help whiten your skin. I’m supposedly considered as ‘fair’ as a Singaporean Chinese, but even so I’m just considered as ‘beige’ or ‘natural beige’ by Korean beauty standards. Heck, I once even tried this CC cream from banila co that made me look like I slapped white paint on myself.
I think this is the first time I’ve seen a Korean beauty brand include darker skin colours from the Korea HQ side (individual countries tend to be a lot more inclusive, at least from what I’ve seen in SEA), but I think this effort is a bit half-hearted. You can definitely find someone with that skin colour living in Korea, it just depends on whether you want to go out and do it.
Other users on Reddit seem to agree with me as well:
Some of y’all need to stop making excuses for Korea when companies do something wrong. StyleNanda made a very conscious decision to poorly photoshop a hand bc they chose not to reach out to a black model or mixed model. They clearly have the money and resources based on the quality of the entire campaign. I’m Nigerian-American & would much rather see no “representation” than a cheap imitation like this. If a Nigerian business does a poor representation of a Lebanese person (there’s a high population there) in an ad, I’d feel the same way I do about this. If StyleNanda gets it right next time then at least they’ve learned but I don’t enjoy feeling like a throwaway consideration or a box to check off.
Two things to sum up:
- I think inclusion still has a long way to go in the K-beauty industry, which is a pity. You have such great products but you’re not giving a good portion of the world’s population a reason to buy it (or rather, you’re giving them a reason NOT to buy it).
- This is a good warning to all brands – don’t capitalize on ‘diversity’ without truly embracing it. All StyleNanda had to do was to engage a model with that skin colour and they could have been a true pioneer in diversity. Not only did they miss that opportunity, they now find themselves in an even worse situation. I don’t think any brand would want that, right?