Culture Feature

This Haunts Me: When Jeffree Star Ruined a Black-owned Beauty Brand

How a cosmetics company representing African culture, vitality, and pride was "canceled" because of a known racist influencer.

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As we're (finally) making more efforts to support Black-owned businesses, we should inevitably be wondering why there are so few of them visible to mainstream consumers.

Within the astoundingly white-washed beauty industry, Black-owned brands account for a shamefully small fraction of the industry. This is especially egregious considering that, on average, Black women spend nine times more on beauty and hair care than white women. In 2017 Rihanna's Fenty Beauty released an inclusive range of 40 shades of foundation to wild acclaim, and the industry began to reckon with its lack of diversity. Major brands like Dior, Rimmel, and CoverGirl have attempted to release more diverse shades, but their tactic of "diverse" advertising often commodifies and objectifies non-white skin tones. As writer Niellah Arboine critiques, "There is something really dehumanising about calling [products] chocolate, caramel, mocha and coffee while all the lighter shades are porcelain or ivory."

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Culture News

Maybe Cancel "Lolita" Instead of Madison Beer?

But was Beer's off-hand comment so bad?

It's not often that 65-year-old literature becomes the center of online controversy–but maybe it should happen more often.

On Monday, 21-year-old singer Madison Beer faced backlash when she replied to a fan's question about what she thought of Vladimir Nabokov's 1955 novel about a middle-aged man's predatory obsession with his 12-year-old stepdaughter. During the livestream, Beer said it was her favorite book and that she "definitely" romanticized the storyline.

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Culture News

Beyoncé Calls for Justice for Breonna Taylor in Letter to Attorney General

Three months later with no justice in sight, Beyoncé calls out the Kentucky authorities for their lack of action.

One of 2020's defining features as an alternate reality is that celebrities are leading the fight for social justice, from Kim Kardashian lobbying for prison reform to Britney Spears being a socialist hero.

On Sunday, Beyoncé posted an open letter to Kentucky's Attorney General Daniel Cameron imploring him to press criminal charges against three police officers involved in the fatal shooting of 26-year-old EMT Breonna Taylor in Louisville.

In the three months since Taylor's death, no actions have been taken. "LMPD's investigations have created more questions than answers," the singer writes. She demands that Cameron create more transparency in the investigation of the incident and prosecute the officers' misconduct, as well as the police force's "pervasive practices that result in the repeated deaths of unarmed Black citizens."

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