Don’t Tell Me What To Be!


This post is inspired by a thread on MakeupAlley tonight. The poster was telling about how she was visiting her local Chanel counter and was told they are (or have already) discontinuing the lightest shade in Vitalumiere foundation. She asked why that was, and the sales associate said she’d look into it. The result she came back with shocks me. Chanel says they are discontinuing it because they don’t have any pale clientele. Their suggestion for those who will now be out a foundation shade is “to tan a little”.
As a pale girl, I cannot even tell you how many times I have been told that I need to get a tan. People like to offer this advice all the time, completely unsolicited. When I show my pale legs in a skirt, people will remark that it’s time to break out the self tanner. In high school it was less subtle. I was asked if I ever go outside. Am I a goth? A vampire? Seriously. Growing up pale in California makes you a total anomaly. I once visited the emergency room, and the doctor asked my mom “does she look pale to you or does she always look like this?”
Pale girls, how many times have you had your makeup done by someone who wants to suggest bronzer, or a darker foundation to “give you a little color”? Chances are if you’ve ever had your makeup done, you have had this experience. 
Angry goat is very angry.
What really gets my goat about this, is how is this socially acceptable, and yet if you were to tell someone they need to lighten their skin tone that is racist/bigoted/completely unacceptable. Why is it acceptable to have someone telling you or making you feel like the color of your skin is somehow strange or not okay? When did we get there again?
If you ask someone “would you ever make a negative comment about the color of someone else’s skin?” most people would say no. They just don’t think of suggesting someone get a tan as being disparaging. We’ve gotten to a place where it’s acceptable to tell someone they are too pale, whereas if that same Chanel associate had suggested her client use a skin lightening cream because no foundation were dark enough for her, I’m sure the customer could get her fired (and if not, well, do I need to even go there?).
What I’m getting at here is nobody likes to feel like an alien in their own skin. I wish more people realized that it is embarrassing, rude, and hurtful to make these comments. I wish more makeup artists would ask before just assuming we don’t like our skin color just the way it is. I believe makeup should make us feel good about ourselves, and how to be the best “us” we can be with what we have.
Does this issue ring home for you? Regardless of what color your skin actually is, has anyone ever made you feel less than because of it? What about in the beauty industry? Tell me your experiences! I’d love to know.

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