I cannot tell you how thrilled I am with the new Cindy Sherman campaign for MAC. When I saw the pictures for the first time yesterday I actually gave a yelp of delight. MAC have been losing kudos for a while; with rumours flying that their products aren’t as good since the Estee Lauder takeover and with the rise of that enfant terrible of make-up houses, Illamasqua, they needed to do something to regain face.*
Frankly many of their recent campaigns have bored the pants off me – I’m a fully grown adult woman for fucks sake – not a little girl – and as such I don’t want Hello Kitty on my lipstick. Or sodding Wonder Woman – how utterly patronising. Treat me like a woman, not a child, thanks.
What I do want to know is how effective a product is, what I can achieve with it and, hell, I wouldn’t mind this being shown in an interesting and educational way. After all – the MAC motto is that make up is "Our medium of transformation."
Sherman was the perfect choice to lift the brand out of its little girl doldrums, famous for her own metamorphoses her art centres around transforming herself through clothing and make up, with an often provocative edge.
The campaign features the artist in three guises – an all American ingénue with a forced smile, a sad clown and a garish heiress, leopard print coat and all. None of them are pretty – they certainly aren’t looks I’ll be copying – but damn this campaign makes a point. Make up isn’t just for looking pretty and looking young, it can also be used to transform, to strengthen – make up can change us, camouflage is, even armour us.
Bravo MAC and bravo Cindy.
* did you see my pun there, did you, really?