Remember when Lindsey Ledford, a 29-year-old frequent shopper, told Cosmopolitan that she refuses to shop at her favorite store, T.J.Maxx, because it carries Ivanka's clothing. Ledford filed a complaint with customer service, blabbed to Cosmo that the blouse at T.J. Maxx triggered flashbacks to her own previous experiences with sexual abuse.
"It doesn't matter if Ivanka's name is in front of it, or Donald's," she explained. "As much as I love shopping at T.J. Maxx, I can't stomach seeing that name front and center." You might not specifically remember Lindsey, but concerns from traumatized women have circulated the media, fueling other women to boycott Trump for the offense his name represents.
Fast forward a few minutes (within the same month) and Covergirl boasted a new advertising campaign featuring 17yr old James Charles. A boy. yes.
I wrote into Covergirl with a similar complaint as our Lindsey Ledford above. I wasn't actually offended because I have gone to counseling and handled past issues. I wanted to see what the response would be if the shoe was one another foot.
I explained to Covergirl my dad is a transsexual and life growing up with my father's female obsessions (picture living with an obsessive anorexic) and Gender Identity Disorder above parenting triggered harsh, negative feelings for me. I don't expect most people to understand this plight as it is not found in your average-intelligence, bias media. But I assure you, I am not the only one dog-tired/traumatized from the transgender agenda plastered all over media.
In fact, I provided Covergirl with 350+ testaments to how children of trans and wives have been adversely affected. This "trigger" is legit, although I am an adult now and resilient enough to handle my own feelings- I'm not going to literally cry about it. BUT I did want to see if my equally valid complaint would be taken seriously. Did the media jump all over it? No. It clearly doesn't represent their agenda.
CoverGirl did respond to my in three separate emails. Since they seemed to have an "appropriate" level of compassion for me, I will extend the same to anybody else who feels victimized.
Their responses: Easily offended people will find these notes extremely palatable, but the message is clear. They don't care!
"Thank you for E-mailing us regarding our CoverGirl advertising campaign featuring James Charles. While we sincerely regret the concern you expressed, we are always pleased to hear from our consumers and we value your comments.
By taking into account all the comments we receive, we are better able to serve the public. Our advertising campaigns always strive to be unique, and many of them have been critically acclaimed around the world. However, as with any endeavor involving individual interpretations, we recognize that some people may view them differently. We respect every person's sensitivities and perspectives, and we assure you that none of our ads are intended to be offensive."
(I really like that part about any endeavor may involve individual interpretations. Good advice. Well played CoverGirl!)
" We understand your frustration and recognize that this is a matter of personal sensitivity. We value your loyalty and the relationship we've shared."
(They speak of "personal sensitivity" like it's not their problem. Maybe it isn't. Maybe it's not anybody's problem if someone is offended, right?! Maybe it's only a problem if it fits the current social climate.)
"Thank you for contacting CoverGirl regarding our first male model advertising campaign, Laura. While we sincerely regret the concern you expressed, we are always pleased to hear from our consumers and we value your comments.
CoverGirl has always been an inclusive brand, celebrating the diversity of Beauty and what is unique in everyone. We support anyone and everyone who wants to express themselves with makeup. CoverGirl believes in beauty for all, and we're proud to welcome James Charles to the family.
By taking into account all the feedback we receive, we are better able to serve the public. Our advertising campaigns always strive for unique, artistic images and many of them have been critically acclaimed around the world. However, as with any endeavor involving individual interpretations, we recognize that some people may view them differently. We respect every person's sensitivities and perspectives, and we assure you that none of our ads are intended to be exploitative or demeaning.
We greatly appreciate you taking the time to make your very real concerns known to us. We will most certainly share them with the appropriate departments, as they develop future creative images and formats for collections."
(No warm and fuzzy here. The first couple paragraphs reiterate how great they are. Nothing about poor little me. I'm really offended at this point, but then they stick me with the same damn paragraph from the first response. How sincere! Because they're full of sincere regret it seems.)
Offended? CoverGirl has the best advice for YOU.
I "sincerely regret the concern you've expressed."
I "value your comments."
"...as with any endeavor involving individual interpretations, We recognize that some people may view them differently. We respect every person's sensitivities and perspectives, and we assure you that it was not intended to be offensive."
I "understand your frustration and recognize this is a matter of personal sensitivity". (That's my favorite!)
This made me feel a whole lot better- how about you. The point is, the world is not our counselor. If you are being triggered, you still have issues to be worked out with an actual therapist.
(Donald J. Trump, doll up your lashes a bit and CoverGirl will "support anyone and everyone who wants to express themselves with makeup")
(CoverGirl, I'm willing to except your deepest apologies in exchange for some make-up tutorials from James Charles).
Everybody needs to express themselves in some form- mine happens to be written form...with an opinion. Strong opinions can be useful to others. Those who were undecided or ambivalent can just adopt your stance or gain an ability to formulate their own. Those who disagree can solidify, defend, and empower their stance.