One of the lipsticks in Kat Von D’s Studded Kiss line has been getting a lot of attention. It’s called Underage Red, and therein lies the controversy.
Credit where credit is due, this lipstick is definitely red. But underage? What?
Kat’s reasoning for the title is that it’s a red she wore as a teen, wishing she could go to concerts but being turned away because she was too young. She says her parents, and probably others, also felt she was too young to wear red lipstick. She wore it anyway;
“Underage Red is not a girly, pink shade. It is not a sophisticated, deep red either. It is an unapologetic, bold red. To me, Underage Red is feminine rebellion.”
Kat continued to say;
“If you read the word “underage” and you automatically jump to a disgusting conclusion, I ask you to perhaps question your own mind and thoughts. Consider the damage such negativity can actually cause, verses actually help.”
The problem here is that “underage” has sexual connotations. It’s not a “disgusting conclusion” to think of a word in the context it’s most commonly used. The meaning of a word that is unique to one person doesn’t trump its actual in-the-bloody-dictionary meaning.
There are other terms that could have described the feeling of being young and rebellious – Teen Rebel, even. But there’s no punch to that, there’s no wink-nudge innuendo.
Underage was chosen because of what it means – not because there’s an alternative definition in Kat Von D world. There is value placed on the sexuality of underage girls. Hypersexualised young women and girls are used to sell product – constantly.
Kat wasn’t oblivious to it. It’s not just that we don’t understand her art. Eye ROLL. It’s the same kind of cheap shot we see from Benefit or The Balm, only I guess Kat Von D Beauty tried to come off cooler.