This Hong Kong Beauty Brand Named One Of Its Product After Holocaust Victim Anne Frank. This Tone-Deaf Move Has Internet Riled Up
If you are a bookworm like me or even slightly enjoy reading, you must have heard about (if not read) the biography The Diary Of A Young Girl by Anne Frank. For those who haven’t, the book is the dairy of a teenage Jewish girl that makes you laugh and cry as the young girl describes her days spent into hiding from the German Nazis during the World War II. Before she could finish the diary, she and the rest of her family was discovered, split up and sent to the horrible concentration camp where she died of typhus. Anne Frank wanted to be an inspiring writer and journalist and she is in fact deemed to be one of the most tragic heroes of World War II, but never could she have thought she would be an inspiration for a bottle of a blusher.
Yes, it is as ridiculous as it sounds. The Hong Kong cosmetic brand Woke Up Like This (WULT) named one of the products from its latest liquid blush range as ‘Dream Like Anne’. The collection ‘Face Dab’ has four products all named after influential women from the past such as American philanthropist Melinda Gates, English writer Virginia Woolf and Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. However, using a holocaust victim to sell off a beauty product is simply stooping too low for marketing, not to mention disrespectful.
This is absurd for numerous reasons but here are two major ones. Associating a teenage girl who tragically died because of genocide with a blush is sickening (and did I mention teenage?). Second, Jews who were killed in the most heinous tragedy in the history are not an opportunity to publicise your products and make money off them.
‘Dream Like Anne’ was up for sale for $38.50 which has been taken down from the website after the backlash. Did they not realise her ‘dreams’ were stomped by the Nazis and she was split from her family and killed for no fault of her own?
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We are all for honouring influential, powerful girls and women but this was clearly the wrong way to do it and it rightly offended the whole Internet, not just the Jewish community. It was a Jewish author Ben M. Freeman who pointed out the disrespect and called out Time Out Hong Kong that published an article about the collection. He wrote, “Naming a shade of blush after Anne Frank, who was a victim of genocide is revolting. Dead Jews are not a marketing opportunity. @timeouthk, shame on you for not noticing and for promoting this disrespect.”
Time Out apologised for the article and issued a statement which read, “We understand and recognize the insensitivities within this article, and that the inclusion of this product came across as disrespectful of Anne Frank and what she represents. We sincerely apologize for the distress that this piece has caused.” The brand also issued an apology statement saying, “To those who were offended by the naming of Face Dab — Dream Like Anne, we sincerely apologize for the miscommunication and misunderstanding this has caused.” It further went on, “We have the greatest respect for Ms Anne Frank, and it was never our intention to be insulting, offensive, or to reap profits from naming the product after a historical figure whose life was tragically cut short by events that bring out the worst of mankind.”
Naming a shade of blush after Anne Frank, who was a victim of genocide is revolting.
— Ben M. Freeman (@BenMFreeman) September 16, 2020
Anne Frank has been used as a marketing opportunity
Fashion and beauty retail companies several times over the years and received heavy criticism for the same but seems like some people never learn. A lot of retail chains like Target have come under fire for selling the Anne Frank costume in their Halloween section which is just disgusting and so disrespectful.
It offered a dress from the times of World War II which came with a beret and similar outerwear resembling that of Anne Frank. After disapproval of twitter users, Target finally removed the outfit and apologised for the same. They wrote, “We apologize to any guests who were offended by this costume. We have removed it from Target.com and are sharing this feedback with the vendor. In addition, we are taking this opportunity to review the process we have in place before a costume is available for purchase on Target.com.”
— Arno (@_arhanden) September 2, 2020
This is highly insensitive and irresponsible of the fashion and cosmetic companies to cash in from the memories of one of the worst times in history. How do they not see it is offensive? Are they so ignorant and blinded by the capitalism that they can’t see how their marketing trivialises the memory and legacy of people brutally killed in a holocaust? Plus, what dream are they talking about? The girl couldn’t live hers. Calling it inappropriate would be an understatement. We hope it was a wake-up call for WULT and it doesn’t come up with such problematic creative ideas for its next collection. This is not cool and we are not going to have it!