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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.

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I had no idea they were in the US too. I guess you're one of the few Americans that do know about them!

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You're right because a residential school here in the US usually refers to a boarding/prep school.

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Usually, but not necessarily. I can see it in the North, but not here in the South where facilities where kids who are handicapped are routinely placed in residential schools.

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This seems more and more to be a Southern issue because as I said earlier I never heard Strange Fruit outside of a music context nor used in conversation other than as a LGBT reference.

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I'm from Connecticut.  In my 7th grade history class all of it was focused on black history, Jim Crow laws, and an in-depth examination into the very dark times in our country as a whole regarding race relations.  We had to research lynchings, listen to Billie Holiday sing that chillingly beautiful desolate song.  We studied how people of color had been wronged…not just wronged but brutalized, killed, tortured, and by white Americans who felt black people could not and would never be American people - or people at all.

 

I feel fortunate to have learned it at an early age.

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That's not the same as a term being used as an idiom for lynchings which is what people are claiming. 

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I feel the same way. Everyone deserves to know about the horrible things your country did in the past so it will never happen again.

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Um because if you're a cosmetics company that sells internationally you should probably do the barest of preliminary research to make sure you're not using an insanely offensive racist term for your products?

 

And my comment was actually referring to the number of people who are showing up in the thread saying that they are American and had no idea what the term meant.  I was expressing my disappointment that American schools are apparently so bad at teaching American history that many people had no idea what the term meant (not condemning or judging the individuals in this thread for not knowing it).

 

In the words of my lord and savior Latrice Royale, good god girl, get a grip.  Stop trying to throw shade at me without even reading my words, dang.

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I can only speak about the school I went to, but we only really learned about the American history that was relevant to Canada. There was very, very little about African American history in our curriculum. Like we learned about Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks and slaves fleeing to Nova Scotia (again only learning things that involved Canada), but that was really it. In my classes anyways, I obviously can't speak to what other people in Canadian classes learned. 

 

This is why I do believe Bite may be ignorant to this. I truly hope they change it

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Same here about History.  It was world history as it related to Canada!

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Exactly! And I feel they did us a disservice by teaching us this way

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That makes sense, it's just an unfortunate fact of life that we can't learn everything about world history in school.  However, I was specifically referring to a) Americans who didn't know (which alarms me because it shows how little American schools teach students about American history, nothing against the particular users) and b) that an international company didn't just google the names to avoid exactly this kind of problem (or any other easily preventable problem - the internet makes it hard for me to shrug off incidents like this by thinking the company probably didn't know, simply because the global reach of the information available online and made so easily accessible should be utilized!)

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nhunka and sweetsweetirony, I should get upset about things that matter, huh?  You mean like racism and the murder of innocent men?  When the world has become so shallow and ignorant that a murderous hate becomes just a cute name for makeup, yeah I get upset.  What's next, a fire red lipstick called Holocaust?  

 

I'm sure you spend your time on the barricades obstructing logging companies, or in court fighting for gender equality, and looking great in your makeup while doing it.  Good for you.  This small ignorance on the part of a beauty company is something I can draw attention to, so I did.  It seems no one else even noticed, or realized what it meant.  Knowledge is power.  And you should be ashamed of yourself, using "hippie" as an insult.  So did George Wallace, but I guess you don't know who that is.

 

To all the others who posted:  thanks for noticing.  I will email the company.  I didn't mean to imply that it was intended on the company's part, just something that was overlooked by the marketing department.  And like I said, that no one recognized this for what it means, it the saddest comment of all on all of us.  I wonder how many young black women bought this unknowingly.  I hope anyone who has a tube of it would mail it back to the company with a letter explaining why.

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It's very sad that it was overlooked Smiley Sad and I did a search, the gloss is actually recommended on BET.com...  

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That is horrifying.  If the black community doesn't know or care about it's own history, that's a sad comment on the state of the world.

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I agree, I was very surprised to see it there

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I get that you are upset.  I understand what the name means now and I get it.  What I really don't like is you saying that we didn't recognize it for what it means. You know what, I don't know everything about every country in the world. Certain names, colors and symbols mean different things in different countries. I'm French Canadian and expressions and names from my region are different from other regions. Until you brought this up, it was just a name. You have to understand and respect that not everyone will know everything about everything.  I didn't learn US history.  I learned some as it related to my country but I still don't know everything.

 

So I think it's good you brought it up, I think it's good you voice your opinion but please don't judge others because they didn't know.  We just simply can't know everything.

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Plus, this has more to do with the terminology from a metaphor in music history from what I'm gathering, I've never even heard of, or thought of the term that way.  It's possible they may have said it in the south for a long while, but then since Bite is Canadian, I see this more as a cultural faux pas based on babel.  It's entirely relevant in this region I suppose, but it would be a cute color name elsewhere.

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Yeah.  Prior to knowing this and looking at the product it's a cute name for a funky color.

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I've never heard it used or made reference to outside of the song either but I live in the Northeast and in an area with a pretty distinct dialect.

 

Coincidentally, all of the digital road signs on the highways this morning were set with a flashing message that was hilarious if you are from here but I actually thought it might be confusing to people from other places.  It was "Changing lanes?  Use yah blinkah."

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Actually funny you should mention that, I was driving in Massachusetts today and desperately wanted to get a picture of that but couldn't.  /endrant.

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Lots of people took pictures and posted them on twitter which they really shouldn't be doing at speed in traffic so in hindsight as safety reminder maybe not the greatest idea.

 

Meanwhile some tourist is sitting in what is some of the worst traffic in the country with some of the most aggressive drivers on the planet and having a moment of panic wondering what a "blinkah" is and if they even have one on their rental car.

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Well said, I also find it very interesting that it was recommended on BET.com without any mention of the history.

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Wow Veronika23, taking this very personally, aren't you?  Of course you can't know everything.  But the Americans on this site should recognize this term.  It's not only our history, but the song is famous, as is Billie Holliday.  Many people in other countries recognize it through their love of music generally, jazz specifically, or of Billie personally.  The song has a very important place in the fight for civil rights, and showed the power of popular culture to protest the wrongs of a society.  

 

I didn't specify 'Americans only' when I wrote my post, maybe I should have.  And perhaps I would have been rebuked by people from other countries who do know the song and what it means.

 

But the point is, now a lot more people know what the term stands for, and we can all go on just a little bit wiser.  Surely that's a good thing, ya think?

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Yes.  I agree with your last statement. We know now, and understand why it upsets people so and we can go on being a little bit wiser.

 

And yeah I guess I don't like it when it's referenced that everyone should know something...

 

I'm also pretty sure Bite didn't research this for the simple fact that they thought it be a "cool" name with no real meaning except an actual strange fruit that could be the same flashy color as the product. I might have done the same thing being in their shoes.