A woman's work is never done: Shop MAC/Cook MAC
February 23, 2012
This is one of the strangest collections from MAC yet and I'm still not quite sure what to make of the concept behind it. Won't you join me for a little musing?
Shop MAC/Cook MAC is a small-ish collection - not as large as previous February collections (see Hello Kitty, Barbie, Fafi), and features bright spring colors packaged in girly hues with some gingham thrown in.
(images from theshadesofu.com)
My first thought when I saw the promo image and the collection title was "WTF is this, Stepford Wives on acid?"
(image from maccosmetics.com)
All I could think about was the grocery store scene in The Stepford Wives, especially after seeing this image from the invitations to the private promotional events at MAC stores.
Stills from The Stepford Wives (2004):
It gets even weirder - apparently at the promotional events they had Shop MAC/Cook MAC rubber gloves, emblazoned with the words "Domestic Goddess!" (with a rhinestone serving as the exclamation point), along with cleaning sponges, as giveaways to the lucky invitees. There was also a tote bag.
MAC's description didn't help me much in wrapping my head around the theme. "Shop 'til you drop with a tongue-in-cheek collection that elevates the everyday into the extraordinary...Gourmet glamour is here. Look delicious while you whip it up! Our recipe for kitchen kouture is here in savoury shades for Eyes and Lips. Dishy Nail Lacquers, too. Bon appétit!" Okay, yes, tongue-in-cheek for sure, but I'm still confused. Why make the main promo image so creepy? MAC's ads are usually pretty avant-garde, and I get the idea that this was meant to be kitschy and fun, not actually a veiled insinuation that women should go back in time and stick to domestic chores while being dressed to the nines. But having a bunch of spaced-out, unsmiling women taking on activities associated with traditional femininity is odd, especially in the current political climate (at least in the U.S.) As for the giveaways, I think people attending MAC events would have appreciated something besides rubber gloves and sponges (the tote bag is reasonable). It was a good theme - the idea that we've come so far that we can actually poke a little fun at the way things used to be is encouraging - but it wasn't executed as well as it could have been. What I'm trying to say, I suppose, is that the main ad and 2 of the giveaway items didn't sit well with me for reasons I still can't clearly articulate...perhaps, because, the fun that the collection intended becomes lost in objects that represent the drudgery that women had to perform daily, as well as the humorless expressions of the models in the ad. Then again, maybe I am the one who lacks humor. ;)
What say you?