Mem­oto cos­metic firms: ‘I am [con­ser­va­tive] wo­man’ D

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary - Michelle Malkin

ear High Fash­ion Cos­met­ics Man­u­fac­tur­ers:

I want you to know that I

am a con­ser­va­tive wo­man who shares some­thing in com­mon with your mil­lions of trea­sured lib­eral fe­male con­sumers: the need for a qual­ity skin-care reg­i­men. Per­haps this comes as a shock to you, but con­ser­va­tive women also suf­fer chapped lips, rough el­bows, un­der­eye cir­cles and ragged cu­ti­cles. (I speak with Ab­so­lute Author­ity on this.) The quest for a good mois­tur­izer tran­scends par­ti­san pol­i­tics. Our money is green, like ev­ery­one else’s. Oh, and we have feel­ings, too.

So when cor­po­rate bone­heads in your in­dus­try (such as the ones at MAC Cos­met­ics) hire left-wing celebri­ties (such as of­fend-a-holic San­dra Bern­hard) to hawk lip­plump­ing prod­ucts by hurl­ing ep­i­thets at us (such as “lit­tle freaked out, in­tim­i­dated, fright­ened, right-wing Repub­li­can thin-lipped bitch”), we are not just go­ing to roll over like tubes of mas­cara across a make-up counter.

There was a time when you could get away with snub­bing us so gra­tu­itously — a time be­fore the In­ter­net and the bl­o­go­sphere and YouTube ex­isted. No more. When the gals at The Cotil­lion (cotil­lion.mu.nu), a con­sor­tium of con­ser­va­tive women blog­gers, or­ga­nized an on­line protest

against MAC’s

anti-Repub­li­can

ad­ver­tis­ing

mock­ery, the

com­pany re­al­ized a sim­ple

truth: Politi­ciz­ing beauty po­tions may be

good for a few

snick­ers in the

board­room —

but it’s plain bad

busi­ness in Mid­dle Amer­ica.

Last Thurs­day, MAC ended the tem­pest in a gloss pot by is­su­ing an apol­ogy:

“Thank you for tak­ing the time to con­tact M.A.C. The Plush­glass San­dra Bern­hard video on the MAC web­site has got­ten enor­mous re­ac­tion. San­dra is a provo­ca­teur and this is why MAC has worked with her. In mon­i­tor­ing th­ese re­ac­tions, we re­al­ized there was one sen­tence that was of­fend­ing some of our cus­tomers, which was not what this video was in­tended to do. We edited out the one of­fend­ing sen­tence out of re­spect to some of our cus­tomers. The MAC phi­los­o­phy is about em­brac­ing and wel­com­ing ev­ery­one and cel­e­brat­ing dif­fer­ence — ALL RACES, ALL SEXES, ALL AGES is our credo. We ap­pre­ci­ate your in­ter­est in M.A.C and hope we have the op­por­tu­nity to serve you in the near fu­ture.”

Fine. I won’t toss my musthave MAC lip con­di­tioner — un­less the Trans­porta­tion Se­cu­rity Ad­min­is­tra­tion forces me to at the air­port, that is. But let this be a les­son learned, beauty barons. Your cus­tomers are not just “Des­per­ate House­wives” cast mem­bers and un­hinged friends of Madonna. It’s not nice to bite the man­i­cured hands of con­ser­va­tive women who feed you. Take it from a big-mouthed Fox News Chan­nel con­trib­u­tor who buys lip gloss by the bar­rel. If you truly “re­spect” all of your cus­tomers, you won’t go out of your way to pay sneer­ing “provo­ca­teurs” to an­tag­o­nize a sub­stan­tial por­tion of them in the first place. The bot­tom line is that en­hanc­ing the bot­tom line should be your top pri­or­ity, not en­hanc­ing your pop­u­lar­ity in Hol­ly­wood.

Note, by the way, how re­flex­ively hy­per­sen­si­tive the cor­po­rate world can be to cer­tain po­lit­i­cally cor­rect seg­ments of their con­sumer base ver­sus oth­ers. Re­mem­ber when Burger King with­drew a prod­uct line of ice­cream desserts based on a sin­gle com­plaint by a Bri­tish Mus­lim who claimed he was of­fended by the swirly cone de­sign on the con­tainer lid be­cause he said it re­sem­bled the Ara­bic in­scrip­tion for Al­lah? And re­mem­ber when ath­letic footwear com­pany Nike caved in to the Coun­cil on Amer­i­can-Is­lamic Re­la­tions over its nutty claim that one of the com­pany’s sneak­ers had a de­sign on the heel al­legedly re­sem­bling, yes, the Ara­bic in­scrip­tion for Al­lah? CAIR mau-maued Nike into build­ing three play­grounds for Is­lamic com­mu­ni­ties in the U.S. to atone for the claimed in­sult — in ad­di­tion to apol­o­giz­ing for any un­in­ten­tional of­fense, agree­ing to a global re­call of all prod­ucts car­ry­ing the de­sign and in­tro­duc­ing sen­si­tiv­ity train­ing for Nike de­sign­ers.

Can you imag­ine how much more mil­i­tant the of­fended Mus­lim re­sponse would have been if Burger King and Nike had gone out of their way — as MAC did — to hire some­one to de­lib­er­ately pro­voke a sig­nif­i­cant por­tion of their cus­tomer base? Imag­ine ri­ots and burn­ing build­ings and fat­was. It’s easy if you try.

Con­ser­va­tive women, for their part, will deal with their fig­u­ra­tive fat lips at the hands of MAC and mouthy San­dra Bern­hard with­out threat­en­ing boy­cotts or is­su­ing death threats. No need to with­draw “Plush­glass” or build us play­grounds. A free MAC lip pen­cil should heal the pain just fine. I’ll take mine in Cran­berry.

Michelle Malkin is a na­tion­ally syn­di­cated colum­nist.

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