Beauty brand under fire for naming its product 'Wax Spastic'
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American beauty brand Smith & Cult has come under fire after naming its new eyeliner ‘Wax Spastic’.
The use of the derogatory term spastic has understandably caused outrage among many UK residents.
According to a 2003 BBC poll, "spastic" is perceived by UK people to be the second most offensive disability-related word behind "retard."
However, in the U.S. spastic does not hold the same negative connotations as it does here in the U.K.
Rather than being an offensive word used to describe someone with a disability, in America spastic is a term used to describe someone who is clumsy.
Beauty blogger Talonted Lex claims Smith & Cult were made aware of the UK meaning prior to production though, but says they decided to go ahead with the product name regardless.
Lex was sent the eyeliner to review but was ‘stunned’ it had such an insensitive name and took to Twitter to blast the company for their poor decision.
Sharing a photo of the product, she wrote alongside it: “How many people saw and approved the name 'Wax Spastic' for your new eyeliner, @SmithandCult? Genuinely stunned”.
In response the brand said:
"Art comes in many different forms... Smith & Cult chooses its shade names based on experience or memories from the protagonist behind the brand. The name Wax Spastic is directly referring to a sentimentality and longing for our youth.
"A time when life was joyful, innocent and full of the unexpected. We as an organisation do not intend for any representation of the Smith & Cult brand to come off as offensive to our customers and/or affiliates."
Art might come in many different forms but that should never justify the use of such an insensitive word.
This isn’t the first beauty brand to court controversy over the naming of their products; last year Colourpop were slammed when they announced the names of their six new contour crayons. While lighter shades had names like ‘gummy bear’ and ‘castle’, the darkest shades were called things like ‘yikes’ and ‘typo’. After Affinity Magazine posted an open letter titled, "Dear ColourPop, My Skin Is Not a 'Typo,'" the brand apologised and consequently altered their distasteful product names.
Following the growing backlash and uproar, Smith & Cult have since announced that the product has been removed from sale.