Fashion Addicts, Beauty Junkies, and the Dealers

by AndyGerenraich

Who forms the addiction?

The Dior Addiction Problem

Did you ever hear about the Dior Addict controversy? Neither did I.

Apparently, a 2002 marketing campaign for Dior Addict was criticized for portraying “a sexy and glamorous image of addiction.”

The Faces and Voices of Recovery website states, “According to fashion journalist Robin Givhan, writing in the October 25, 2002, Washington Post, ‘The promotional campaign also includes an Internet film featuring a sweaty and anxious model who appears to be craving a fix . . . of Dior Addict lipstick….’”

For activists, including some who had suffered the loss of children or other loved ones to addiction, the campaign was insensitive and undermined a continuing effort to raise awareness of the disease.

"Dior," Not "Drug"

Alternatively, the response suggested the ad portrayed that she just really loved lipstick. No, a letter from the company’s president actually said, “…It is about being totally devoted to Dior.”

In further clarification of this misunderstanding, “…The objective of its marketing campaign is to glamorize the Dior brand…” I see, I’ve got it all backwards: Dior wasn’t glamorizing addiction; addiction glamorized Dior. No, wait…

Essentially, this implies a phenomenally sick society in which the notoriety of addiction succeeds in a strategy to promote beauty products. That’s not Dior’s fault.

Regardless, the company was gracious enough to alter the campaign by using the word, “’Addict’…only in conjunction with ‘Dior.’” Admirable.

The response letter, of course, outlined additional modifications including the removal of the video from the website. The recent campaign is clean of any explicit reference to or glamorization of drug addiction. In fact, I encourage you to view the 2011 promotional video for Dior Addict lipstick starring Kate Moss.

The Beauty Solution in the Message

 If it somehow appears that negative influences cannot be thwarted then perhaps the lesson is to develop independent thought. Rather, that’s the goal. The lesson is in the paradox: it is impossible to teach independent thought because then it wouldn’t have been independent.

I suppose the key to this revelatory thinking is stumbled upon. It must be similar to when you’re looking for the keys in your back pocket. Except you’re home alone so you call your roommate who confidently says they must be in your bag. Are they on the kitchen counter? What about your desk? She eventually walks you through the entire apartment, but to no avail. After exhaustion she can only offer the single most irritating piece of advice, “Check the last place you’d look.” I digress.

In this instance, that irritating piece of advice is not to follow anyone off the proverbial bridge. However, this advice is faulty if it implies the substitution of one bridge for another (see: religious dogma).

If you find yourself confronted with someone on the brink of an addiction and you can’t close the bridge, perhaps it’s possible to induce doubt. For starters I recommend, “That lipstick makes you look just like the target market.”

Updated: 02/04/2012, AndyGerenraich
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Pinkchic18 on 02/28/2012

Very interesting stuff. I hadn't heard of the Dior Addict campaign but probably because it was changed. Well done here!

katiem2 on 02/10/2012

Oh my, food for thought. I dabble in beauty products and yet its not uncommon to see me without a stitch of any. All jokes aside, I know of people on the brink of addiction, It seems they are moving along the road of denial by the time others take note. As for television, turn it off... I do like NPR, oh is that an addiction, an information addiction.

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