- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Actress and feminist Emma Watson is being branded a hypocrite after an ad she did for Lancome’s Blanc Expert skin lightening cream in 2013 resurfaced online.

The ads that originally appeared in Asia were mentioned in an article called “Perfect Whiteness: The Code Switching of European Cosmetic Companies” for an English-based online magazine, Gal-Dem, the New York Daily News reported.

Contributor Naomi Mabita accused the Lancome ads of promoting “colorism” and blamed Ms. Watson for helping sell products “designed to make us feel like our skin is a problem that we can pay” to solve.

“Do an image search of ad campaigns and you’ll quickly out find how widespread this practice of equating facial perfection to ‘whiteness’ is,” Ms. Mabita wrote. “There are several well-known western companies who sell skin lightening products in predominately black and Asian markets, but do not market those same products to their domestic customers. They effectively code switch.

“Emma Watson, forever paraded in the media as a white feminist icon, is the face of Lancome’s ‘Blanc Expert’ (Expert White) which contains disruptive ingredients intended to whiten the skin,” she wrote.

The essay sparked fierce backlash against Ms. Watson, who has taken a year off from acting to focus on her role as a U.N. women’s goodwill ambassador.

“Many artists often have limited control of how their image is used once an endorsement contract is signed,” a representative for Ms. Watson told Business Insider. “I cannot comment on my client’s previous contractual arrangements with Lancome. However my client no longer participates in advertising beauty products, which do not always reflect the diverse beauty of all women.”

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