MAC Rodarte makeup named for Juarez is not pretty


M.A.C Rodarte ad for new makeup line

I don’t know any woman who would want to wear a nail polish named after the border city of Juarez.

Or what about makeup named “factory,” “Ghost Town” and “del Norte?”

Fashion bloggers like The Frisky first started buzzing about this controversial new makeup line by fashion label Rodarte and MAC cosmetics.

Kate and Laura Mulleavy, two sisters behind the Rodarte fashion line, are based in Southern California.

What’s even more shocking is that the sisters have Mexican heritage, according to Ezine. Their grandfather was from Zacatecas and he migrated to the United States during the Mexican Revolution.

I think they need to get in touch with the reality of contemporary Mexico.

More than 500 women have been murdered in the Mexican border city of Juarez since 1993. That city also has seen 1,500 people killed so far this year and 5,700 since 2008, largely a result of the drug war. The border city is full of maquiladoras, or factories where migrants, including many young women from other parts of Mexico try to eke out a living.

I don’t get how exploiting that is fashionable in any way. I’ve been to Juarez and I can tell you life there is not pretty.

Is making a few pesos working on an assembly line pretty?

Is worrying that some psycho or a band of them is out there murdering women fun?

Is leaving behind your family to make a living while living in a shanty town glamorous?

Rodarte and MAC have issued an apology. They said they are looking at ways to donate money to Juarez.

Lo siento is not enough. They should pull the cosmetics line set to launch this fall or if not we should boycott it.

I don’t know who in their right mind would buy it anyway.

The colors of the makeup are all appparently pale. Don’t see how that works for the complexion of most Mexican women or Latinas. Obviously, that’s not the market they want to reach with this makeup line.

And there’s a ridiculous ad campaign of a woman dressed in deathly white. She looks like some anorexic version of La Llorona.

It’s not cool to market death about a place where it is all too real. Even more offensive is that they are ignorantly romanticizing the murder and exploitation of women.

The Rodarte company issued this statement.

“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 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 MAC collaboration was intended as a celebration of the beauty of the landscape and people in the areas that we travelled. “

A road trip? Really?

Well they obviously just looked at the culture from the rear view window because any person with common sense would know the names they selected for their makeup are nonsensical. I would never associate “Juarez,” “Ghost Town,” “del Norte” or “factory” with an ethereal landscape and lipstick, nail polish or blush.

Wake up from your fashion fantasy to the real world ladies.

MAC issued this statement:

“We understand that product names in the MAC Rodarte collection have offended some of our consumers and fans. This was never our intent and we are very sorry. We are listening carefully to the comments posted and are grateful to those of you who have brought your concerns to the forefront of our attention. MAC will give a portion of the proceeds from the MAC Rodarte collection to help those in need in Juarez. We are diligently investigating the best way to do this. Please be assured that we will keep you posted on the details regarding our efforts. “

Sounds to me like they are scrambling to find a solution. Donating some money is a nice idea but to who or what group or to the city itself? It also doesn’t excuse that they will still profit off the name of a city that is suffering. They also disrespect all the hard-working women of Juarez and the women who have lost their lives there.

As my mother would say these people are sin verguenza. They have no shame.

UPDATE: Temptalia has more recent statements that MAC and Rodarte are going to change some of the product names and donate $100,000 to an organization that helps women in Juarez. That is progress but the concept of the whole line that also includes the names “Badlands,” “Bordertown” and “Sleepwalker” is still offensive. The whole thing belongs in the basura.


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  • If you would like to see MAC and Rodarte do more for the women of Juarez then there is a petition you can sign: This petition calls for MAC/Rodarte to donate ALL PROFITS from the Fall collection and help raise global awareness of the violence and exploitation of women in Juarez. They can and ought to do more for the women of Juarez.
    Thank you!

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    I am a Rodarte and possibly family to the Mulleavy sisters. I am appalled that they would be so insensitive to their own culture and roots. My family is from Zacatecas and have been there and have appreciated it's true beauty and richness. A road trip to the border does not do any justice to Mexico or its abundance of culture within it's borders. The Mulleavy sisters need to get to their roots and understand the beauty that is Mexico and their surname of Rodarte.

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