Is This Lipstick Offensive? Sephora Pulls a Kat Von D Shade From Shelves

11/07/2013 at 04:48 PM ET

Kat Von D lipstickJason LaVeris/FilmMagic; Courtesy Kat Von D

When you consider the vast array of lipstick and nailpolish shades out there, it can’t be easy coming up with fresh names for various hues of red, pink and nude. (Although it does sound like a pretty great job.) But angry customers are drawing the line at a lipstick called “Celebutard” by Kat Von D.

The tattoo artist and reality star’s lip color line, Painted Love, sports sassy names like “Hellbent” and “Backstage Bambi,” even “Underage Red.” But parents of children with developmental issues were not willing to overlook “Celebutard,” which they say is insulting and offensive.

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“People with disabilities are the last to benefit from what some might call ‘political correctness,’ and what I would call basic human decency,” says Kim Stagliano, managing editor at Age of Autism, in the HuffPost Style blog. “Retard is still bandied about.”

Sephora pulled the shade from shelves and its website and issued a statement of apology, via CTV: “It has come to our attention that the name of one shade of a lipstick we carry has caused offense to some of our clients and others. We are deeply sorry for that, and we have ceased sale of that shade both in our stores and online.”

Kat Von D was not exactly full of remorse, Tweeting, “At the end of the day, it’s just a f—— lipstick,” before deleting the Tweet.

Do you think the name is offensive?

–Sheila Cosgrove Baylis

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Showing 151 comments

Pattimelt on

Come on, she couldn’t come up with any other name than this offensive one? What a dumba**. I hope her whole line gets dropped.

TH on

The company is being self-righteous and saying, why….”yes, you the customers are right”. I agree, the name is offensive and the company simply dropped the ball by letting it get to market with that name.

kitty62862 on

I would have bought it, just for the name. Lighten up, folks! It IS just a lipstick.

guest on

As the parent of a special needs child, I personally think this whole thing is silly. People are too sensitive. I could not tell you the name of any lipstick I own. I had to read the name several times before I understood the brouhaha over it. I, too thought of “celebratory”.

Angie on

Hmm, I wonder if it was called “Celebunigg” if people would be as easy-going and telling people to get over it and that it’s just a name? I guess political correctness has a clear beginning and end, and no where in between does it include people with development disabilities.

brandi on

Celebutard, roughly translated, means La Lohan. Problem solved. There’s a name you can all get behind. (Literally)

Leela on

I think the issue here is the normalizing of an epithet like “retard” and minimizing the very real pain that some people feel seeing that word.
Yes, we live in a world where people are easily offended. Yes, we live in a world where viral internet stories seem to blow even the smallest issue way out of proportion. Fine, I get all that.

But can’t we also try to be a little more kind to each other? Can’t we also try to enjoy ourselves without it being at someone else’s expense? Don’t we have a little more creativity than that? Aren’t we smarter, better than that? (Spoiler alert: WE ARE. LET’S BE BETTER.)

At the end of the day, yes, “it’s just a f—— lipstick.” So, instead of calling a f—— lipstick something that hurts people, call it something better. Be better.

RNW on

This is a free, capitalism-driven society. If you don’t like it, don’t buy it, and whether or not it is acceptable to the public will be determined by whether or not it is profitable. “Retarded”, as it is used by young people, no longer means the mentally-challenged or disabled- it means a willful idiot. Word meanings change.

mrsmass on

Oh good, more fake outrage!

brandi on

Because the parents of children with developmental delays are the target audience of this make up line. COME ON. I understand being offended when someone directly insults a disability but this lipstick has NOTHING to do with disabled kids. Please start a witch hunt on something with validity. This home-wrecker, trailer trash cosmetics line is NOT your enemy.

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