By now, you're probably aware of the Disney Princess Industrial Complex, an entire industry built on encouraging young girls to fantasize about being princesses and convince their parents to spend tons of cash making their tiara-clad dreams come true. Well, apparently the folks at Disney don't want to stop at marketing their characters to young girls, because they are teaming up with MAC Cosmetics to offer a line of Disney-inspired makeup. And what's more, the makeup is not modeled after Disney's princesses, but rather their "Venomous Villains." You too can look like Cruella Deville or the Evil (nameless) Queen from Snow White! Finally!
Of the many weird things about this campaign, the weirdest is that Disney is marketing its villains to an older crowd who once presumably wanted to look like its princesses (also: who wants to spend $30 for an eyeliner pencil that makes them look like a dog-fur coat impresario?). It's as if between the ages of eight and fifteen (or whenever they are figuring girls move from watching cartoons to wearing makeup to try and look like cartoons) Disney and MAC think young people have shifted from wanting to look pretty and virtuous to wanting to look villainous and evil (and to have highly-arched penciled in eyebrows–a serious Disney villain trend). While teens love some good ol' rebellion, this strikes me as contrived and just plain wacky.
Something interesting in all of this is that, while MAC has not yet revealed which four villains it will feature in the campaign, screenshots (like those in the above video) suggest that they have chosen Cruella Deville (101 Dalmations), Maleficent (Sleeping Beauty), the Evil Queen (Snow White), and Dr. Facilier (Princess and the Frog)–a man. Yes, the Disney villains (male and female) tend to look like wealthy drag queens, but it is still noteworthy that the cosmetics are inspired by a male character. Will MAC be marketing these cosmetics to men as well as women? Does that dude even wear makeup in the film?
Buy a fake mustache from MAC this September!
So help me out here, everyone. Why on earth would even the most makeup-loving consumer purchase expensive cosmetics designed to help them look like Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty? (I remember her being straight-up terrifying back in the day.) Why would anyone buy cosmetics designed to make them look like a cartoon character at all? Isn't feeling the pressure to wear makeup enough without the additional pressure that we shave off our eyebrows and pencil them in near our hairlines in order to look like an evil illustrated character? Enough already!