Yikes indeed. Cosmetics brand ColourPop is under fire for using offensive names for products that happen to fall on the darker side of the spectrum.
Three deeper shades of the line’s Sculpting Stix are called “Yikes,” “Dume” and “Typo.” While the contouring products were released in June, many consumers noticed — and addressed — the names in social media posts this week after an eagle-eyed tweeter noticed it.
“the naming of colourpop’s lighter contouring sticks vs their darker ones,” @misspaxjones wrote via Twitter on September 16, comparing the three shades to some of the paler sticks, like Illuminati and Venice.
This tweet caused a flurry of mixed reactions. “if you don’t see anything wrong with the names of colourpop’s darker shades, unfollow lol,” @FFSMADELAINE tweeted on September 19. @LifeBeTrippin disagreed, writing “I think everyone is overreacting. But…idk” that same day.
And Affinity Magazine, an online publication for teens, published a September 19 open letter titled “Dear ColourPop, My Skin Color is Not a ‘Typo,’” addressing the brand that’s otherwise heralded for its inclusivity.
“Society already views dark skin as inferior and unwanted. Light skinned girls are praised for their eurocentric beauty and are always the subject of ‘get you a lightskin/white girl’ memes on the internet that rack up thousands of retweets,” writer Majepe noted. “Darker skinned girls like myself, grow up perming their lovely, natural afros because they want the soft silky hair that barbies and lighter skinned people are praised for having. … They have to work extra hard to silence themselves and hold their anger at injustices because they don’t want to perpetuate the unattractive ‘mad black woman’ stereotype.”
Thankfully, ColourPop heard their consumers’ cries and apologized for the misnomers. “On behalf of ColourPop, we are sorry and are extremely grateful for our customers’ feedback,” the brand said in a statement to BuzzFeed News. “We have taken immediate action to change the shade names and review our naming process to ensure this does not happen again.”
They also changed the names of the three shades in question to Bloom, Point Dume and Platonic.
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