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Illamasqua Faces Backlash For “Black Face” Christmas Campaign

Submitted by on November 30, 2012 – 11:11 amNo Comment

When Bing Crosby sang about dreaming of a”White Christmas” in the 1954 classic film, he could have never ever imagined it would spark so much controversy over half a century later. The reason? British beauty brand Illamasqua featured the phrase “White Christmas” as part of their Holiday campaign. In the advertisement, a model poses in all white garb with ivory porcelain skin. The same model then poses in all black garb with matching black face makeup. Both ads feature the slogan “I’m Not Dreaming Of A White Christmas.” The black face was instantly viewed as offensive and caused fans to respond negatively once the ad was posted on Facebook and Pinterest.

“Wow, this is racist and gross,” one woman wrote on Pinterest. “Really surprised Pinterest can’t/ hasn’t taken it down, it must be extremely alienating to black pinners.”

Still, the cosmetic company stands by their decision to freely express their artistic vision.

“We thank and acknowledge your comments regarding the above image,” the company wrote on their Australian Facebook page. “Obviously it was never our intention to cause offense; 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, depicting polarity between the two images (both images are the same model) not race.”

Check out the full campaign below. Are you not dreaming of a white Christmas or are you just dreaming this ad would disappear?

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