Ulta Beauty Faces Wrath For Lowbrow Frida Kahlo Makeup Collection
By Mikelle Leow, 10 Jul 2019
Image via Ulta Beauty
Frida Kahlo’s art, feminism, and style continue to inspire the world—a remarkable accomplishment despite her stance against being commercialized. 65 years since her death, everyone wants a piece of Kahlo, including cosmetics and skincare brand Ulta Beauty.
The label is poised to launch a Frida Kahlo-inspired makeup collection on 22 July, and has teased the scarlet-heavy range on its social media channels. The series includes an eyeshadow palette, lipsticks, a primer, highlighter and a brush, and comes in packaging fronted with images of the late Mexican painter.
As artful as the collection might be, customers question Ulta Beauty’s motivation behind debuting the products. After all, Kahlo was famously against capitalism and commercialism, but the makeup brand is retailing the series for profit.
Several social media users also point out that the artist’s iconic unibrow and mole seem to have been photoshopped away, a move that Kahlo isn’t likely to approve if she were alive today.
“Where’s her unibrow? Mole? I love her, but she hated both capitalism and traditional beauty standards,” one Instagram user comments.
Another chimes in, “She doesn’t have her unibrow and she was a staunch anti-capitalist. She would not have approved of this collection. It’s disrespectful to her image and her legacy.” Both complaints have fetched over 1,000 likes since time of publishing.
The Frida Kahlo logo on the packaging comes with a registered trademark symbol, asserting that the collection was given the green light by the Frida Kahlo Corporation, which was founded by Kahlo’s niece Isolda P. Kahlo and owns all rights of the late artist’s name and identity.
The company was previously criticized for profiting off Frida Kahlo’s name and image, most notably from a Barbie doll collaboration with Mattel. The complaint came from one of Kahlo’s direct descendants, separate from the Frida Kahlo Corporation, who argued that the doll was neither representative of the painter nor her views.
Recently, Vans also released a footwear collection inspired by Kahlo’s artworks, which was approved by the Frida Kahlo Corporation as well. While widely lauded, the range also had its fair share of critics.
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Be your own masterpiece 🎨 Inspired by Frida's strength, this collection is full of bold colors, bright lips, a glowy highlighter & more. Shop the new Frida Kahlo by #ultabeautycollection online now and in stores 7/22! #ultabeauty
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ulta is releasing a "frida kahlo inspired" makeup collection as if she wasn't vocal throughout her life about how she hated capitalism & consumerism. not to mention the color palette is bland at best pic.twitter.com/m6v8CzHFlw— princess egg (@lilliesuperstar) July 6, 2019
Me: Ulta is doing a Frida Kahlo collection!?— Klarissa Perez, M. Ed. (@klarissa_perez) July 6, 2019
Ulta: *photoshopped her unibrow off*
frida kahlo: didn’t want her likeness to become merchandise, extremely anti-capitalism— eggie (@meganbailey_s) July 7, 2019
Frida Kahlo was a communist who fought against capitalism, she would be rolling in her grave knowing that Ulta has a collection after her— 🌙Josie✨ (@colorssoooh) July 7, 2019
Screenshot via Ulta Beauty
[via Remezcla, images via various sources]
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