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Sephora and Kat Von D under fire for offensive red lipstick name

Rebecca Bracken is a news and views writer.






What does 'Underage Red' lipstick say about women and the beauty industry we bankroll?

So what do you think Sephora and Kat Von D were going for when they named a ruby red lipstick color "Underage Red"?

Is the idea that little girls like to wear their mother's red lipstick and then seek out sex with older men? Is it that grown women who wear red lipstick secretly want to be little girls and have sex with dirty old men? Someone please explain this. Because any way you look at it, it's gross. And we're not the only ones who have taken notice.

The lipstick has reportedly been out for more than a year, but the name is just now registering with women. It makes sense, really. You go to buy a red lipstick, you don't care what it's named; you just want the right shade. But once you realize it's called "Underage Red," it just feels all kinds of creepy.

Kat Von D's makeup brand was already pulled from Sephora stores more than a year ago over a similarly unfortunately lipstick shade named "Celebutard." Maybe this is some sort of warped strategy for publicity?

But Sephora and Von D aren't alone.

Wildly popular makeup company MAC has a Tinted Lipglass shade called "Nymphette," which, even according to the Urban Dictionary, is a "sexy, young (usually underage) girl."

Really? This can't be an accident. Are women so desperate for youth that we secretly want to see ourselves as sexy little girls? Is that society's definition of beauty that's being reflected back at us with product names like this? Not sure. But these are absolutely questions we should be asking ourselves.

An average woman will spend about $15,000 on makeup over a lifetime. We spend our hard-earned dollars, and this is how we're thought of by these brands? Let's spend our money on brands and in stores that see us as women and treat us with respect, not sexualize little girls.

What do you think? Does the name "Underage Red" bother you?

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