Why Sephora – WHY?

4 Nov

courtesy of Down Wit Dat

Why would you let Kat Von D (a famous tattoo artist who I have actually liked) name her lipstick “Celebutard”?

For those who don’t know, “Celebutard” is a combination of the words Celebrity, Debutant, and Retard – used as an insult for rich people who’ve gotten famous for doing nothing.

You can imagine why this raised our hackles and made us go “WHAT?  WHY?”

Kat Von D’s response on twitter was “It’s just a f*cking lipstick.”

No.  It’s not.  It’s something that’s going to make all the people snicker and use more ‘tard words to describe people who are being jackasses.

It’s not just a lipstick, it’s once again a slap in the face to all us mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, grandparents, teachers, friends and loved ones who fight every day to show that our loved one with special needs IS as worthy of being human as anyone else.

Using the word “tard” – which I don’t care how you spin it, IS short for “retard” – in ANY form, isn’t funny, witty, or clever.  It’s just plain mean.  It’s mean to all of us, who every day, love a person with a mental disability fiercely, because some days, we’re the only person there to love that person.

Comparing MY daughter to someone who “got famous for no reason outside attention-seeking behavior” – is rude.

On the other hand, what you’ve done, Kat Von D, is exactly that.  Gone all shocking with attention-seeking behavior.  Look at you now!  You’ve got my attention, and a whole lot of others as well.  I hope you enjoy this particular limelight.

And Sephora.  Seriously?  You LET her do this?  What the hell were you thinking?  That this is okay?

You know, while I was living in Ireland, I was actually disappointed that I didn’t have a Sephora near by.  When we moved here, I got all giddy with excitement when I saw a Sephora store at the local shopping center.

Yeah, you know what, I think I’ll go to another store now.  I’m sure Ulta can meet my needs. Macy’s has also always been nice to me and my daughters when we go in to browse make up.

It’s a shame you can’t take a page from Debenham’s and show the beauty of all people.  Instead, by allowing Kat Von D to name her lipstick “Celebutard”,  all you’ve shown is ugliness.  You made the choice to allow this, and for that, I will not be able to shop in your store again.

You should have known better Sephora.  You should have known better.

I can find beauty elsewhere, like in my own child.

PS – still don’t get why I don’t like “tard” words – read my post “Being Retarded” – maybe read about my daughter and what we go through.  Spend a moment in my shoes.


“Sephora is the exclusive retail carrier of this product” says their website – just click to enlarge the screen shot


ETA – There is now a petition at about this – go make your voice heard!

If you like this or any of my other posts, feel free to skip on down to and vote for me in the “Top 100 Bloggers” contest they’re running. Many thanks to those who do!


55 Responses to “Why Sephora – WHY?”

  1. Wendy Carroll November 4, 2013 at 1:38 pm #

    Just plain stunned.

  2. Cheryle November 4, 2013 at 1:50 pm #

    There won’t be any Sephora in my make-up bag!

    • phoebz4 November 4, 2013 at 1:51 pm #


  3. Stephen November 4, 2013 at 1:58 pm #

    Change it to Celebufag and see if it stays “just a F*%#ing lipstick”…

    • phoebz4 November 4, 2013 at 2:00 pm #

      both versions are wrong and rude in my eyes. Why can’t others also see that?

    • babazoobee November 5, 2013 at 9:48 am #

      Just as bad.

  4. itsybitsymom November 4, 2013 at 2:19 pm #

    Have you forwarded this to Disgusting.

    • phoebz4 November 4, 2013 at 2:26 pm #

      good call

  5. Denise G. November 4, 2013 at 2:37 pm #

    I have no issue with Sephora. They just carry Kat’s line, one I will forever avoid now. You can buy the same make up on Amazon and Ebay (and a few other places). Just let Sephora know, by not buying Kat’s makeup, that you don’t want her product. If her sales plummet, they won’t renew her contract.

    • phoebz4 November 4, 2013 at 2:49 pm #

      This particular lipstick is exclusive to Sephora. I’ll be adding the screen shot in a moment…

      • Denise G. November 4, 2013 at 3:11 pm #

        I found it on Amazon, just FYI. Sad, but true.

      • phoebz4 November 4, 2013 at 3:19 pm #

        yeah, those look like 3rd party sellers or whatever those who buy a product to resell are called…

  6. Louise Kinross November 4, 2013 at 4:09 pm #

    Good for you for calling Kat Von D and Sephora on it. I hope you send your piece to Sephora — it would be great to see a response. Also, thanks for sharing the link to Debenham’s. Very cool!

    • phoebz4 November 4, 2013 at 4:22 pm #

      I have sent it. I hope they will hear me.

  7. Amber November 4, 2013 at 4:59 pm #

    I’m surprised Denise you have no issue with Sephora distributing a lipstick with that name. They are making a profit from this lipstick and they get to choose what products they market and sell. for what it’s worth, because they are giving it away free in their blitz bags is what caused me to notice it in the first place. As a mom with a child with DS I received an email from them offering me a free “Celebutard” lipstick. The response has been amazing.

  8. Anne November 4, 2013 at 6:43 pm #

    i’m a little slow on the uptake here, but what is a celebutard? i mean is this just her way of trying to get publicity? I hear her shops aren’t doing so well, but hey you reap what you sow. get ready for a bitter harvest. #unfollow

    • phoebz4 November 4, 2013 at 7:38 pm #

      Celebutard is a combination of the words celebrity, debutant, and retard. It’s used as an insult to those who are famous for being famous or the like. Which is a bit ironic coming from the likes of herself.

  9. Nancy Spivey November 4, 2013 at 7:16 pm #

    I totally agree that this is just wrong. And anyone who sells it, thereby making a profit from it, is wrong.

  10. Sparrowgrass November 5, 2013 at 8:12 am #

    I think I may be a bit naive here, because when I first saw this word I thought the tard part was like leotard or unitard, and while I could see why people would want a celebrity-leotard, why wear it on your lips? Now I understand the meaning and am, like you, repulsed at the idea that anyone thinks this is acceptable branding for their product.

  11. S.davis November 5, 2013 at 9:17 am #

    I wish everyone would boycott her lipstick… That’s just thoughtless of her. My daughter loves her ( for what reason I don’t know) but I absolutely refuse to buy this make-up…

  12. davidtalks13 November 6, 2013 at 5:30 pm #

    I can’t believe they actually could name a lipstick that way. I guess there is a certain ignorance to it that people like Kat Von D don’t understand the implications of their stupidity.

  13. thecuriousalouette November 6, 2013 at 7:05 pm #

    It’s a just plain dumb-sounding name too!

  14. sosoglitter November 6, 2013 at 7:34 pm #

    This is so wrong. I have purchased so many Kat Von D products in the past but will not any longer.

  15. hvlos November 6, 2013 at 7:51 pm #

    Ugh thank God I stopped going there.

  16. heathervoid November 6, 2013 at 8:23 pm #

    I don’t own any Sephora makeup and now I’m glad and not planning to change the contents of my makeup bag. Thank you for an amazing post that eloquently expressed this issue

  17. Mrs Finkling November 6, 2013 at 8:46 pm #

    I agree wholeheartedly – its insensitive, distasteful and completely unnecessary

  18. BeingZhenya November 6, 2013 at 11:00 pm #

    I am so so disappointed in Sephora, but it has to be KatVonD who had the final say, it has to be!

  19. smartstunningsearching November 6, 2013 at 11:57 pm #

    I’m very sorry for all the things that your and your daughter have to go through. She sounds like inspiring girl and you’re clearly an amazing mother.

  20. Munchy November 7, 2013 at 1:08 am #

    This is ridiculous! Why is it cool to use offensive words? It’s not, it just goes to show how shallow the person is for using them. It doesn’t make them look better, it makes them look worse.

    I belong to a society where people’s looks are always judged. “The bride’s too fat, the groom’s too ugly, what was she wearing? she’s too short, her nose isn’t short and straight.”

    Recently my sister in law gave birth to Abdullah who has ichthyosis. It’s a very rare skin disorder. She doesn’t live here any more but ever since she’s had her baby she is terrified to visit. She knows what our extended family is like and she says that it’s easier tolerating the stares of strangers but she won’t be able to handle the remarks made by her own loved ones. And they won’t hold back either because in their heads they think they’re “just saying, didn’t mean no harm, wanted to let you know so you could improve on it because I love you.” It’s despicable behaviour and it’s driving her insane because right now Abdullah is too young to know there is something wrong with him or what anyone says about him, but his mother knows, she feels the hurt ten times because she knows someday he will understand, he will be hurt and miserable and she doesn’t know a single thing she can do to absolutely protect him from it….

    It’s sick and should never be tolerated.

  21. David C November 7, 2013 at 6:59 am #

    Hi Phoebe,

    I think people in general are naturally compassionate and empathetic towards others. They usually reverse gear and apologise when they have caused offence – especially if it was unwitting and when it’s pointed out to them.

    Unfortunately, there is also a selfish and arrogant streak in human nature that maybe afflicts some people more than others and can override their natural compassion.

    The internet is changing many things, I wonder if the potential to highlight individual behaviour that is not very compassionate is gradually helping to change everyone’s behaviour for the better?

    If so, then your post has played a part in this and will help us to see what Kat Von D and Sephora are really made of.

    Keep up the good work.

    Best wishes to you and family.

  22. drewster55 November 7, 2013 at 9:25 am #

    Looking at the players involved here, We have Kat Von D and Sephora selling a product here. Kat Von D, clearly, has established her own fame. While she may poke fun at those who are famous for ‘no reason,’ It’s not like she’s a household name for discovering a cure for cancer; she’s a tattoo artist, yes? It can be considered an art form, but there is an element to her popularity rooted in having an affair with a married celeb. She’s also had her own reality television show, if memory serves, too. The other player is Sephora, who apparently is looking to move product to make money. Marketing can involve many strategies, which include using controversy. Art can already push boundaries, so here we have Sephora riding this out, solely to maximize profits.

    The issue, as others have pointed out, is use of the word, ‘tard.’
    In spite of the argument of our society becoming overly politically correct, I think use of that word is inexcusable. It represents an established history of the demeaning, insulting treatment of those mentally challenged. Any word can become emotionally charged, but we’ve sidelined other words with social stigma without too much drama. It just a matter of applying that to refusing to support of Kat Von D and Sephora.

    I’d challenge anyone to think about using words/phrases like ‘tard’ to think about reducing a group of people to an insulting term. Spouting bigoted and homophobic statements already earn those the title of ignorant. Why wouldn’t we extend that to those who utter similar terms?

  23. roseglace November 7, 2013 at 9:52 am #

    this is not intended to be a rationalization or a justification, but it _might_ put this in some sort of context. it appears that ‘retard’ has become, in a segment of the population that i can’t describe accurately, a somewhat generic (and fairly mild, all things considered) term of disapproval. in certain online games, for example, if someone does something that turns out badly, he’s likely to be called idiot, moron, noob, retard. i think that this is lazy (good insults are, after all, not easy), extremely unpleasant (not for them, clearly) and totally lacking in respect for complete strangers but if you can say anything about ‘people’ it’s that they can be lazy, unpleasant and lacking in respect and compassion. i don’t know this kat person, but i strongly suspect that the name was approved by a room full of marketing experts, advisors and lawyers.

  24. Maine Girl November 7, 2013 at 10:49 am #

    Maybe she should name it “Celebutattard” for people who are famous for nothing but having tats! Hey, “It’s just a f*ucking lipstick” right?

  25. Katie November 7, 2013 at 2:16 pm #

    Thank you for this. I find the word thrown around so often and carelessly, even more so than other slander like “gay”. I have so many very well-educated friends who use it consistently and it immediately makes me cringe and think of them as ignorant and stupid, and when I call them out, they don’t understand the problem. It is offensive and wrong and I can’t believe how many people don’t realize it.

    You know what would look great with that lipstick? Blackface.

  26. jerricajohnson November 7, 2013 at 4:37 pm #

    As a Special Education Major in college, hearing things like this does upset me. However, I dont believe that Kat Von D had rude intentions of making fun of children with special needs when she decided this. You know how we sometimes say things like, “that’s stupid” when someone says something? We dont mean to actually call the person stupid or unintelligent it’s just a part of our vocabulary. With that said, I don’t think Sephora should have allowed this product into the line. As a professional company they know what products are good and bad and what is appropiate. Sephora knows that a term like this is not appropiate and shouldn’t have followed through with the product in my eyes. Im not saying Kat is innocent in all of this either. Yes, she needs to watch what she says and needs to be aware of the audience she has but also Sephora needs to keep their professionalism and have limitations. From this whole thing, not only does Kat look bad but now the company Sephora does too. Just proves that companies will do anything to keep their celeb clients happy.

  27. itsabeautifulworld90 November 7, 2013 at 4:59 pm #

    Wow, I had not heard about this. As someone who lives with a physical disability, this does offend me. Why people use the r word in place of the word stupid or dumb is beyond me. The r word does not mean these things. It is derogatory no matter what context it is used in. I can’t believe how mainstream and accepted it has become. I actually did respect and like Kat but I’m not so sure anymore. She needs to spend a day with some people with disabilities and she will see how offensive the r word is. It is not silly or lighthearted, it’s an offensive word. I cringe when I hear it. Not impressed with Sephora either, for selling this and I am going to send them an email right now explaining why.

  28. itsabeautifulworld90 November 7, 2013 at 5:11 pm #

    I actually went to the link and didn’t see the particular lipstick with that name. It’s called Painted Love or something. Was the name changed?

  29. Elea Lee November 8, 2013 at 1:03 am #

    I think some words should never be applied to people!!! Retard should only be used as a verb–ever!
    Good post

  30. panikikubik November 8, 2013 at 3:21 am #

    I don’t use lipstick ( It unfortunately makes me look like a clown) but I think it’s beutiful when people do. I think it’s fine if people make a commerce and are trying to show off just to be extravagant but NOT without respect for other people. I think it´s a great post, just because the writer is brave to say “Stop!” “This is not ok for me!
    And I think the reply from drewster 55 very wise. All the best to you 🙂

  31. dat6 November 8, 2013 at 9:01 pm #

    I have no experience with this aspect of life whatsoever. I understand the general concensus of “retarded” to mean airhead or dumb is inappropriate, but when I think about retarded even being used in the medical sense, I wonder what is even appropriate to call “disabled” people.

    To use the words mentally retarded, challenged, disabled, handicapped, etc. just seems like taking a chunk out of a person’s being.

    I do personally know many Deaf people who take offense when people label them as hearing impaired or disabled. They prefer to just be called Deaf. They understand that they are different, but do not believe that their difference makes them lesser.

    Seeing that you are a mother of a disabled(?) child, I would like to hear your perspective on this.

    It is such a sensitive matter, but my opinion is that the best way to refer to a person is by their name. But when describing someone’s physical or mental handicap, what is the appropriate thing to say?

    I apologize if this is full of ignorant remarks. I fully admit that I am in ignorance right now, and I would like for you to bring me out of it.

  32. theclocktowersunset November 9, 2013 at 12:10 am #

    Never been a fan of KatVD, Everybody always said how”cool” she is and I’m stupid or whatever. But no one has ever swayed my opinion. Now this, makes me smile when someone shows their true colors when I knew all along. If she hadn’t done or said this, she’d still be who she is, now she just let everybody know.

  33. Mirnita November 9, 2013 at 8:35 am #

    Reblogged this on Undecided Mamas and commented:
    I totally agree with you !

  34. thewondermya November 10, 2013 at 4:46 am #

    Wow this is just amazing… Your post made me feel a lot better, because there is someone who cares ! I just got really disturbed by a girl promoting health by publishing pictures of a girl deep throating a banana. I told her it was degrading for women and promoting porn messages and she told society does it, it is fun… No it is not. As it is not to use discriminating mean names like this one. Thanks for raising awareness and showing that it is not ok and never is gonna be. THANKS !

  35. Helche Silvester November 10, 2013 at 9:46 pm #

    Reblogged this on Digital media literacy .

  36. scarlettablack November 10, 2013 at 10:32 pm #

    Ugh. That’s so disappointing. I am glad that they pulled it! The fact that it has to have a petition and controversy is pretty sad though; I do wish people would know just not to use that term.

    Thank you for alerting us to this issue.

  37. Red Unscripted November 10, 2013 at 11:20 pm #

    u have to wonder the discussion room in which someone said “ok” to name a product with this word. I get that maybe she personally didn’t mean to be offensive, but if she is selling a product.. she has to think about her customers. Are her customers loving that? How were the sales? I wouldn’t want to wear anything with that wierd or negative of a name regardless of her intent. And now, will the negative publicity help or hurt her future product lines?

  38. phxross November 12, 2013 at 10:20 pm #

    How does a decision like this get thru multiple levels of management & marketing. Or, as I picture, someone in the lower level did and was ignored and is now sitting in his /her cubicle saying to themselves “I told them….”

  39. Abraham Rodriguez November 13, 2013 at 6:27 pm #

    What kind of a name is that for a lipstick? How ridiculous, foolish and insensitive! I’ll stick with promoting Mary Kay.

  40. coffeeandguts November 14, 2013 at 12:50 pm #

    I can’t stand when people just throw around the word retard or variations of it like it’s nothing. It’s really sad to see that Kat and Sephora would be ok with this.

  41. lesliegumbert November 14, 2013 at 4:46 pm #

    Very well-written and thought provoking.

  42. Susannah Ailene Martin November 17, 2013 at 1:31 pm #

    I hate it when people use that word. I’m usually disinclined to be politically correct, but this is one instance where it’s just hurtful. I don’t use that word and I never will. I’m much more creative with my insults anyway. 😉

  43. snaughty November 18, 2013 at 9:50 pm #

    I can recall actually wanting to get a tattoo from Kat Von D and writing to her shop to see if it was possible for me to book months in advance so that I could visit her shop while I was on vacation in her area. I clearly stated that I didn’t want to be on television and that I was only interested in getting a tattoo. The responses I got were all about how to apply to be on the television show, however, and I gave it up. Upon watching her show and seeing what a useless human being she is I’m glad I never wasted my money supporting her idiocy. Having watched the show, are you really surprised this is how she is?

  44. swagalicous96 November 21, 2013 at 5:05 pm #

    Reblogged this on Fashion101.


  1. For the dads... | Josh Holmes - February 13, 2014

    […] with a special needs child. Recently she’s taken on Sephora for their insensitive naming of a particular lipstick, Apple for their dictionary’s definition of the word retarted and many more great […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: