Update: Lipstickgate is now on People.com - please feel free to comment over there. As you can imagine, not everyone understands the problem with the lipstick name. Thanks. KS
Update: And Perez Hilton.
By Kim Stagliano
I want to publicly thank the people at Sephora for acting quickly and pulling a Kat Von D. lipstick whose name was offensive to many of us.
Kat Von D. is an LA personality known for her extensive tattooing. You can read her bio here. I can not read her bio there. I am 49 and the font is about size 2 on her site. The lipstick name was Celebutard, which is a real word and is a hybrid of celebrity and retard. Of course the retard part is intended to imply stupid, impaired, disabled. It's a slur. It's cousin is Debutard, sometimes used to describe/insult trust fund babies like Paris Hilton.
I wrote a Huffington Post piece "Are You High on Tattoo Ink?" that caught some attention while expressing my dismay that Sephora hadn't realized how ugly this name was for a beauty product. Other people also wrote about the poorly named lipstick.
Check out this Tweet exchange from Kat Von D. in which she missed the point of the critique. The woman she was Tweeting with (I blocked her name for privacy) and I had a nice exchange today - she realized why many advocates were offended and changed her mind. That's cool. We can all learn and grow. And I hope Miss Von D. also learns and grows from the experience.
Words hurt as much as tattoo needles. And the effects can be as permanent.
Sephora pulled the product from their shelves. They reacted swiftly and, I think, appropriately.
My kids watch Christmas movies year round. One of their favorites is Santa Claus is Comin' To Town. I love the scene when Kris Kringle asks for help from the Winter Warlock, who is supposed to be the meanest, coldest dude in the forest. The Warlock tries to help Kris get the toys to the kids - but fears he has limited powers. After all, he only has a candle stick stub and a few pieces of magic corn. But that corn makes reindeer fly (and that leads us to Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, which we also watch 12 months a year.)
I'm proud that I was able use my few pieces of magic corn, my really limited powers, to do something positive for a whole lot of people.
Kim Stagliano is Managing Editor of Age of Autism. Her novel, House of Cards; A Kat Cavicchio romantic suspense is available from Amazon in all e-formats now. Her memoir, All I Can Handle I'm No Mother Teresa is available in hardcover, paperback and e-book.