The product was taken off Target's website.
Target is coming under fire after selling a new handbag that is being called tone-deaf.
The bag in question is a $6.99 canvas makeup pouch adorned with thick eyelashes and the phrase, “better late than ugly.”
The Target website described the product as “cute” and “the perfect accessory.” But the bag caught the attention of Dana Suchow, commonly known as Dana Hotpants, a body-positive activist, who took to Instagram to voice her concerns with what she saw as deeply problematic.
“SERIOUSLY, TARGET?” she captioned the photo from her account, @dothehotpants. “This is what we want young girls & women thinking? That it’s better to arrive late than to arrive UGLY?? We live in a society that is constantly telling women that being beautiful is more important than ANYTHING.”
She continued to list that girls and young women are constantly conditioned to believe that beauty is more important than school, work, friendships, happiness, equal pay, human rights, respect from peers and equality.
“And you know why society tells us this over and over again? BECAUSE THE MORE WE HATE OUR BODIES THE MORE PRODUCTS WE BUY,” she said.
“People ask me why I created the Makeup Removal Party, and THIS IS EXACTLY WHY!” Suchow said, referencing an event she created where women remove their makeup together and talk about society’s beauty standards. “Because makeup bags like this are considered ‘cute’ and ‘funny,’ but the underlying message is that we end up internalizing over and over, is that it’s unacceptable to be ugly. It’s unacceptable to not always be striving for beauty. And that women’s bodies exist solely for visual/sexual consumption. That it’s our job to smile/be beautiful/be caretakers/& do the world’s emotional labor, all with a full face of makeup but no equal pay.
“The amount of times I’ve been late to my LIFE because my skin was broken out are too many to count. The amount of times I cried halfway through doing my makeup just to wash my face & start over because I felt ugly, are too many to count. The amount of times I missed out on LIVING because my makeup didn’t fully hide my acne, are too many to count & too painful to remember.
“I WANT TO LIVE IN A WORLD WHERE GIRLS DON’T HAVE THE SAME PAINFUL INSECURITIES I GREW UP BELIEVING. I want girls & women to know their worth! And to know their insecurities were created by corporations… because an insecure woman is an exploitable woman. It’s this kind of acceptable kitschy sh*t at Target that hurts us, and that hurts children! It keeps us so focused on our external appearance that we don’t even show up on time to our lives. That’s not fair or equal, and I will forever fight to change this.”
Suchow posted on Twitter about the product as well, urging her follows to share it.
You are absolutely correct! We appreciate the time you have taken to share your concerns, thoughts and feelings about this issue. Your feedback is very important to us, and will be sure that our Merchandise team sees this. Thanks again.— AskTarget (@AskTarget) January 31, 2018
It was a happy ending for Suchow — Target’s social media team saw her critique, and the retailer took the product off of their online store.