Friday Fun:(?) Too-Faced Smurfette Highlighting Powder
April 17, 2009
Too-Faced is well known for their Quickie Chronicles palettes, but this past January they came out with a something in a different direction: a collection based on the '80s animated series The Smurfs. (For those of you who remember watching them on TV, the show was actually an outgrowth of the Smurf cartoons, which made their debut in 1958 in a Belgian newspaper.)
As part of the So Smurfy collection, this palette features a highlighting powder with the first female Smurf printed on it.
The collection also included an eye shadow palette, eye liner, and lip gloss (which Sephora no longer seems to have up on its site):
(photos from sephora.com)
I was never a big fan of the Smurfs when I was little, but I thought this collection was just plain fun. Then I did a bit of poking around online and discovered the story behind Smurfette. BellaSugar sums it up nicely:
"Even as a kid, I thought the story of Smurfette's genesis is as sexist as they come: Gargamel creates Smurfette to seduce and destroy the all-male Smurf clan. Alas, her dark hair, 'big nose' and simple smock are not pretty enough to do so. Papa Smurf comes along, works his magic, and poof! Smurfette is, as Papa says, 'new and improved' with long blond hair, a smaller nose, a shorter dress, and high heels. So, while it's just a cartoon and the Too Faced collaboration is meant to be fun, it's safe to say that Smurfette and I have some baggage to work through."
Make that three of us. I had absolutely no idea that's how Smurfette was created and was a bit dismayed Too-Faced chose to resurrect this particular cartoon when the company could have chosen from a dozen other '80s shows. I did some more digging and was amazed at the analyses that have been written about the intersection of this cartoon character and feminism (or lack of it), including a wonderful piece by Katha Pollitt on the "Smurfette Principle" in children's TV shows. Still, when examining the Too-Faced concept, it makes sense that creators Jerrod Blandino and ? would choose Smurfette to star in a collection. Their logo is a supermodel named Envy: "She's the 'It girl' every girl wants to be and all the boys have to have!...always remember Envy's mantra, 'why be pretty when you can be gorgeous?'" These statements directly correspond to the copy Sephora came up with to describe the Illuminating Powder: "Smurfette's signature color-correcting shades blend together for the prettiest perfection—you're sure to be the hottest girl on your Smurf turf." Like Smurfette's transformation and Envy's mantra, the idea is that one can use this powder to go from "pretty" to "gorgeous". Hmmph. Obviously this is a harmless collection, but it still irks me a little. I think Too-Faced should stick with their tried-and-true Quickie Chronicles pin-ups (which can also be considered anti-feminist to some degree, but that's another post.)