Beautiful Brains: Bootie Babe Cosmetics, an Update

At the beginning of last month I posted about Bootie Babe Cosmetics (read the original post here). In my post, I offered a critique of not only the company's packaging but also the beauty industry more generally and its tactic of hypersexualizing, objectifying, and commodifying women's bodies to reap a profit. I sent an email to the company with the link to my original post and invited them to engage in the ongoing conversation that started on this blog regarding their product. While they were not interested in such a conversation, I was instructed to remove their images from my blog, which I promptly did.

In a later correspondence I received permission to repost the images, provided I properly link back to them. I didn't get around to doing so until this morning, and while linking their images I noticed that several notable changes have been made to the Bootie Babe site. Here are some of the changes they have made, and my thoughts on them:

  •  The biggest change is to the company's mission statement. Originally, their mission statement was to "embrace the bootie, honor the bootie and rejoice in complete and utter babe-itude." In response, I questioned whether or not nail polish and a bootie shaped trinkets help us love our bodies more. Additionally, I was critical of the buxom, cinched-waist cartoon women that appeared on the website, which indicated to me that only one particular type of bootie was being "honored" and "embraced." The mission statement has since changed to this: "We believe that booties of all shapes, sizes, and colors are created equal, endowed by their creator with the radiant rights of love, laughter, and the precious pursuit of bootieness..." While the cartoon vixens still grace the site, the company's  stated relationship to women's bodies has shifted. Perhaps in response to my and others' critiques, Bootie Babe now proclaims to celebrate women's bodies of all "shapes, sizes, and colors." The mission statement, as a somewhat awkward and out of place rendition of the Deceleration of Independence with religious overtones, now touts multiculturalism and body positivism. Though it sounds nice, I am not convinced it is a genuine move. Rather, the new mission statement reads to me like an attempt to curb critiques like mine.

  • I commented in my original post that the names for the polishes were dreadfully uncreative. I must not have been the only one to deliver this critique, for the whole line of polishes have been dubbed more interesting names, such as "Bossy Mossy," "Slinky Pinky," and "Mean Tangerine."
  • Bootie Babe has posted extensive information about the ingredients in their nail polishes, which is a refreshingly responsible thing to see from a cosmetics company. Bootie Babe's nail polishes are three free and cruelty free.  
  • Despite several communications with Bootie Babe, my blog does not appear on their list of links to blogs that have mentioned their product. Of course, this could be because my post and our exchanges were critical in nature, opposed to a review of their polish. However, I can't help but think that the primary reason is because I am delivering a critique, and one grounded in feminist analysis at that.
As I mentioned in my original post, I want to reiterate that I am not bashing or boycotting Bootie Babe. In fact, I am not totally opposed to trying or owning these polishes. The politics of gender and sexuality as related to the beauty industry that I am critical of are much larger than this one company. Instead, my intention is to encourage more critical and thoughtful participation in the beauty community about how and what we consume, to raise questions, and invite a dialogue with readers and even Bootie Babe Cosmetics.

Just for some added entertainment, here is a song all about the bootie:

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