To Companies Like ColourPop That Seek To Offend Black Women, Save Your “Apologies”

Photo by Abi Ishola for

Dear ColourPop:

Since this month has been chock full of, oh no the hell they didn’t moments when it comes to people who clearly have a problem with, or simply don’t understand black hair and black skin, we need to acknowledge the fact that you had a hand in adding to the messiness. But before we start on your backhanded attempt to “diversify” your product line, let’s take a look back on the other nuisances and culture vultures.

When Marc Jacobs sent white models down his runway donning colorful yarn extensions posing as locs, black women did the right thing and called him out. Of course, like many who are tone deaf to cultural appropriation, he got defensive. Then he did what people like him typically do: he issued an “apology.” Ah, but not just any apology, he released the good old “we apologize for doing exactly what the hell we sought out to do, but only because you called us out, and now everybody is talking about it, and we got the publicity we crave so we’re really happy about all of this, but now we want to take back our usual “control” of such situations by apologizing,” apology. Yeah the usual when it comes to cultural appropriators, haters, and racists.

The second story in WTF news involves the U.S. Court of Appeals in Alabama. Yes, the law. The judicial system, you know, that thing that keeps sending the message to cops that it’s okay to kill innocent black men in cold blood. But I digress. After a woman filed suit against her employer for discrimination after she was told to cut her locs in order to keep her job, the court ruled in favor of the employer.  Yep, they basically told her having locs was enough of a reason to be discriminated against. Land of the free? Not so much.

Then we come to you ColourPop. Apparently somebody on your staff thought it would be cute to name the dark shades of your Sclupting Stix “Yikes,” “Dume,” and “Typo.” You see, the only typo that exists in this whole situation is the fact that YOU EXIST as a company.

ColourPop’s whack color range

That brings us to the real question at hand: Why does black skin offend you so much? It’s saddening that our wondrous beauty is such a button pusher for you and so many others, but apologizing for the gift of melanin is just dumb, so stop acting like we need to. I mean, you are a beauty company. Typically brands that create beauty products look for ways to enhance the natural beauty of all women without actually offending them.  Damn, even Kylie Jenner tried. Instead you set out to delete an entire group of women with your product line.  That’s usually what happens to a “typo,” right?  Again, so backhanded. So please, miss us with that apology, because what you don’t fully realize is that while you continue to create  mediocre products with silly names, we take our $7.5 billion on over to the folks who celebrate us.

Heeeyyyy Iman!




Abi Ishola
Abi Ishola


Abi Ishola is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Beyond Classically Beautiful, the acclaimed photo series turned multimedia platform. On any given day, you can find her tucked away in a perfectly lit Brooklyn coffee shop working for several hours. Then she dashes off to pick up her daughter from daycare. Abi is also a TV Producer, a proud FIT Alum, Nigerian-American, and a soul searcher.

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