Askenjuri

Bite Beauty gaffe

Hasn't anyone noticed that Bite Beauty has named one of their Lush Fruit Lip Gloss's "Strangefruit"?  Isn't anyone else disturbed by this?

 

Strange Fruit, since no one seems to know, is the title of a famous jazz song sung by Billie Holliday (among many others).  The song is about the lynching of black men in the Jim Crow South, with their bodies being the 'strange fruit' that Southern trees bear.

 

Now I don't know anything about this company, maybe they are not American owned or based, so they don't realize the connotations.  I've told this to several people my own age(late 30's) and older and they were all appalled.  To date I have not seen any sign on Sephora (reviews, product Q&A, or here in BT) that anyone notices or cares. 

 

And that is even more disturbing than the name itself.

sparklekai

Re: Bite Beauty gaffe

i live in canada.  racism is very much alive and real.  maybe not to the same extent as in the us, but very real none the less.  i am a while woman and one could say i have lived a privileged life.  But as someone with a multiracial child, i have seen and heard people say and do something which should make them so disgusted with themselves that they are unable to continue in society.  

 

canada isn't some little dinky country without internet access.

emmaclaire

Re: Bite Beauty gaffe

There is a conflicting account of Van Morrison's song that quotes him as saying he accidentally changed the title to brown skinned girl because it was a "calypso" sounding song, but that it had always been intended as "brown eyed girl."

 

Bottom line = racism really doesn't have anything to do with intent.  Intent is not magical; it doesn't make a racist comment no longer racist.  And I really dislike the argument that I keep seeing here that because they didn't mean to evoke a racist connotation, they didn't do anything wrong.  They were ignorant of the meaning in the US, and as many people have stated (and I agree with) the effort it would have taken to avoid this mistake is so minuscule and the effect it may have could be pretty terrible.  An international company should know better.  I hope they do the right thing and change the product name.  Imagine all the possibilities if they wanted to convey a feeling of strangeness and fruit, for example.  Oddfruit, rarefruit, newfruit, funkyfruit, etc.

jobro1027

Re: Bite Beauty gaffe

But when you use that "miniscule" effort - which really could be an enormous task perusing the internet to figure out if a name is going to offend someone - on every product, that time really adds up. We wouldn't get new products as often, companies would be afraid of releasing anything for the slight chance they missed something.

 

You also have to consider that many of those in Bite's target group are unaware of the song. Yes, there are some, but I've never heard a song from Billy Holiday at all. I had no idea this song even existed. You could say that's ignorance on my part, but is everyone honestly expected to know everything in the world? We're all ignorant of something, but that doesn't make us lesser people. It just means we didn't know. And Bite didn't know either, so why are we condemning a company for such a mistake?

KeepWandering

Re: Bite Beauty gaffe

I definitely agree with your point about intent.

 

And all I pointed out was they did not mean to offend, and I even stated that they did, in fact, offend. 

 

Ignorance is the lack of knowledge, that's why I'm bothered by the attacks on the company. They did something wrong, that cannot be ignored, but they were ignorant that they were doing it. That doesn't mean I believe they don't need to fix it, and they definitely should be held accountable, but lashing out at the company is not an appropriate reaction. The statements that I've seen go beyond holding the company accountable. Now that it has been brought to their attention, however, and if they knowingly choose to ignore it, then they will be willfully promoting racism.

 

 

emmaclaire

Re: Bite Beauty gaffe

I definitely look forward to seeing the company's response as well - hopefully they take responsibility for it and take immediate action.

Askenjuri

Re: Bite Beauty gaffe

I'm really shocked by all the people here saying, "well Bite is Canadian, it's not their fault, I didn't know what it means, why should they, just get over it, blah blah blah."  It's their product, and if they can't be bothered to own it, to know what image their product projects, why should I bother with their products at all?  They say they use all natural, food grade ingredients, why should I believe them? Did they research their suppliers, or the factories that make their products?  Maybe they just let that slide too.  It's about responsibility.  It's a big word but so important.

Chickibum

Re: Bite Beauty gaffe

We're not saying get over it, we're saying the meaning is not common knowledge in our country, and its not a term that you would think to research when you've never heard any negative connotations about it. There's just nothing to connect it to. Give them a chance to fix it before condemning them. Everyone makes mistakes. Lets see if they take responsibility. 

 

I never knew about the poem/song/term until today seeing it here. I'm glad I know now.

veronika23

Re: Bite Beauty gaffe

Yes exactly. To us a strange fruit is a fruit that is strange and why would someone who thinks that way would think to research that.  In other countries the word mom or banana or moon could be bad... Would you google that?  Probably not because you've never heard it used in a negative way. Like she said. It's not that we are saying get over it but give them time to reply to you if you messaged them.

veronika23

Re: Bite Beauty gaffe

Did you write to them?  Did they reply?  Maybe wait until you get a reply to see what comes of this and see if they take responsibility.  I think after that you can play the blame game.

BeautyJunkie325

Re: Bite Beauty gaffe

I'm sure they did not realize that marketing a product called Strangefruit in the US would be an issue, however their marketing department should be called to the carpet because it just takes a few keystrokes on Google to see the Billie Holiday song & what it's about. Yes the song was written as a protest of what was happening, mainly in the Southern US states, but that doesn't make it okay to name a lip gloss after it. That period in US history is still a very painful period that continues to show how atrocious people can be to each other. I also don't think you can just dismiss it because it's a Canadian company and they didn't know.  It is their job as a company marketing in to US to be aware of words and phrases that would be inappropriate. 

 

As for some of the posters comments, word do have meaning and the power to hurt people.  Just look at the campaign to ban the use of the word bossy.  For years little girls and women have been called bossy while their male counterparts are considered leaders. It's not okay to just tell everyone to buck up and get over it.  Ask someone who was alive during segregation and had it effect them or their loved ones, the Japanese Americans rounded up and put into camp during WWII, someone who survived the Holocaust or survived any of the other atrocities done all across the globe if the words or phrases specifically attributed to their ordeal is okay. I know that the individuals that I've known bear deep scars that, most often than not, are opened by the most innocent comments.  

neko333

Re: Bite Beauty gaffe

Comparing a lipstick name to what happened during an actual event is apples to oranges. Should we ban all rap music because they often use the N word which is a racial term that was used. That could also bring up bad memories. You can't police terms and what people say. 

 

I don't buy the they should have googled it either. Their are tons of things that have double meanings in different cultures who the hell stops and thinks about this? Someone with way too much free time trying to connect imaginary dots to give themselves some gold star. 

 

Don't even get me started on the bossy thing. That was the stupidest thing I've seen in my whole life and I don't care if that offends people. If the worst thing you ever get called is bossy then count your blessings. Anyone who lets being called bossy stop them from achieving never had it in them to begin with. To women who are leaders that only pushes them. The problem with this whole war on words is that you are breeding a generation of beta women. When you are protected all your life from harsh words and criticism then when you enter the real world you won't know how to act. Your whole life will crumble around you and all you'll be left with are your thirty cats and expensive therapy bills. 

 

People get picked on and often it's a lot worse than just being called bossy. You have two options cry and throw yourself a pity party or fight back. 

 

Banning bossy is funny because women are being bossy demanding that bossy be banned. All this does is perpetuate the idea that women are weak. It's better for women to say "**bleep** right I'm bossy". This campaign should have been focused on other things like telling women to respect their bodies instead of taking topless photos.  Just like the outrage towards lipstick should be thrown at places where real racism and slavery are still going strong. (last paragraph paraphrased from Greg Gutfeld) 

sparklekai

Re: Bite Beauty gaffe

[ Edited ]

here's my take on the issue with your statement.  You keep saying what we shouldn't be outraged with and what we should be outraged with.  Who are you to determine what other people find offensive?  Judging by the responses to this thread and others i've seen off this site, people are upset and offended by this!  as they should be.  just because you are not offended by something does not mean others can't be, you can deny something all you want but it doesn't make it right or non-existent - if that were the case no one would know anything about hitler or the  n@zi's - or maybe it wouldn't have even happened or been a big deal.  

 

Things happen.  Sometimes horrible things.  And i will not lie - i had no idea about this at all.  However, when i saw the post i read and educated myself.  It is the companies responsibility to do so as well.  Corporations have lawyers and marketing specialists---they flopped big time on this one!

 

BeautyJunkie325

Re: Bite Beauty gaffe

Well lynching actually happened in the South & in other areas in the US so I would say that using a name of a song about that is comparing apples to apples. Its one thing for someone to say the words, but it's another to name products with words that can carry strong negative connotations. To use your example, you can't say that if a company came out with a makeup product using the N word that people wouldn't be outraged. Racism is racism no matter what kind of bow you put on it. In the end you don't have to agree with me & I surely don't have to agree with you.  That's the beauty of living in a country with free speech, everybody has an opinion.

 

As for bossy - that is yet another way that as a society we tell our daughters/nieces/sisters/etc. that being a strong powerful woman makes you Bossy  or a #itch instead of the way we tell our sons/nephews/brothers that showing the same initiative, intelligence and drive is being a leader and treated as a positive. That is just as bad as instilling that being "pretty" is more important that being smart, funny or kind. I guess in my world a leader is a leader no matter what gender they are.

 

Words have meaning and sometimes those words do hurt the people they are hurled at. Saying that people are picked on all the time and the 2 options are throwing a pity party or fighting back is pretty simplistic. Social media has made it much easier to hurl words at someone from behind a computer screen and not think twice about how those words will affect the person on the other end. I also find it odd that the only option is that we are somehow breading a race of women who will have their world crumble around them & be surrounded by cats and therapy, yet another negative stereotype for women. I guess in your world we can’t change the dialogue and teach girls to be better and expect better than the women who came before.

emmaclaire

Re: Bite Beauty gaffe

Your rant misses the point that recognizing and fighting racism can take MANY forms.  Accepting a racist product name because "it's just a lipstick" is an acceptance of racism.  If you think it's "just" a lipstick, you're accepting that it's ok for some things to be racist.  Sorry, I don't have that viewpoint.  I don't crusade against cosmetic names without doing anything else to try to combat other forms of racism, but I'm not going to shrug and pretend it's harmless.  NO racism is harmless, even if you don't think it's important.  If you think anything racist isn't a big deal, then you should count your blessings.

neko333

Re: Bite Beauty gaffe

It's not a big deal. It's not accepting racism it's picking your battles. When something is clearly not racist and all of you get your high and mighty panties in a bunch and start writing letters and pretending to be all offended. Half of you wouldn't even get offended at something that is truly despicable like abortion (your right strange fruit is so much worse than a dead baby) It's so stupid I don't even know how to react. I feel like someone really needs to point out how ridiculous you all are being but I'm obviously wasting my breath. I've held back on saying anything for a long time because my Mother said the majority of you probably have serious underlying issues. Which to me explains why so many of you use this like facebook instead of actual social media sites. I feel like it's a bunch of middle aged women playing high school or something. I know it feels good to feel like your making a difference but you aren't. Grow up. I found out long ago that the majority of you have no common sense about anything but makeup because you waste so much time on it. I really don't care what ya'll say or cry about I'm pretty much done here anyways. If I don't get my account banned I'll delete it soon don't worry. I'm tired of the BS and ya'll kissing each others **bleep** with heart parties and the fifty billion pictures you post of yourselves. 

 

P.S. Yes I know ya'll will say I'm crazy and think I'm a horrible nasty person. Have fun with that I know how you all need some drama to spice up your boring lives! I hope one day you will all reach adulthood mentally but I don't count on it. Feel free to respond to this but I'm done posting. I'm off to better and less stupid things. 

love2shop42

Re: Bite Beauty gaffe

image.jpg

ghkim

Re: Bite Beauty gaffe

well my mommy said you're racist, so . . . 

 

just curious, does your mommy point out your own blatant faults as well or does she completely ignore them and only project criticism on others? hmmmm, perhaps the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree?

mrsbaine

Re: Bite Beauty gaffe

Yes, I concur with what you think I think..... 

sparklekai

Re: Bite Beauty gaffe

it's not accepting racism...it's sitting by while it is happening and doing nothing about it.  is one really worse that the other?  

gingerblack

Re: Bite Beauty gaffe

[ Edited ]

And this is why racism and other forms of bigotry are perpetuated. If you trivialize terms that are clearly offensive, people will continue to use them. It does make a difference if you stop supporting a company and demand them to change their names if they use slurs. 

emmaclaire

Re: Bite Beauty gaffe

tumblr_inline_mku8zrYFAz1qz4rgp.gifSing it, sis!

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