Emma Watson Addresses Concerns That She Promoted Skin Lightening

photo by Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images

The U.N. Ambassador’s rep responds

UPDATE (3/31/2016): Emma Watson's representative reached out with a complete statement: "Many artists often have limited control of how their image is used once an endorsement contract is signed. I cannot comment on my client's previous contractual arrangements with Lancôme. However my client no longer participates in advertising beauty products, which do not always reflect the diverse beauty of all women.”

This story was originally published on 3/30/2016.

Yesterday, a 2013 Lancôme advertisement starring Emma Watson began to recirculate around the Internet. The products it endorsed, the brand's Blanc Expert line, is one of many "whitening" beauty lines that caters to the Asian market. As we have said before, whitening products cater to traditional Eastern beauty norms that believe that lighter skin is indicative of higher social ranking, as those in higher classes historically didn't need to perform manual labor in the sun.

While the history of these products is complex, the present-day implications of these items are even more intricate, especially in regard to the word "whitening," which doesn't fully explain that these products are used as brightening tools to even out skin tone. Still, the word "whitening" is triggering—and rightfully so. To see a U.N. Ambassador and activist like Emma Watson participating in a campaign endorsing these types of products is upsetting, and, as such, Internet-goers voiced their opinions and disappointment.

While Watson has yet to post any explanation on her social channels, her representative has issued a statement on her behalf. "I cannot comment on my client's previous contractual arrangements with Lancôme," they wrote. "However, my client no longer participates in advertising beauty products, which do not always reflect the diverse beauty of all women."

Lancôme also responded, in a statement to Refinery 29: "Blanc Expert was created by Lancôme 20 years ago. It helps brighten, even skin tone, and provides a healthy-looking complexion. This kind of product, proposed by every brand, is an essential part of Asian women's beauty routines."

As tends to be the case with most public statements, especially those with contractual implications, both are vague and brief. We hope to hear more from Watson about whether she had any reservations about the line at the time of the shoot, and what she thinks about brightening products and their place in today's beauty routines. 

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

He announced the news today

On Monday, Bernie Sanders announced that he is running for president again, after he lost the primary in 2016 to Hillary Clinton. And although he was very popular during the 2016 election, his announcement is drawing mixed reactions online.

Many of his previous supporters, including celebrities like Mark Ruffalo, were excited about him joining the 2020 race, voicing their support of his announcement.

But others seem to want him to disappear, even pretending not to know who he is. And these reactions have turned out, in some cases, to be hilarious.

The lack of excitement for his announcement may be because of the recent allegations of sexual assault which apparently occurred within his 2016 campaign, and which he claims he didn't know about. It could also be due to his base, who supported him even after he lost the primary to the detriment of Clinton's campaign.

Some are also calling out the fact that Clinton has been effectively shunned following her loss, while Sanders seems to be being welcomed back with open arms.



Photos courtesy of American Apparel

The pieces will take your athleisure look to the next level

American Apparel just dropped its first activewear line since the brand's relaunch last year, and I can already tell that these looks are going to make up my entire summer wardrobe.

The new line, called FORWARD, offers a variety of styles in lightweight fabrics like flyweight satin, which is an imitation of boxing gear; lame tricot; and cotton Spandex. All of the fabrics feature a four-way stretch, making the clothes "suitable for training but also designed for life outside the gym."

With the collection, American Apparel also launched an inclusive campaign called How We Play, which shows a diverse range of models, including blind Paralympic runner David Brown and curvy yoga instructor Luisa Fonseca.

The collection's styles offer a wide range of looks which will fit with just about any aesthetic, whether you're going hard at the gym or looking for a casual off-day outfit. Personally, I'm excited about the iridescent looks and the rainbow patterned bra and bottoms, which I will definitely be rocking at Pride this year.

The entire line is also super-affordable, capping out at $48, with most products priced in the $20-to-$30 range. You can shop FORWARD collection online, now.