2009-06-25

Do I Need To Quit Buying L'Oreal? Yeah I Do.


I thank my twitter friend, Froward1 for the link.

I can sit silent no longer with L'Oreal. I didn't act a fool when they lightened Beyonce's already light skin in the Feria ads so she could appear to be "less ethnic". I knew it was bad, but I don't really use many L'Oreal products anyway, so it was so sweat off my back. I know that to mainstream advertisers, the closer to white, the better, that is the norm.

I then did some digging. Apparently L'Oreal has a history of this here in America, which means this practice is accepted globally:

On August 11, 2005, the Supreme Court of California ruled that former L'Oréal sales manager Elyse Yanowitz had adequately pleaded a cause of action for retaliatory termination under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, and remanded the case for trial.[7] The case arose out of a 1997 incident in which Jack Wiswall, then the general manager for designer fragrances, allegedly told Yanowitz to fire a dark-skinned sales associate despite the associate's good performance. When Yanowitz refused, Wiswall pointed to a "sexy" blonde-haired woman and said, "God damn it, get me one that looks like that." Wiswall retired as president of the luxury products division of L'Oréal USA at the end of 2006.


I can miraculously find nothing on this case on the web, aside from Wikipedia, this Law Firm's website, here, and here. You have to wonder why this was virtually ignored by the media.

What I am discussing now shouldn't be the norm, and proves that racism continues in the corporate world. L'Oreal was found guilty of racism. In France they purposely set out to hire all white salespeople to sell Garnier Fructis shampoo in French supermarkets. If you don't know L'Oreal is based in France, so I am sure they have a pretty strong presence there, like they do here. What makes it bad is that there was a fax sent in 2000 from an executive which said that "Garnier's hostesses should be aged 18 to 22, wear size 38 to 42 clothes and be "BBR"."

So in order to sell supermarket brand shampoo, you should be under 22, because anything older is gross and geriatric, you should be 4 to 8 in US sizes, because if you are too fat the effects of the shampoo are limited, and you need to be white. For those who don't know "BBR" "stands for "bleu, blanc, rouge" (blue, white, red) — the colours of the French flag — and is a well-known code for white people, La Cour de Cassation was told."

Asians, arabs, and blacks don't fall under the category of "BBR" and we all know that they couldn't possibly use Garnier Fructis shampoo. It is only made for "white hair". All other races need not apply.

This is what I worry about when I talk about racism. Not the KKK, or being called the n-word, or even folks telling insensitive jokes. I am concerned about how this racism directly impacts minorities. Being excluded because you are not considered presentable due to the color of your skin is an issue. Being denied a job because a company has an ideal image to uphold, and your color isn't considered an ideal, but rather unacceptable.

I say since L'Oreal can't get right, I can't get right. I will throw out the very few products I have that are owned by L'Oreal, and I will make sure I will no longer purchase anything from this company. They need to know minorities and people over the age of 22 buy their products, and that without minorities and "old people" buying from them, it affects their bottom line. No more of these products for me, as I am too black and old to use them.

L'Oréal Paris, Garnier, Maybelline New York, Softsheen Carson, CCB Paris, L'Oréal Professionnel, Kérastase, Redken, Matrix, Mizani, Shu Uemura Art of Hair, Lancôme, Biotherm, Helena Rubinstein, Kiehl's, Shu Uemura, Giorgio Armani, Ralph Lauren, Cacharel, Viktor & Rolf, Diesel, YSL Beauté, Vichy, La Roche Posay, innéov, Skinceuticals, Sanoflore, and The Body Shop.

L'Oreal owns way more things than I ever thought they could.I have more stuff than I thought owned by them. No more Body Shop for me, I guess I will have to settle for Lush. L'Oreal seems to own a lot of well known brands. Brands I won't be buying,but it is shocking to see how much L'Oreal actually owns.

If I am not good enough to work for L'Oreal on the basis of my age and color, I sure as hell am not good enough to buy the products, right?

I want to know how Beyonce or any celebrity is sitting up smiling as a spokesperson for L'Oreal while all this stuff is going on? What does that say about them and if these celebrities are promoting these products, do they promote racism and ageism? Are these minority and model celebrity endorsements L'Oreal pandering to the minority market, or are things changing in the L'Oreal workplace? It seems to me, they are pandering while maintaining the status quo.

Let's look at the celebrity spokespeople that themselves would be excluded from ever selling Garnier Fructis in French supermarkets:

Penelope Cruz, Andi McDowell, Milla Jovovich, Gong Li, you gals are all too old. Andi you haven't seen 22 in a while. Penelope, Milla, and Gong 22 is becoming a distant memory for you. Penelope isn't even white enough. Gong has the audacity to look Asian.

Diane Keaton, she is white, but she is WAY over the hill, she couldn't possibly sell shampoo.

Beyonce has the audacity to be black and old.

Linda Evangelista needs to go sit down, after all old women can't sell shampoo, not even old supermodels.

Eva Longoria and Kerry Washington, both of you know you are too dark and too old. Eva isn't white, Mexicans apparently don't use Garnier Fructis. Kerry, you are darker than Beyonce, you should know better than to think you have any selling power.

I mean if these women aren't even good enough to sell to French supermarkets, why the hell would you make them spokespeople L'Oreal?