Black women fight back in defence of MAC Model Aamito Lagum with a new self love movement that has been taking over Twitter called #PrettyLipsPeriod to combat racial slurs that attacked the model’s perfect pout.
Last week saw social media go into frenzy in response to racist comments that flooded MAC Cosmetics Instagram page due to the company using a black model to promote their ‘Royal Romance’ lipstick following New York Fashion Week. The image was taken of Ugandan model Aamito Stacie Lagum, best known for being the winner of the first season of Africa’s Next Top Model, featuring a close up picture of her lips which saw Mac Cosmetic’s engagement on Instagram double with over 123,000 likes and 38,600 comments, leading to a growing debate across Facebook and Twitter about cultural appropriation.
Lagum took to her own profile to address the issue directly saying, “My lips give you sleepless nights. On @MacCosmetics IG. Thank you @MacCosmetics for this killer colour and to that make-up artist. Ama get me 3 of these.”
The 19-year old model has been used to model Kanye West’s recent Yeezy Collection and is signed by agencies in New York, Paris, Milan, Barcelona and London. Lagum decided to use the negative attention to make a stand against racist beauty standards and spark a new movement supporting black beauty.
The self love movement involves black women from all over the world uploading pictures of their lips wearing their favourite shade of lipstick using the hashtag #PrettyLipsPeriod, spreading a message of positivity – others have also written messages of support to Lagum to counteract the trolls.
The model later posted an illustrated version of MAC’s photo on her Instagram page using the hashtag to show her support and called for others to post a photo and spread the hashtag also, further going on to say, “#mylipsgotitsownhashtag.”
Many people within the debate were anticipating MAC’s response and although they have not formally addressed the situation, they later posted a picture captioned, “MAC stands for and respects All Ages, All Races, All Sexes. We celebrate the beauty of individuality, and the confidence to be who you are.”
According to HuffPost UK Pretty.Period was founded by Dr. Yaba Blay, professor of Africana Studies at Drexel University, in response to the ‘compliment’, “You’re pretty for a dark-skinned girl.” The main argument throughout social media is the double standards, after only a recent trend praised Kardashian sister Kylie Jenner’s Instagram posts of her full lips, that she later admitted were in fact lip fillers. The #KylieJennerChallenge saw young girls all over the world suck shot glasses to double the size of their lips, with often disastrous results. Twitter user Lila Mayes, @amayessingli said, “Amazing how natural, melanated features garner racial slurs, but the appropriations get praise. #PrettyLipsPeriod.”
Black women across all platforms continue to use the power of social media to stand with Lagum, fighting negativity with positivity, generating increasing popularity for the movement.