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Dear ColourPop, My Skin Color is Not A “Typo”


Every teenager/twenty-something girl has , at some point during her quest for the perfect contour, stumbled upon a review or ad for the budget friendly yet high quality makeup brand ColourPop. Almost every beauty youtuber and their devoted legion of followers constantly rave about how pigmented, smooth, and camera friendly ColourPop cosmetics are. I, being the firmly anti-trend, person that I am just recently decided to delve into the mysterious world of ColourPop that leaves my friends broke and their faces #beat.

I’m not going to lie, they have so many products in a variety of colors that makes my inner Kandee Johnson squeal for joy (if you don’t have a clue who Kandee Johnson is, you should check out her youtube channel, she’s literally a magician with a makeup wand). I was getting ready to go crazy and #TreatMySelf, that as a college student I shouldn’t even be doing, when a tweet caught my eye.

immediately killed my shopping high. You see, I hadn’t gotten to the contouring section of my shopping list, when this tweet popped up. It basically contrasted the names of the lighter shades versus the darker shade contouring sticks featured on the ColourPop sight. The lighter shades got names such as “Gummy Bear” and “Castle” while the darker shades got names such as “Yikes” and “Typo”.


I’m the least person that acts triggered, but these names HAD ME SHOOK. Society already views dark skin as inferior and unwanted. Light skinned girls are praised for their eurocentric beauty and are always the subject of “get you a lightskin/white girl” memes on the internet that rack up thousands of retweets. Darker skinned girls like myself, grow up perming their lovely, natural afros because they want the soft silky hair that barbies and lighter skinned people are praised for having. They have to endure the “you’re so dark I can’t even see you” jokes and the “why is your skin the same color as poop” jokes. They have to work extra hard to silence themselves and hold their anger at injustices because they don’t want to perpetuate the unattractive “mad black woman” stereotype. Scrolling through ColourPop’s instagram page, they have a variety of women with different skin tones looking fierce in their products. They almost fooled me into thinking, finally, here is a budget friendly, high quality makeup that values the diversity of their target audience which made me want to spend an extra $20. The names of their sculpting sticks really revealed to me how this company views dark skin.

I’m not going to apologize for the fact that I have dark skin ,which I didn’t choose to have, that forces you to make more colors. I’m not going to sit here and spend my (but really my parent’s) hard earned money on a makeup brand that approves the names like “Yikes” and”Typo” and “Dume” on cosmetics that are in darker shades, so I immediately cleared my basket (and saved myself $70) and vowed to never spend a dime at ColourPop. What would it have costed them to change the names to something with a nicer connotation?  Dume, according to Urban dictionary means a very stupid human creature. I’m glad that you want me to spend my money on your products even though you think that people of my shade are very stupid humans especially since I’m an engineering student at a Tier One institute that graduated Cum Laude from a nationally ranked High School (for all you naysayers who think black people only get into high school because of affirmative action). In fact, many girls that share my skin tone are beautiful, formidable, intelligent women that enroll in university at a higher rate than any other skin color . Despite those strides, why are colors that match are skin tones being referred to as “Yikes”? Why couldn’t “Café” or “Rum” suffice? It’s not okay to only pay lip service to diversity when you have darker skinned girls, and young teenagers, buying products to match their skin tone called “Yikes”. You perpetuate the societal stereotypes that dark skin is undesirable which these girls will then have to spend the rest of their lives trying to unlearn. I’m an adult, and I’m still trying to love my darker skin; buying a product calling my skin tone “Dume” does not help girls that look like me use makeup to enhance and love the God-given skin that they’re in.

Update: Colourpop has changed the name of the colors. Sadly, they haven’t issued a public apology.

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