NO, I AM NOT HIGH.




OK. I know there has been recent talk regarding one of the shade names of a lipstick in my makeup line. Below is my response to Kim Stagliano's recent post addressing her issues, as well as the issues I find with her post.

Hope it answers any looming questions... and hope we can all move forward – I’m not good at negativity, never have been, so I hope you guys can read my responses with an open heart... and with compassion.

xo,
KvD



Sephora, "Celebutard" Lipstick? Are You High On Tattoo Ink?

Let's start with the very first problem I have with this blog: The title.

Perhaps you thought you were being "funny" or witty, but if you did your research, you would know (much like a majority of my fans and followers know) that I am an enthusiastic advocate for sobriety.


I'm happy to say that I have a little bit over six years sober from drugs and alcohol.


In no way am I trying to gain a pat on the back, as I don't believe one should get extra-credit for doing their homework. But I do celebrate my sobriety, and am quite open about it because I like the idea of possibly inspiring others to make positive changes in their lives.

"High on Tattoo Ink." What a stereotypical way to set up an article!


To you, it’s probably "no big deal" but perhaps you just don't understand what a struggle it once was (and still is sometimes) to not be profiled and judged based on being tattooed.

Not that long ago, before highly rated tattoo-themed TV shows existed, the public's perception of tattooed people wasn't as positive as it is now. People were taught that if you were tattooed most likely, you were on drugs, in a gang, a criminal, or a prostitute. Some members of my own family had this misconception, too, back then. And no, we are not born with tattoos, and yes this is a conscious decision people make to adorn your body with tattoos, but it still doesn't change the fact that being associated with drug-using can offend someone, and contribute to an inaccurate negative stigma.

So NO, I am not "high on tattoo ink" - I'm not high at all.

Most importantly, I'm not high on myself enough to approach a problem such as bullying, and negativity towards children (with or without Autism) the way that YOU have.

If you are trying to raise awareness on a subject such as Autism to those who lack education, perhaps not belittling people would be a bit more effective. If there is a problem, a solution is most likely not too far away, but causing friction and starting a battle, especially on a public forum is counterproductive and distracting from what the REAL issues are at hand.

What I'm trying to say here, is that you simply could have emailed any concerns to either myself or Sephora, instead of saying things with conviction - some of which you may not have all the information. I know for a fact, that I personally would have responded to you in a positive way.



As for Sephora, I can't speak for them as a company. All I can say is that out of any and every deal I have ever signed, Sephora has been the most supportive and caring company I've ever worked with. They have always supported me as a brand and as a person, especially when it comes to helping others.


You won't see a blog written by them boasting about the thousands of dollars that they've GIVEN to organizations who dedicate themselves to helping children in need. Or how much of a percentage from sales of certain products of mine have selflessly been donated. And I think that in itself is admirable…. to give without the expectation of gaining something selfishly.



You also won't see me list off all of the things I've done to contribute to kids in need, (including programs surrounding Autism).


I don't need to. My amazing fans follow me closely enough to know what kind of person I am. And to know that I would never in a million years want to do anything to hurt anyone’s feelings, let alone contribute to bullying.


So with my first point out of the way in regards to your distasteful choice of wording on the title, I’d like to extend a sincere apology - to everyone and anyone who has been offended by that name choice of lipstick shade. As someone who is far too experienced in the world of being "bullied" as a kid, it pains my heart to think I could ever create anything that would inspire anything less than positive, regardless if those were not my intentions.


WITH THAT BEING SAID… PLEASE, READ ON!!


Because my apology is NOT to you Ms. Stagliano. I don't admire your egoic and extremely hypocritical approach to problems in the world. And I don't admire anyone who gains attention through negativity. Lack of compassion for others has always been a terrible characteristic to possess, especially when you have a vocal platform as you do.


To make sure I address all the points you've made– I’ve cut and paste your article word for word, and attached my responses (in bold).

Sephora cosmetics has a funky line of lipsticks under the Kat Von D. name called Painted ink. That's cool. One of the names of a creamy buff color is "Celebutard." Definitely not cool, funny or acceptable. Most of the other names are terrific, "Ritual, Cathedral." Even "Underage Red" is naughty - but doesn't make me see red.

My problem specifically with this paragraph isn't all the grammatical errors, and inaccurate information. Even though I do think that if you're going to use a public forum such as Huffington Post as a platform, I would like to think people would want to do a bit more research. But I personally, don't like it when people give me slack for my typos, so I won't waste time correcting them here.

What DOES bother me is the last sentence:

"Even "Underage Red" is naughty - but doesn't make me see red."

The shade name Underage Red belongs to the first collection of lipsticks I ever came out with in this makeup line. That collection was themed after Rock n' Roll, (for example some of the other shades in that collection include Misfit, Hellbent - inspired by The Misfits, and Judas Priest.) The lipstick, Underage Red was named after the nostalgic memory of wanting to see a band play so badly, and not being able to go, because I was underage.


At the time when I named it, of course, my mind was nowhere near the idea that someone would perceive it to be about anything else - especially something negative. But I can understand why some people's minds would go there, and over the years, I've gladly explained the real inspiration behind the name to the very few people that have brought concerns to my attention.


My problem with that last sentence in this article is that if you were under the belief that Underage Red was "naughty" or had anything to do with inappropriate sexual innuendoes (even though it does not) then something is CLEARLY wrong with you if it doesn't "make you see red."


It's quite hypocritical when you pick and choose what should be deemed inappropriate and "disgusting" based on issues that revolve only yourself. I guess maybe because your family hasn't been affected by those types of issues, to you, those points aren't worth fighting for?

Instead, you glossed right over it, and gave it a cute description using the word "naughty".


To me, there is nothing cute about kids having sex. And to me, the fact that you're not bothered by your own misdirected assumption of what the inspiration of that particular shade was… well, THAT is extremely inappropriate.


Underage children engaging in sex is something that scares me and pains me to think about. But that's just me. To be honest, I have a lot of quite conservative views on subjects such as these, but for the most part, unless asked, i usually keep my opinions to myself, and I find that leading by example is far more effective and inspiring.


I'm only explaining this point to try and help bring understanding to how offensive your statement might come off to someone who might be sensitive to a subject like that.


Thankfully, I know my own truth. I know the real origin of every single shade of lipstick, eye shadow, and eyeliner I have ever created, and I can confidentially say that I would never want to promote, or glorify negativity through my art. I pride myself on trying my very best to do everything with Love.

You then continue your article with this:


People with disabilities are the last to benefit from what some might call "political correctness," and what I would call basic human decency. "Retard" is still bandied about - even by people I like a lot, like Howard Stern and his crew, who still have wack packers with the R word in their name.


I don't wear Sephora makeup. As Mom to three kids with autism, I call a clean face with maybe a swipe of mascara "camera ready." And as Mom of special needs kids - and friend to many people whose children have Down Syndrome, I wouldn't put this lipstick on a pig.


I think your blog made a strong enough point regarding political correctness, without having to bring in examples like Howard Stern. BUT, you did. And it makes absolute NO SENSE to me how you could choose to project your frustrations onto a lipstick name, yet be a self proclaimed "Howard Stern FANATIC" as you typed out so clearly on your twitter bio.

Because you see, when people actually use the word "retard," (especially in a degrading way towards another person), that’s something that I could not find joy in subscribing to, let alone promote - which you do.

This has nothing to do with Howard Stern, since I've never met him in person, I actually don't have an opinion on him as an individual. And since I'm not a follower of his programs, I'm the last person to judge.

But I am aware of its popularity, and also of the type of content that make up his shows, having known people who have been his guests. But I’ll take your word for it, when you say the "R" word being said out loud is something that commonly (and casually) takes place on his shows.


Even though I made a mistake in naming a lipstick, "Celebutard" I know what my real intentions were. It’s actually the opposite of what your perception portrays. Of course, it doesn't make it right, and in all honesty I have no problem admitting when I've made a mistake. In fact, it was my idea to pull the product from the shelves as quickly as possible.


But how can you say you are a fanatic of someone who would say things like this, and then sum up that same paragraph with "I wouldn't put this lipstick on a pig."? Those were YOUR words.


Do you let your kids watch or listen to those shows? Do you just gloss over that "R" word every time it comes up when listening to Howard Stern? I wonder how that is "OK" for you, and I also wonder how you couldn't see how offensively CONTRADICTING you are?

You summed up your blog with the following:


Tell Kat Von D her lipstick gets an "F."


You give me an "F" for a mistake, one that I would have (and DID) peacefully resolve.


I give you an "F" for being a terrible writer (on a composition/grammatical level) and spokesperson for such a righteous cause.


You twittered that you taught me a lesson. You taught me nothing.

You merely confirmed to me that I never want to be like you. I never want people to agree with me because I've bullied them into doing so. I don't want to "get a message across" by putting someone else down in a hurtful manner. And lastly, I never want to ride on anyone else's coat tails for my own personal egoic gain. Like I mentioned in my last tweets to you:

Children (with or without Autism) can be our biggest spiritual teachers. They don't feel the need to judge, hate, or spew negativity. They are free from defining themselves by their disadvantages. It’s only as adults that we tend to define ourselves by these challenges. Kids with Autism are not victims. They are superheroes. And hopefully you can learn that lesson of love and compassion one day, too.

Next time you attack people (whether you're right or wrong) ask yourself what YOUR intentions are. Are you trying to spread a good word? Or are you trying to triumph over someone else for more selfish reasons?


And like the addict-complainer who just can't get enough, you continue your rant by continuing to knock things down that have absolutely no relevance, by adding this comment to YOUR OWN blog:


The creative and product marketing teams had to approve this name - the buck stops with them, I think. And more ironic - the color is called NUDE and is a creamy pale color -racially pretty discriminatory too. Didn't Crayola rename NUDE (that peachy color) about eleventy billion years ago?? Thank you, Rowena.

Kim, if you invested as much time as you do in all these blogs, and commenting, and tweeting, and actually invested it into volunteering for the cause, inspiring others in regards to Autism, or even just spending quality time with your family and teaching your kids how to be strong when it comes to bullying that they may experience at school… that alone would do the world much more good. Instead you continued to attack a product by posting this horrifically racist comment.


How does your mind go from the word "NUDE" to "racially discriminatory"???

Maybe you are the one that has issues with race, as you are the one that jumps to the conclusion that the word "Nude" is referring to a caucasian skin tone, and I am beyond disgusted that you would have the audacity to write such offensive accusations, and publish them onto the internet! (Not to mention, if you had done your research properly like a REAL writer, you would have learned that one thing about my makeup line that I am most proud of, is that I made sure to offer a larger than average spectrum of shades to color-match skin tones of all colors, ESPECIALLY WOMEN OF COLOR, considering where my heritage roots lay.) So please, do the research properly, instead of word vomiting your feelings next time.

Lastly, I’d like to thank you ahead of time for keeping any sort of response to yourself, Ms. Stagliano. There really is no need to embellish any more than you have. There are far more positive and productive things we could invest our energies into than continuing this conversation.

From the bottom of my heart,

Kat Von D