Tweet Exposes A Common Problem That Women of Color Face

September 17th 2016

Aron Macarow

Twitter is calling out fashion icon Marc Jacobs for only catering to white women with his cosmetics line. The viral tweet, which has already been shared more than 15,000 times since Friday afternoon, includes a photo of Marc Jacobs's many shades of concealer, all of them lighter tones. Alongside the photo is a stark one-word response to the fashion icon's recent statement that he "doesn't see color."

Others quickly chimed in to agree, joking about the large number of white tones compared to the limited selection of darker tones.

Although many of the responses on Twitter have been humorous, the issues they highlight are real.

Mainstream beauty brands offer a slim selection of products catering to people of color, and this sends the message that beauty equals whiteness given the shades that are available.

As writer Maisha Z. Johnson relates, writing about her teenage years for Everyday Feminism:

"I thought the pink lip glosses looked awful on me because my lips were too big, and the glittery eye shadows looked strange because my skin color was all wrong. I thought foundation was always the wrong shade because I couldn’t properly blend the two brown shades I’d found. Too many times I cringed at my reflection and thought, 'Why am I so ugly?'"

She continues, "I didn’t realize that this makeup wasn’t made for me at all – and neither was the ideal of beauty that I saw in magazines or the movies."

This is the second time that Marc Jacobs has come under fire in a week for his relationship to people of color, too.

While the viral tweet makes a good point about the assumption of whiteness in the beauty industry, it may not have come up if Jacobs hadn't responded poorly to criticism of his runway show earlier in the week, which featured white models wearing faux dreadlocks and led to outcries of cultural appropriation.

Jacobs responded with a defense that sounded a lot like colorblind racism, saying:

"All who cry ‘cultural appropriation’ or whatever nonsense about any race or skin color wearing their hair in any particular style or manner — funny how you don’t criticize women of color for straightening their hair. I respect and am inspired by people and how they look. I don’t see color or race — I see people."

But the reality is that looks that are ridiculed or policed on people of color are often celebrated on white people, and that's a problem.

Marc Jacobs hasn't had the best week on social media, and he has yet to respond to this latest issue. ATTN: has reached out to his brand for comment and will update this story when we receive a response.

Related: What happened when MAC posted a photo of a black woman's lips on Instagram