Former Top Model winner and Ugandan fashion model Aamito Lagum appeared on the runway for the latest New York Fashion Week earlier this month, and a backstage closeup taken by MAC Cosmetics in between her runway appearances (unfortunately and predictably) sent the racist swarms into a frenzy when it was posted to the company’s Instagram account on February 18.
The photo, meant to highlight the cosmetic’s company’s lipstick line, received an outpouring of vitriol from Instagrammers, the more mild of which invoked gut-roiling terms like “fish lips.”
(As Cosmo noted, many commenters counteracted the hate posts, saying that Lagum’s lips represented a heart turned sideways.)
Lagum reposted an article on the backlash from Black Girl Long Hair the next day on her own personal Instagram, providing some commentary of her own: “My lips giving you sleepless nights.” (This may or may not be the most perfect omission of “#sorryimnotsorry” ever documented.)
MAC followed suit with another Instagram post, proclaiming the brand “stands for and respects” diversity, and that the company “[celebrates] the beauty of individuality” and “the confidence to be who you are.”
While MAC’s official statement of support for Lagum is heartwarming, it’s a far cry from the norm: as Complex recently pointed out, even though POC representation was a focal point of this season’s NYFW with “a range of skin tones on display” from shows put on by retailers like Hood by Air and fashion icons like Kanye West, data collected from last season revealed that less than five percent of models were non-white.
Image via Getty.
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