Illamasqua makeup brand defends its ‘blackface’ ad in the face of growing controversy

The Illamasqua makeup brand is coming under fire for presenting an ad as part of a holiday promotion that features a model painted black. The British company has defended what is being referred to as a ‘blackface’ image in the face of growing controversy, which began as soon as the firm posted the image to its Australian Facebook account.

After also posting the ad on Pinterest, the company received a backlash of complaints from users who immediately noted the resemblance of the ad’s styling to stereotyped portrayals of African-Americans from blackface minstrelsy.

In addition, the ad’s slogan — “Not Dreaming of a White Christmas” — underscored the racial undertone perceived in the company’s message by many. Most have been critical of the campaign.

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