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August 15, 2006

MAC Cosmetics: This Is What Tolerance Looks Like?


MAC Cosmetics, showing us all what true tolerance looks like.

After all, you wouldn't want to be some little freaked out, intimidated, frightened, right-wing Republican thin-lipped bitch... [Note: MAC has since edited out the bitch part, but you can see the original here]

Now would you?

I know I'm inspired. Oh, and don't forget scared.

Via the Diva.

Update: Keep watching Diva's site - she is going to be blogging this. There is absolutely no reason to drag partisan politics into something as trivial as makeup or fashion, and I have no patience with companies who leverage hatred or bigotry for profit. This is just inexcusable.

Diva's post is up. A little teaser:

Some interesting information: Leonard Lauder (Chairman of the Board @ Estee Lauder) served under President Reagan - I bet he would be interested in learning that his little portfolio gem has hired the services of a hate-monger who out and out attacked every single Republican woman...


Update II: Drudge is giving MAC some free publicity. Good on him. How long do you think it stays up?

Update III: Can the HVES call 'em or what? H/t Masked Menace. The offensive part of the video (formerly right after "she's freaking me out... she's scaring me!") has been completely edited out of the ad... which is why we made sure to take it down verbatim this morning. Amazing. No apology, no notice.

It. Never. Happened.

Posted by Cassandra at August 15, 2006 09:05 AM


I'm all, like, gag me.

Signed, Right-wing Republican Thin-lipped Bitch.

Posted by: MathMom at August 15, 2006 10:34 AM

So, I'm supposed to care what an angry, nasty, fat-lipped, liberal asshat has to say about lipstick?

The real irony though, is that Bernhard is about as, "attractive," as a hedge-trimmer. IS THERE ANYONE who would want to look like her?

You said it, Cass:

"This is just inexcusable."

Signed, per MathMom above...

Posted by: JannyMae at August 15, 2006 10:47 AM

Well, I hope you aren't scared by me, a boney assed, dental neglecting untalented lesbian (but not the good kind)Madonna and Rosanne stalking put a hook in my over sized Mick Jaggar lipped in a bad way mouth [word that may not be mentioned in mixed company].

Posted by: MAC Spokespersyn at August 15, 2006 10:47 AM

What I find truly amusing about this is that the half-vast editorial staff are *anything* but thin-lipped.

We distinctly remember crying ourselves to sleep as a little girl because we did not have the requisite Peggy Lipton disappearing lips that were so popular in the 1960's and we thought there was something hideously wrong with us.

And now Hollywood stars are injecting their lips with silicone to make them look pouty.

Whatever. Why can't women be happy with themselves the way they are? There is always some jerk out there telling us that we are not good enough the way we are, and some of us are always dumb enough to believe it.

Posted by: Cassandra at August 15, 2006 10:52 AM

Why can't women be happy with themselves the way they are? There is always some jerk out there telling us that we are not good enough the way we are, and some of us are always dumb enough to believe it.

Thus has it ever been.

I remember watching some bad TV show on Discovery late one night when I couldn't sleep about different cultures standards of beauty.

Like long necks? Put metal rings around them to stretch the neck.

Like small feet? Bind them at childhood so they can't grow.

Like pierced lips? Put increasingly sized disks in them to see just how big you can make the hole.

Tatoos your thing? Why not get your whole body covered in them.

What about large breasts? Implant bags of foreign substances and the sky's the limit.

Human nature is to take one aspect of beauty and to exagerate it.

Posted by: Masked Menace© at August 15, 2006 11:19 AM

Sandra Bernhardt would have scared me if we were in a gay bar in SanFran, but since I am a heteronormed lover of one man, she leaves me cold, irritated and wondering if someone will take those wet lips of hers and stick her head to the wall.

And what is with the ravishment that 'you've created and are responsible for?' Since when to liberal bi sexuals own their behavior?

okay, back to lurking.

Posted by: Cricket at August 15, 2006 11:42 AM

I too, have lush full lips and the Engineer enjoys kissing them. As did our children up until age 6. When my kids were little, I used to send them off to school with a big lipstick kiss on their forehead (you know, SWAK?) like
Glinda, the good witch. It was a talisman and for a while, started a trend.

I would do that to the snail mail I sent the Engineer...on the letter.


Posted by: Cricket at August 15, 2006 11:46 AM


I did that too, once upon a time.

I can remember spritzing letters with cologne too. I used to wonder if it would last, all the way until it got to Japan.

Posted by: Cassandra at August 15, 2006 11:59 AM


My wife works at a spa that uses and sells nothing but Aveda products (yup, another Estee Lauder company). This isn't going to sit well with her, but it won't phase anyone else at the spa, since we live in Little Berkeley Eugene.

Posted by: Brian B at August 15, 2006 12:02 PM

Posted by: Brian B at August 15, 2006 12:26 PM

The Coast has open minded liberals, which means as long as politics don't harsh their mellow
you can think/be/act/dress/work/whatever you want.

But then again, it depends on how much bongwater
has been passed to and between them.

And her dig about thin lipped Republicans was a shot at Ann Coulter. Ann Coulter is mouthy, but not a pouty lipped potty mouth.

Posted by: Cricket at August 15, 2006 12:28 PM

I wondered what the point of that was.

I didn't get it.

What a twit.

Posted by: Cassandra at August 15, 2006 12:31 PM


"Why can't women be happy with themselves the way they are? There is always some jerk out there telling us that we are not good enough the way we are, and some of us are always dumb enough to believe it."

My sister and I had a conversation about this over the weekend. Interestingly, we concluded that it's generally other WOMEN who put pressure on us to strive for that, "perfection." Think about it. When you're getting dressed for a big event, do you think about what the men are going to think of your dress, or your shoes, or your hair? Perhaps if you're striving to look sexy, and attract men, you might, but otherwise...whose critical eyes do we concern ourselves with more?

Posted by: JannyMae at August 15, 2006 12:33 PM

Janny, I think you are right. We dress for other women, to show off our assets and what the competition will be like.

I used to use Estee Lauder's mascara since it was the only one I wasn't allergic to. In using it, my lashes (when I wore contacts) were up almost past my eyebrows. And it used to amuse my reverse side away extremely when other women
would look at my eyes and sort of gnash their teeth.

But that was over 20 years and one husband ago.
I don't envy the sweet young things and if there is one thing I could tell my Princess Kitty child, it would be to keep herself healthy
and take care of her skin and she won't need makeup.

A couple of Halloweens ago, I dressed her up as Belle from Beauty and The Beast. She looked absolutely like Belle and the other little girls who had dressed like her ignored her. The girls her age who went as Mulan, Ariel, Cinderella, etc all thought she looked the part, and decided to talk to her as well as hang out with her. Several little boys were attentive to her too, which put her brothers and dad on guard.


We are preparing the paper bag for her 18th birthday.

Or we will put her in purdah.

Posted by: Cricket at August 15, 2006 12:48 PM

I dont need preaching from a make-up company, thats really over the line especially coming from Burnhart.

Posted by: Jane at August 15, 2006 12:55 PM

"... lips represent sexuality first and foremost". Until they part revealing a ghastly set of gapped teeth.

Posted by: profligatewaste at August 15, 2006 01:55 PM

Ah! Now that my head is out of the loo and I'm feeling better, I wish to mention that Sandra Bernhardt was on some show (Leno?) once, before I knew who she was or why anyone would care (that part hasn't changed), and she just went on and on about how beautiful she was, and how every woman envied how beautiful she was. All I could think was that she must have left the beauty on the ugly stick she was whomped with.

Then I decided that it was one of those "I'm good enough, and I'm smart enough, and doggone it, people like me" sort of affirmations she must say repeatedly into the mirror, and she made the mistake of telling it to Jay.

Even the ugly stick beating wouldn't matter to me if she had a soul. But I think she does not.

Posted by: MathMom at August 15, 2006 02:22 PM

All of you is perfect, Cassie.

The Unit tol' me so.

Posted by: John of Argghhh! at August 15, 2006 03:08 PM

Geez. Who knew lip gloss was political? I'm thinking that alienating half the women in the country by calling them "little freaked out, intimidated, frightened, right-wing Republican thin-lipped bitch(es)" isn't the smartest marketing move, but we'll see.

Posted by: Deb at August 15, 2006 04:03 PM

John darlin'. Now I know why SWWBO is in such a good mood all the time :)

Posted by: Cassandra at August 15, 2006 04:06 PM

Sandra Hardtburn. Mathmom, I hope your tummy is okay after her disgusting, self righteous display of what MAC thinks is beautiful.

And to tell you the truth, I snorted juice all over my laptop after reading the ugly stick commentary.

Posted by: Cricket at August 15, 2006 04:46 PM

Oh, Sandra honey, here is a clue: Not only does a camera add ten pounds to your weight, but wearing a pair of white slacks/pants/jeans/trousers didn't do your hips any favors, either. Remember, black and dark colors make you look smaller. With your black blouse over your white pants, you looked as much like a piece of fruit as you really are.

Posted by: UN Doctor at August 15, 2006 04:52 PM

Love your comments!

MathMom, I agree with you. There are people who are ugly on the outside, but beautiful on the inside. Bernhard clearly isn't one of them.

I also loved Cricket's snarky comment over on the Diva!

Posted by: JannyMae at August 15, 2006 05:18 PM

Thankfully, ol' Sandy-baby is as beautiful as she is funny.Not that those lips couldn't air start a B-52....provided she kept those picket fence teeth off the starter air horn.

Posted by: WildBlueYonder at August 15, 2006 06:13 PM

Here is the thing. Some marketing guy OK'ed this. This wasn't some slip of the tongue during an interview or a drunken tirade during her DUI arrest. This was scripted and put on their website.

They don't care to sell to conservatives is the message I get. Give them their wish.

Posted by: KJ at August 15, 2006 07:19 PM

It appears they've edited out this part of the video.

I hope someone was able to save a copy of the original.

Posted by: Masked Menace at August 15, 2006 07:42 PM

I didn't save the video, but that's why I made sure I typed the words, WORD FOR WORD.

Posted by: Cassandra at August 15, 2006 07:45 PM

Oh I will give them their wish. Heaven knows that the unphotogenic among them need all the help they can get. I won't be elbowing someone in the kidney for their products.

As far as marketing goes...I sort of figgered that they wouldn't have put it up on the site
if they hadn't known about the content to begin with, just to cause a stir and get people talking.

Now I regret making snark because what I should have done was ignored it.

Dang. I hate when that happens.

Posted by: Cricket at August 15, 2006 07:52 PM

I predict some marketing twerp gets canned for this. Estee Lauder is a publicly traded corporation. This little advertising moonbattery will affect the stock price and corporate bottom line. The political insult is way over the top.

When Ben & Jerry of ice cream fame could not resist waving their lefty politics in everyone's face, I quit buying the brand. Benetton launched an attention-whore ad campaign that really put me off. I am watching this Sandra "The Mouth" Bernhard nonsense with interest. I suspect EL's board will not be amused.

Don't miss the comments at Diva's. They are hilarious. VC readers apply a deserved spanking. Watching SB's little video was creepy. She has a reptilian quality that is really ugly.

Posted by: Mark at August 15, 2006 07:53 PM


You helped me realize what it was that was creeping me out about the Bernhard ugly lips ad...she reminds me of a lizard mutant like in that old 80's tv show V. It's been bothering me all day but I couldn't put my finger on what it was aside from her just being a hateful dental quagmire.

Cassandra - I just got back from the MAC site and unless they have the ad on different servers the one I saw was the full version not edited at all - but if they do have balance servers maybe there is a server with the edited version - anyways Google pulls through with the original version still cached - gotta love Google :)

Posted by: Diva at August 15, 2006 08:38 PM

Cricket -

I feel bad about your laptop screen. Should I send my last box of ScrappleFace Spew Wipes for you to use on your monitor? :)

Posted by: MathMom at August 15, 2006 09:22 PM

I must be seeing a different version, Diva. I've watched it three times - same edited version. Oh well...

Posted by: Cassandra at August 15, 2006 09:57 PM

I am just so sick of this kind of treatment. I posted the letter I sent to M•A•C and Estée Lauder over at The Cotillion but I want to post here too to let you know I appreciate your coverage of this issue as well.

I'm a customer, dammit. They're selling lipstick. What do they gain by insulting me, except to reinforce their feelings of smug self-superiority?

Sure, there are bigger issues out there. But this crosses the line somehow, in the way it was done so casually and matter-of-factly, in the completely non-political realm of cosmetics marketing.

I know they hate me, blah blah blah. But do they have to shove it in my face at every turn?

Posted by: Cody at August 16, 2006 10:57 AM

Now Cody... there you go again. But isn't that just like an iggerant knuckle dragging, snake handling Red Stater?

Liberals are *tolerant*. They never, never hate on The Other.

It is only frightened little thin-lipped Republican bitches like you who are mean-spirited towards those of the other political persuasion. I'm surprised at you.

Heh :D

Posted by: Cassandra at August 16, 2006 11:38 AM

Seriously, this is what I hate about broad-based generalizations.

There was a great rant in the movie Gettysburg about this. I'll see if I can find it.

Posted by: Cassandra at August 16, 2006 11:40 AM

Yep. Liberal tolerance. Somehow I managed to forget about that for a second, thanks for the reminder!

I feel really stupid for having bought all those MAC products now. I guess this is what they wanted, so congratulations to the MAC marketing department. They really are better than me dontcha know. Oh and thanks for all that money, sucka. Tee hee.

Rule One in the advertising industry is that positive brand value is hard to build and easy to destroy. Not to overstate it, but people do develop emotional relationships with brands, and come to feel that certain products are "theirs" on some level.

Way to wreck that, MAC. And for what?

I want my money back.

Posted by: Cody at August 16, 2006 12:04 PM

I wrote a letter to MAC asking them why they edited the video. I also told them that they owed Republican women an apology. No, I will not be buying their product if they think I am that weak minded and intimidated. That is one way to get people to scoot. Bully them and you won't find one person who will support you.

Sandra Bernhardt, the Lady Voldemort of the cosmetics industry.

Posted by: Cricket at August 16, 2006 12:22 PM

Here's a link to the unedited original video on YouTube. Only the iggerant among us will fail to appreciate the *tolerance* oozing from it.

I wonder what kind of response Cricket will get to her letter...

Posted by: Cody at August 16, 2006 12:45 PM

While I am not holding my breath that they will address the specific issue re: editing their intolerance out, I did get the generic response of "We got your letter and someone will be with you shortly." Cyber equivalence of being on hold.

Ya know, I got more of a rise out of Dell when I called about my old laptop. They sent me three email surveys, a free laptop (I had to send the old one back)and called me several times to make sure I was happy.

And to top it off, they even sent me a peripheral floppy drive as well as a car charger.

Posted by: Cricket at August 16, 2006 02:37 PM

I surely do appreciate the offer of your last box of Scrappleface brand Screen Wipes.
What a friend!

I have to ax the question though, why hasn't the HVES of VC decided to market a line of blog reading and cyber surfing supplies?

Or delegated that task to the readership?


And finally, I just about spewed dental instruments when I saw the ads on the telly for 'Brawny Academy.' No joke. I was in the dental chair, shot up with Novocaine. I saw it
and nearly whooped with glee. Poor patients who heard the laughter emanating from my treatment cell prolly thought nitrous was to blame, but sadly for them, no.

Posted by: Cricket at August 17, 2006 10:02 AM

Interesting. I left a comment on their site, mentioning that it wasn't the smartest marketing ploy to alienate half their customer base, and I got back the following e-mail:

From: "MAC Consumer Communications"
To: "Deb Conrad"
Sent: Thursday, August 17, 2006 1:53 PM
Subject: Inquiry to Mac

> Dear Ms. Conrad,
> Thank you for taking the time to contact M.A.C.
> We want you to know that we have heard you. As a loyal consumer you took
> the time to share with us your dissatisfaction regarding the M.A.C.
> Plushglass video featuring Sandra Bernhard and we thank you. We have
> decided to remove the video from the M.A.C. website.
> We apologize for any distress this might have caused you and can assure you
> that Sandra Bernhard's political views are not shared by our Company. We
> hope that our response allays any question that you may have had regarding
> our Company's intent and commitment to our customers.
> We appreciate your interest in M.A.C and hope we have the opportunity to
> serve you in the near future.
> Sincerely,
> Virginia Swierupski
> Global Consumer Communications
> 2,437,916
The video wasn't removed, just edited . . . and I'm sure Virginia will be able to explain this business decision.

Posted by: Deb at August 18, 2006 02:07 AM

Deb, I just tried the original link to the video, above, and it appears it is now gone from the site.


Posted by: JannyMae at August 19, 2006 01:02 AM

I will not be insulted or have my political views dengigrated and still buy a company's products. That is all this hoopla is about. Think Dixie Chicks.

I just e-mailed Kenneth Cole (a handbag and shoe company) regarding an ad in the September 2006 issue of Vogue magazine which reads, With the government recording our personal phone calls, our rights aren't the only thing on the line. Are you putting us on? - Kenneth Cole.

My answer to both Estee Lauder and Kenneth Cole regarding, "Are you putting us on?" is no, never again.

Using marketing as a political platform is, in my opinion, a poor business practice. Silly me, I thought ALL companies were in business to sell products to the largest number of people possible. It appears that for a few companies, politics are more important than profits.

Posted by: Karol at August 30, 2006 02:01 PM

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