Inspiring Beauty? A Critique of Wardah Cosmetics’ Ad Campaigns

This post was written by guest contributor Afia R. Fitriati (@AfiaRF).

The gaffes in the latest ad campaign of Indonesia-based Wardah Cosmetics are as clear as daylight – so clear that a student in my marketing class had raised an issue with it even before I had the chance to see the commercials.

“If their selling point is halal – and thus Muslim-friendly – cosmetics, then why do they promote skin-lightening products? Isn’t it discriminatory to promote lighter skin as prettier than darker one?” my student asked.

A few days later, when I finally had the opportunity to spot the commercial in question on TV, my husband quickly pointed out a second blunder in the clip, “Wouldn’t her hijab get wet if she washes her face without taking it off like that?” [Read more...]