What They Were Thinking?
Sometimes an advertisement comes out that is so myopic that you have to ask: Really? The latest ad is from MAC Cosmetics.
Hoping to capitalize on the Muslim holiday of Ramadan, the company put out a video that gives a makeup routine for women who are going to celebrate Suhoor.
Suhoor is a ritual that occurs before dawn where friends and family eat before the daily fasting of Ramadan. So MAC was giving instructions for women on how to do an elaborate makeup routine to eat food with their family at 4 a.m. You can probably guess the reactions:
What Mac thinks the “suhoor look” is versus what it actually looks like pic.twitter.com/HmcQsMbqBf
— Yomna Nassar (يمنى) (@yummmmna) May 26, 2018
No thank you MAC, I’ll stick with my natural traumatized fox look during suhoor. pic.twitter.com/kwNsQAWuXL
— عائشة (@aishathepoet) May 26, 2018
MAC cosmetics did a glamorous make up look video for SUHOOR. I can barely find my slippers and toothbrush at 4am, I'm definitely not going to find eyeliner and concealer. Mxm.
— Homaira Khan (@HomairaKhan) May 26, 2018
There are a couple problems with this ad. First, it creates the impression that women need to wear makeup anytime they are in public. Rather than being a form of personal preference and empowerment, makeup becomes an understood conditional for the objectification of women.
Second, it misses the point. While some individuals have stated that glamming up is a part of their Suhoor, this is a small percentage. The ceremony is about binding family and friends together as they express their faith by beginning the day together. Wearing makeup is not a necessary part.
A third attack some Muslims have made is that the ad creates a monolithic picture of who are Muslims. The model used in the ad is of middle eastern descent and the ad was primarily pushed in the Arabic and western nations. Muslims have been predominately seen by Western countries as the religion of the Middle East. However, the largest percentage of Muslims are actually in the Asian Pacific. Critics have pointed out that the ad ignores the lack of diversity in Islam.
While MAC has removed the ad from their website, it is still live on an Instagram account. No official statement has been offered yet.