Quick: what do you think of when you hear those two words together?
If you’re like me, you don’t think, well, anything. Before I knew the controversy surrounding those two words together, they meant absolutely nothing. They didn’t evoke an emotion. Or a thought. Or anything that would make me think those two words together were good or bad.
I mean, is it a hair color? Is it a new TV show? Is it a band? (You have to admit, it is a killer band name!)
Nope, it’s none of those things. It’s actually a lipstick color created by Kat Von D, and it’s causing a lot of controversy.
According to Kat Von D’s Facebook post, she’s getting slammed by people who have accused her that the name of the lipstick color represents:
Degradation of women
Idealization of fleeting youth
We have three daughters in our family and not once did any of those descriptions come to my mind.
Not even close.
Kat Von D. went on to discuss naming of the color, which she describes as a “matte, borderline-neon, fire-engine red.”
“Underage Red is not a girly, pink shade. It is not a sophisticated, deep red either. It is an unapologetic, bold red. To me, Underage Red is feminine rebellion.”
She also wrote, “I clearly remember wearing a variation of this shade when I was 16 years old. I also remember the feeling of wanting so badly to go see a specific concert at this age, and not being able to get in to the venue because I was underage. Back then, I was already deeply in love with punk rock music, and although in the eyes of many (including my parents), it may have been inappropriate for me to be wearing lipstick. But i did.”
Here’s the deal: Saying “underage” isn’t bad. Pairing the word “underage” with something as innocuous as a lipstick color doesn’t make it vile. It doesn’t imply anything awful or illegal. It’s not going to make someone rape a woman. It’s not going to make a teenager drink or do drugs. It’s not promoting the degradation of women. In fact, the name of a lipstick is not doing any of those things, so stop trying to make it a soapbox issue.
The simple truth is that it was a name that brought back a memory of how Kat Von D was in her teenage years. The end. Move on.
And, if you’re really interested in taking up a cause, how about getting involved in the fight against human trafficking–where the average age of kids entering prostitution is between 13-14— or bullying in school–where 1 in 3 kids have been bullied–or hunger for school kids–where 16.2 million U.S. children live in a house without enough food? Because those things? Those are the real things that deserve attention and energy, not the fight about what someone named a lipstick color.
I think Kat said it best when she wrote, “If you read the word ‘underage’ and you automatically jump to a disgusting conclusion, I ask you to perhaps question your own mind and thoughts. Consider the damage such negativity can actually cause, verses actually help.”
I’m a mom of three girls and I’ve approved this message.