Beauty Blogger Swiftly Dragged For Using Racial Slur in Korean Product Review

July 21st 2017

Kyle Fitzpatrick

The world of beauty products may appear to be a haven for self-betterment.

But oftentimes the community of beauty fans and product makers find themselves in trouble for mishandling subjects like race.

Swiss beauty blogger Chanel Brusco is the latest to learn this after using a racial slur to review a product.

Brusco was reportedly reviewing a Korean beauty product and, in praising it, proceeded to use inappropriate language to describe its producers.

“Many of us don’t always understand the ‘Ching Chongs’ with the black hair and funny clothes,” Brusco reportedly wrote in her review. “But what makes us all the same, is our love for sleep and beautiful skin.”

The blogger also noted at one point that one can “discover a lot of funny stuff in the east.”

The response to Brusco has been swift and sharp.

Many on social media were quick to call out Brusco for such a comment, which the blogger has since deleted.

Brusco did release an apology, calling her use of the word a joke and invoking her own identity and friends from Asia as the reasoning. People were not happy.

The situation is yet another example of how products and markers of a culture are praised, while the group that created it are subtly demonized and further repressed.

In trying to appeal to other communities, those involved with the beauty industry frequently put down – or take advantage of – other cultures, dipping into appropriation on multi-tiers.

From Kim Kardashian’s recent beauty blackface episode to Shea Moisture’s erasure of black faces in an ad campaign to the more recent “chocolate challenge,” recurrences of racial insensitivities recur in a field where people are trying so hard to make themselves appear one way. The results expose casual racism.

While these situations may seem small and insignificant, the beauty industry is a huge, billion dollar industry.

The beauty industry generates $62 billion in the United States alone, a fact that highlights that situations like this aren't reflective of a small niche market but a financial giant. Paired with minority groups often spending more for products, instances of cultural appropriation and racism seem particularly pronounced.

As actress Amandla Stenberg pointed out in 2015 regarding Kylie Jenner's wearing of cornrows, this is an industry that loves to take advantage of features and beauty traits associate with a race, while ignoring the difficulties said community faces. Clearly, this problem isn't siloed to one specific group in beauty.