With makeup giving 12-year-olds the ability to look 20, the makeup industry seems to forget not all of their clientele are actually that age.
From “Better than Sex” mascara and “Barely Legal” lip-gloss by Too Faced, Nars blush in “Orgasm” or “Deep Throat” to the “Spank Me” eyeshadow from MAC, these makeup products are available to even the youngest makeup enthusiasts for purchase.
Seemingly innocent nail polish doesn’t even escape the sexualization, as the colors “Porn-a-thon” by Smith & Cult and “Jizz” by BleachBlack attest to. What does naming makeup products so sexually do to benefit a brand, and how might this affect young children who purchase and use their products?
I worry that young girls using products that are so explicitly named alm Aost ages them beyond their years, which is more damaging, I think, than wearing makeup that makes younger girls look older than they are.
I know personally I didn’t get interested in makeup until I was finishing with high school and starting college, but now I see girls as young as twelve or thirteen using a repertoire of products I didn’t even know existed at their age. It’s worse when their mascaras, eyeshadows and blushes that they use have an extremely sexual undertone to their names.
As a 20-year-old makeup enthusiast, I very much enjoy sharing my favorite shades of lipstick with my friends…how wrong would it be to hear that a 12-year-old’s favorite shade is “69” by MAC? There is something inherently wrong and discomforting about that.
I understand a brand’s obsession with staying trendy and edgy for marketing’s sake, I just think that especially in today’s day and age, more brands have to take into consideration what demographics they are reaching as a whole, not just one or two niches. I think people would still buy the product without the sexed-up packaging, if the product was actually well-made. I would, in fact, be more apt to share my makeup favorites to more people if I didn’t have to say “Yea, on my eyelids is this shade ‘Deep Throat.’” No thanks.
Young girls will have plenty of time to experiment with achieving “sexy” when they are older. At their age, makeup should be a fun and experimental learning process– with product names to match.
Makeup can be about finding your own persona and way to best represent yourself and how you want to portray that to the world. Words that define sex shouldn’t be what girls see to define them.
They should learn makeup isn’t just to look good for the opposite sex, but it is more a matter of self-expression.The person they should learn to look good for is themselves. I hope this trend of scandalous makeup names is one that is soon over.
Meridith King can be contacted at Mking@kscequinox.com