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Post in Besides Beauty

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.

Re: Bite Beauty gaffe

Thank you for educating me on the meaning and history behind the term 'strange fruit.' I wasn't aware of this at all, and I'm grateful that you pointed it out to us! I hope you write to Bite Beauty and explain your concerns. Let us know what kind of response you receive, too.

Re: Bite Beauty gaffe

Do they have any social media? Facebook, Twitter, Instagram? Might be worthwhile to say something there. I've found that often gets quick responses. 

 

And....wow. I never noticed this, but the second I read the title to your post, I knew what you were talking about. It's not a small gaffe, either! 

Re: Bite Beauty gaffe

I had no idea what that term meant, and I just went around asking a few coworkers and my mom, and none of them even knew! But regardless, they must have known, since it's the first thing that comes up when you google it. I'd strongly suggest informing Bite and your displeasure with the name and why.

Re: Bite Beauty gaffe

Thanks for educating me on this!

Re: Bite Beauty gaffe

Thanks for this Askenjuri! I had no idea what the term meant either, but it's great that you pointed it out. As most people said, it doesn't matter it was offensive to you personally, if it's offensive to someone (and for good reason), it's not a bad idea to change the name to be respectful of others around us.

 

That being said, I do wonder if it was named "Strange Fruit" on purpose? Billie Holiday was of African-american descent herself, and the song was sung as a protest song against racism and lynching. (I wiki'ed this fact - I've never heard the song before but was interested after seeing this post).

 

I highly doubt Ms. Holiday would willingly sing something against her own race. Perhaps in the light of this, Bite may be trying to send a message of anti-racism? Smiley Happy

 

 

 

Re: Bite Beauty gaffe

oh wow, i had no idea. let us know if you reach out to bite and how they respond.

Re: Bite Beauty gaffe

Oh dang.. That is disturbing.. I've heard that they're based in Canada and being Canadian, I've never heard that term before. Hopefully it's just an unfortunate coincidence.. I would definitely like to hear what they have to say about it though.. If someone reaches out to them and they respond please let us know!!

Re: Bite Beauty gaffe

Thank you for informing me. I had no idea. I always appreciate being further enlightened on culture and the world. I hope Bite did not mean anything malicious --- I love Bite products and would hate to stop buying their products. Perhaps they were as clueless as I was. Please continue to share any new information you uncover.

Re: Bite Beauty gaffe

I just realized I own this. I bought it in the Sephora Try It Sampler kit. It is my favorite color in the set :/

Now that I know what it means, Bite will need to rename this one before I repurchase. :/

Re: Bite Beauty gaffe

I'm sure there was no mal-intent on the part of Bite. Still, it's worthwhile to bring it to their attention because as they are not an American company, they may not be aware of the implications. 

Re: Bite Beauty gaffe

I'm glad you brought attention to this. They're a Canadian company -- however, when you're marketing to a population, you should be doing your market research. I think it would be a good idea to write them to bring this to their attention, or even start a petition online (Change dot org is a good place) to have them change the name. (Although I would suggest the latter only if you do not receive a response to your correspondence.) While I'm sure this naming was done out of ignorance, it still is disrespectful to the memory of the many men (and, to a lesser extent, women) who were murdered in this manner.

Re: Bite Beauty gaffe

It's probably just an innocent mistake, but I would write to them and let them know. If it has that kind of a connotation if should be renamed 

Re: Bite Beauty gaffe

Thanks for posting.  Bite IS a Canadian company based out of Toronto Ontario. They sell exclusively through Sephora. They also have their lip lab in NY.

 

I'm sure they had no idea and the name comes from something else.  In any case reach out to them.

 

ps:  Don't except a fast reply.  They aren't always on the ball.

Re: Bite Beauty gaffe

Smiley Surprised

Oh my. I had no idea.

I'm sure BITE had no idea that it was connected to racism in any way (I would assume, it was a cute lil name they made to reference and interesting/new fruit colour). I would suggest emailing them, definetly. I'm sure they would be more then happy to change it, or pull the colour completely.

Re: Bite Beauty gaffe

Thanks for bringing this to our attention, I had not heard that they came out with a product with this name.  For those who do not think it's an important point, apparently you slept through your American History class.  "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."  And people do not need to "chill out" whether they are "butthurt hippies" or not.   That comment is very offensive as well.

Re: Bite Beauty gaffe

I agree with you fully, and I think you make several good points here.

Re: Bite Beauty gaffe

i am SO GLAD someone else noticed this! I heard the name of this gloss and then googled like crazy trying to find a reaction to it - and nothing! definitely let us know what happens if you reach out

Re: Bite Beauty gaffe

I'm kind of alarmed at how no one seemed to know about strange fruit and what it meant.  I didn't realize there was a product called "strange fruit" but I absolutely knew the term (and the song, which is haunting and incredible) and was completely repulsed that Bite would, intentionally or otherwise, ignore its history and use it to label a product.  Really disgusting, I will be emailing the company as well.

Re: Bite Beauty gaffe

They're Canadian, why would they know anything beyond the broad strokes about the history of US race issues?  How much does the average person in the US know about the Canadian history with the First Nations or the Australian history with the Aborigines?

Re: Bite Beauty gaffe

They're selling and marketing their product to American consumers so it behooves them to do some research before a launch.  Even if they don't "know anything beyond the broad strokes of the history of the US" this is not a term that can be interchanged and used in any other context, so google it and learn the definition before naming a product.

Re: Bite Beauty gaffe

There is the GLBT public access show in NY that's been on for almost 20 years that I mentioned towards the beginning of the thread.  I also believe someone else mentioned a music group either from Canada or the UK.  There is other context and the US and it's history isn't the center of the universe.  Should someone from Sephora caught it before it went live, sure they're US based.  Is it Bite's fault they didn't know, nope.

22 Replies