Nadine Lustre’s makeup brand criticized for comparing actress’ look to Frida Kahlo | Inquirer Entertainment

Nadine Lustre’s makeup brand criticized for comparing actress’ look to Frida Kahlo

/ 04:31 PM April 17, 2018

Image: Instagram/@vivaartistsagency

Following in the footsteps of a number of celebrities, Nadine Lustre recently launched “Lustrous,” a makeup line, in collaboration with Australian brand BYS.

Lustrous includes eyeshadow palettes with bright shimmer shades, a contour palette, eyebrow products, mascara and lip and cheek tints.


In one of the pictures promoting her makeup line, Lustre wears her eyeshadow in two vivid colors, wearing her hair in a braid with large flowers atop her head. Her colorful attire, a floral printed dress, long yellow earrings and a bohemian-themed necklace, complemented her makeup.

The vibrant photo was no doubt striking, clearly drawing inspiration from Mexican artist Frida Kahlo—the post on BYS Philippines’ social media page, in fact, tags Lustre as “a Modern Frida Kahlo.”


nadine lustre, bys

Image: Instagram/@bysphilippines

The caption was contentious for some netizens, who pointed out that it is ironic to use Kahlo’s iconic look for a commercial brand.

Kahlo, a surrealist painter born in 1907, was famous for her self-portraits made after a bus accident that left her with severe injuries. She never waxed her facial hair as a statement against Western standards of beauty. She was politically active and was a Communist along with husband Diego Rivera; during their marriage, she had affairs with women and men.

One @annasamarita noted on the Instagram post, “Frida Kahlo was a disabled and bisexual Communist; Nadine could not be any more different. Stop appropriating her iconography for your profit.”

Another netizen @ianacorn wrote on Twitter, “Not to be rude but I hate it when brands/companies use Frida’s ‘look’ to promote their products.”

Image: Twitter/@ianacorn

“I’m not sure whether people are unaware or choose not to acknowledge this, but she was a communist and would no doubt scoff at these weak ‘tributes’ to her.”

She added that she had no issue with the actress’ appearance: “Nadine looks great though but this caption really ticked me off. Just let her wear a flower crown and go.”

As @candygalaxies noted, “They didn’t even have the courage to draw on a unibrow. That brow was a big part of Frida’s self-acceptance of her beauty. This is just bull.”


Image: Twitter/@ianacorn

The makeup brand isn’t the first to allegedly appropriate the artist: the New York Times used the word “Fridamania” to refer to her image used in products ranging from sneakers and tote bags to cosmetics and alcoholic beverages.

Whether Kahlo would approve or not of how her image has been commercialized might not be known, but viewing historical figures as more than an aesthetic can go a long way if one intends to pay them tribute.  /ra


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TAGS: cultural appropriation, Frida Kahlo, Lustrous, Makeup, Nadine Lustre
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