On Thursday, the last day of New York Fashion Week, MAC Cosmetics posted the photo below of a black model sporting deep purple lipstick at the Ohne Titel show. My first reaction was, "Wow! How stunning!"
The intensity of the pigments used to create this look was enhanced by the model's dark complexion and full lips. And as a woman of color with similar facial features, I felt empowered to try it out for myself. But, then I noticed a slew of racist comments.
From comparisons to fish and rapper Jay Z, the attacks on this model's lips were heartbreaking and outright vicious. Some Instagram users even went as far as suggesting they were unfollowing MAC on the social media platform.
I have so many questions: Are these individuals blind to the beauty of this woman and this lipstick color? Where are all the haters in the comments section of another image MAC posted, showing a model with lighter skin and more slender lips wearing the same shade? Why do some people view full lips on a black woman as unattractive, yet white women who mimic this feature (sometimes with the assistance of cosmetic surgery) are celebrated?
There were also countless women and men of all backgrounds commenting how "gorgeous," "beautiful" and "perfect" the model's purple lips were. But the negative responses are further proof that we need empowerment movements such as #BlackGirlMagic.
The fashion industry still has a long way to go when it comes to being more inclusive. But when brands like MAC highlight the beauty of black women, it makes a powerful statement and takes a huge step toward eliminating a monolithic standard of beauty. It says, "You will not be ignored!" It says, "We see you shining!" It says, "You are perfect just as you are!"
So, to the Internet trolls, I say have several seats and bask in this #BlackGirlMagic.