On Thursday, MAC debuted its second collaboration with Caitlyn Jenner – a collection of lipsticks, lip glosses, lip pencils, eyeshadows, eye kohl, powder blush and lashes, all emblazoned with "CAITLYN JENNER" on the luxurious black and gold packaging.
Marketed as a beauty line “championing all ages, all races and all sexes,” using “elegant, classic shades for lips, eyes and cheeks [which] are beautifully suited for those who embrace life, in whatever form they choose,” Jenner's second MAC collaboration indeed has a positive message.
Racial, gender and age diversity are still much needed in most aspects of our culture, and if Jenner can promote that via $21 lipgloss baring her name, fantastic!
There is, however, one glaring issue with the shiny new collection: None of the profits will be donated.
Unlike Jenner's first collaboration with MAC, Finally Free lipstick, which retails for $17 and donates 100% of the selling price to the MAC AIDS Fund Transgender Initiative, none of the proceeds from Jenner's new line will be dedicated to the fund, or any other charitable causes, which is striking, considering the precedent she set up with MAC for her first collaboration with the brand.
Nineteen-year-old Charlotte resident Fawcett Propst, who identifies as non-binary, was critical of the new collaboration, saying,
A spokesperson for MAC did not comment on how involved celebrities are in choosing where their proceeds go (as if Jenner doesn't have a strong say in everything she does), but noted that the MAC AIDS Fund Transgender Initiative has raised more than $1.3 million to date. Currently, MAC is selling Ariana Grande's VIVA GLAM lipsticks and lipglass, proceeds of which go to the MAC Aids Fund.
While there's nothing wrong in making a profit – Jenner's daughter Kylie knows a thing or two about slinging lip kits for cash – Jenner has named herself a potential presidential trans ambassador and is an icon for the trans community.
Jenner's nearly unlimited earning potential could also be seen as unlimited fundraising potential to help a community with a staggeringly high rate of homelessness, risk of suicide and horrific history of being targeted by violence and hate crimes.
As Jenner told Vanity Fair in June 2015,
Jenner certainly didn't transition for the money, but her transition has been lucrative – she allegedly earns $100,000 per speaking gig and has enormous potential for earning via sponsored tweets and brand endorsements. And again, good for her! More visibility for trans folks in mainstream media and everyday life is a positive shift.
Where Jenner would have once been considered an outcast, the beauty industry, she is now an icon, and starting the MAC AIDS Fund's Transgender Initiative is a great step in helping the larger community outside the Jenner-Kardashian empire, but it is hardly enough.
Dee Culp, a 37-year-old trans woman living in Wilkes-Barre, PA is bothered “a little” by the lack of donations from Jenner's second MAC collection. She said,
Jenner's responsibility to help the community is also up for debate. Culp said,
The Jenner-Kardashian family, is, however, not like everybody else, thanks to their wealth and influence and the nearly-blind worship of millions of people internationally who subscribe to the Jenner family's paid apps, buy their merchandise and try to emulate their extravagant lifestyles.
Not all, however, believe Jenner has any special responsibility to dedicate her proceeds back to the community she's representing.
Dominick Evans, a 36-year-old trans man said,
Evans isn't a Kardashian-Jenner fan and also doesn't endorse Jenner as a tans role model simply because she is trans.