#IAmWhatIMakeUp: CoverGirl’s Newest Ad Highlights the Rare Beauty of Vitiligo

CoverGirl/YouTube

CoverGirl’s been doing some great work lately with its “I Am What I Make Up” campaign, adding new talent to its roster, like Ayesha Curry and constant #Fave Issa Rae. But perhaps CoverGirl’s latest ad, featuring model Amy Deanna, who has vitiligo, is the cosmetic company’s freshest yet. In it, CoverGirl takes an unconventional turn by not trying to cover up Deanna’s skin but, rather, enhancing its uniqueness.

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In the 15-second spot, Deanna applies two shades of CoverGirl’s truBlend foundation to match her contrasting skin tones. Choosing to cover some spots while matching others, she asks, “Why try to blend in when you can choose to stand out?”

It’s a refreshing take on a condition that reportedly affects about 1-2 percent of the population and has only in recent years begun to receive positive attention. In 2014, Canadian model Winnie Harlow was the first contestant with vitiligo to be featured on America’s Next Top Model, in the show’s 21st cycle. Harlow has since become a regular on the the fashion circuit, but only after years of bullying led to her dropping out of high school and contemplating suicide.

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CoverGirl isn’t the first cosmetics brand to include a model with vitiligo; Dermablend also includes models with the condition in its tutorials, most notably in the 2014 “Camo Confessions” campaign. But truBlend is perhaps the first foundation line to keep the emphasis on enhancing the beauty that’s already there, rather than covering up to conform. It’s a pretty major move for a beauty brand, and CoverGirl deserves kudos for challenging us to continue to expand the definition of what beauty truly is.

Maiysha Kai is Managing Editor of The Glow Up, co-host of The Root Presents: It's Lit! podcast, and your average Grammy-nominated goddess next door...May I borrow some sugar?

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DISCUSSION

Up until 2016, Cover Girl was owned by Proctor and Gamble, which also sells skin lightening creams in many countries. Cover Girl is now owned by Coty, Inc. My quick Internet search didn’t answer the question as to whether Coty, Inc. sells skin-lightening creams. I am generally very cynical about this type of advertising though. Dove is always doing body-positive marketing, but they are owned by Unilver, which sells Fair and Lovely skin lightening cream.