I know there are some bizarre beauty names out there – some are questionable, some are tasteless and some are just plain boring (does the world ever need another lipstick called Fuschia?). But, there has to be a line that, if you cross it, you should expect some attention.
So, the Kat Von D lipstick and gloss named ‘Underage Red’ should have us all seeing red. I don’t think there would be a single beauty brand that, if asked the question, “are you promoting, glamorizing or advocating underage sex?” would fling up their hands and say, “yes! yes, we are…”. And yet, with their siren red gloss, and the name ‘Underage Red’, the Kat Von D range has taken a beauty product over the edge into a seedy and highly questionable place where they’ve associated a product with child sex. The age of consent in the US is between 16 and 18 depending upon the state, and the age of consent in the UK is 16. Across the world, it varies between 12 and 18. But, that’s not really what’s relevant – what is more important is that they’ve glamorized it and tried to make it desirable.
It’s not for me to judge at all where anyone’s sexual boundaries lie; people mature at different ages and I guess decisions have to be made on an individual basis, but we live in a world where sexual exploitation of minors is a major issue. Most young women want to experiment with makeup as part of their growing up process, and that’s always going to be tied with attractiveness and self-esteem. But, with Kat Von D, how underage is Underage? Were they thinking of some naughty 14 year old? A 10 year old? Need I go on?
The beauty industry treads a very fine line – personally, I think it’s been crossed here. What do you think?
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