Becca Responds to Accusations That It Darkened a Model’s Hand for the Skin Love Campaign
Becca Responds to Shortly after Becca Cosmetics announced the launch of the Skin Love collection, excitement about the brand delving into skin care and skin-centric makeup turned to bewilderment and disapproval over one of the images in the campaign. Upon seeing a photo of the new Skin Love Weightless Blur Foundation shades swatched on four arms, a number of people noticed that the palms of the darker-skinned models looked suspiciously colored-in, prompting some to contend that the brand must have painted or Photoshopped a white model’s hand to portray the darker skin tones.
Becca Responds to One of the accusatory tweets that got the most attention read, “so did becca cosmetics really refuse to hire black women for these swatches? they just edited a white hand darker? look at the two darker hand’s palms.”
It has prompted thousands of likes and retweets, and the hundreds of replies include comments like, “How little does she interact with tan/dark people to not realize our palms aren’t our skin tone omg this is so embarrassing.” Another Twitter user wrote, “Not only is this an issue of race but if you’re editing the color to match your swatches, I’d say that’s a little a lot like being dishonest about how well your products match different skin colors.”
After an awkward but brief silence, Becca posted a response to Instagram and Twitter on Friday to both clarify and apologize for what happened. “Thanks to everyone who shared feedback on our recent arm swatch image, we hear you and want you to know that we remain committed to continually representing our inclusive BECCA Beauties,” the Instagram caption reads. “Some insights: Truth: The image featured four models of different ethnicities. Truth: We acknowledge the way we adjusted the image missed the mark and are deeply sorry for this oversight. Truth: BECCA is committed to showcasing the lightest to the deepest skin tones and hiring inclusive models for our campaigns. To demonstrate this commitment, we’ve re-shot with real girls from the BECCA office.” The accompanying photo shows the arms of women with four distinct skin tones modeling the 24 shades — and no apparent editing.
The response was greeted with mixed reactions; some followers appreciated the apology and explanation, while others felt it was too little, too late. Plenty of Becca fans are still excited about the new line, however, partly because the brand has been actively responding to feedback in the comments section, proving they are, in fact, listening to feedback and criticism.
This incident is at least the second time this year that a beauty brand has been accused of manipulating the appearance of a white model’s hand to look darker. Earlier this summer, Korean brand Stylenanda was accused of darkening a handin ads and packaging for its 3CE nail polish. The brand removed and ceased using the images, posting an apology on Instagram without an explanation of how the offending imagery came to be.