By SADIE WHITELOCKS
PUBLISHED: 09:39 EST, 27 November 2012 | UPDATED: 10:07 EST, 27 November 2012
Make-up brand Illamasqua has come under fire for using a ‘blacked-up’ model in its holiday ad campaign.
The promotional shot, which has since disappeared from the company’s Facebook page and website, featured a woman dressed in black, with a dark complexion, alongside a caption reading: ‘NOT dreaming of a white Christmas’.
Jezebel, which spotted the image last night, wrote in an article: ‘Not only has the model’s skin been darkened with makeup, her lips have been exaggerated with pink lipstick – like a minstrel show performer from the 19th Century… And the top hat and bow tie is looking very Bert Williams.’
The Jezebel piece, generated dozens of comments, and one user wrote: ‘It’s incredibly disappointing that this is coming from Illamasqua, a small, London-based company. I had always believed was far more thoughtful and progressive than most others out there.
‘They do such gorgeous, outlandish, playful makeup that genuinely challenges a lot of tired, hackneyed beauty tropes, so it’s unspeakably depressing that they’re the ones responsible for this.’
The image currently still appears on Pinterest where users have described it as ‘horrifying’, ‘disgusting’, and ‘insulting’.
One pinner added: ‘Wow, this is racist and gross. Really surprised pinterest can’t/hasn’t taken it down, it must be extremely alienating to Black pinners :/ Definitely ”Attacks a group”!’
Although another defended the ad, stating: ‘This isn’t blackface – Just an editorial interpretation of the opposite of white.’
In response to the backlash Illamasqua posted a notice on its Facebook page on Monday night, stating that it ‘was never our intention to cause offence‘.
It continued: ‘Illamasqua has always celebrated the right to self-expression and we continually push creative and artistic boundaries, priding ourselves on working with models of many ethnic backgrounds to reinforce this point.
‘Alex Box, Illamasqua’s creative director, has emphasised that this campaign is about colour ON the skin, not colour OF the skin.’
Another image, showing the same female model, wearing white make-up, a white hat and white apparel has not been cut from Illamasqua’s holiday ad campaign.
The company added that the black and white depictions of the same model were meant to encourage people to think about ‘polarity’ and ‘not race’.