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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 149 comments

Tonya on

I don’t consider those with mental disabilites retarded and I doubt their parents do either. By objecting to the name, aren’t you associated it with those with mental disabilities. Are you helping or hurting the cause? Just a question

Carrie M on

What a fool she is!

Tee on

Ridiculous! I thoroughly understand the sensitivity of the word retarded, tard, BUT people/groups/organizations go overboard these days with the political correctness/sensitivity issue! I don’t buy her products or shop Sephora, but the shade of lipstick is pretty. I wonder if the complainers would have made issue if she named it RETARDENT (which usually is accompanied by flame…..flame retardent).

Robynnn on

So Celebutard is a problem but Underage Red isn’t? Is that not just as “offensive?” God bless those people who have nothing better to do than search the media for potentially “offensive” things to complain about. What WOULD we do without them?

Tee on

I have a question. Does the medical professionals use the word retarded in any form nowadays? For example if a child is born with mental disabilities, do they ever say “the child has mild retardation” or any variation of that or has the word been disposed of in medical terminology?

maryanndellarocco on

I agree that this is an offensive name. Any reference to “retard” is not acceptable and is a very hurtful, hateful name in the special needs community. Von D has the ability here to make a real statement by using her brand and her celebrity status to show that it is ALWAYS wrong to make fun of anyone for any reason. Von D obviously has a business sense since she has turned her ink into a TV show and a beauty line. I hope she will take this opportunity to not look at this as a slam against her, she made a mistake (or her company did), but instead a great opportunity for her to change opinions. As the mother of a child with autism I would love for her to do just that. She could bring such amazing awareness to all with special needs.

Becky on

I can’t tell you how many times people ask me what shade of lipstick I am wearing, or I ask someone else that. I would be hesitant to buy a shade with this name because I don’t want to offend people if they ask what it is. Furthermore, nothing drives me crazier than when someone says people are overreacting to an issue like this one, pointing out it’s only a name. I bet these people are the ones who don’t have a personal stake in the issue. My how some people are insensitive to OTHERS.

thrillcatz on

No excuse for the R word- EVER!

Lori Eason on

I have a child wh special needs. While he does not suffer with cognitive delay I recognize this as being unacceptable. As I often say…..change begins with us. Ignorance breeds ignorance.

Lori Eason on

Tee—”mentally retarded” is no longer an acceptable medical term, either.

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