Emma Watson Slammed For ‘Skin Lightening’ Beauty Campaign

Emma Watson has found herself in hot water after fans blasted the star for promoting what they described as being a “skin bleaching” product.

Watson, who is the face of Lancôme cosmetics, found herself on the receiving end of criticism this week after an Asian commercial featuring Emma advertising the beauty line’s Blanc Expert Melanolyser surfaced online.

The Daily Mail revealed that the advertisement originally aired in 2013, but has recently resurfaced online causing a number of Watson’s fans took to social media to slam Emma for promoting what they described as being essentially a “skin whitening” product.

Seventeen is reporting that the product Emma was advertising is actually designed “to help restrict the production melanin” in order to help eliminate dark spots on the skin, while Lancôme’s official website notes that the product “dissolves and inhibits melanin for a total reduction in spot color and numbers.”

However, a number of social media users took to the site to blast Emma for endorsing a product that seemingly promotes lighter skin.

“Call me naïve, but I am crushed that Emma Watson is the face of skin bleaching products. That her feminism only extends to white women,” Twitter user @ClaireShrugged tweeted out on March 29, adding, “In endorsing skin bleaching products, Emma Watson endorses the hierarchy of race, colourism, and the inherent whiteness of beauty standards.”

“I used to love Emma Watson and now she’s an advocate for skin lightening” @SpareMeMary wrote on the 140-character site of Emma’s Lancôme campaign on March 28, adding the hashtags “#peoplechange” and “#skinlighteningseries.”

“The fact that Emma Watson is the FACE of SKIN WHITENING products just shows where she stands [with] the whole feminist movement…” Twitter user @pettypinoy wrote of Emma Watson.

Twitter user @WritersofColour also slammed Emma on the social media site this week, tweeting, “Why is Emma Watson, a rich white woman who has a platform with the UN, being framed as the victim when she fronted a skin bleaching product?”

However, other Twitter user took to the social media site this week to defend the star after the controversial commercial filmed three years ago appeared online.

“Y’all leave Emma Watson alone. That product isn’t skin bleach,” @gvngerbread tweeted to those blasting Emma over the 2013 Lancôme campaign, “Try fighting hyperpigmented acne scars [without] lightening cream & call me back.”

Twitter fan @rossyfoxx also defended Watson on March 30, writing on the 140-character site, “UNbelievable how they call Emma Watson out for an ad that is not even remotely related to skin bleaching.”

Refinery29 also noted that other’s weighing in on the issue pointed out that the advertisement campaign “simply promotes the correction of dark spots, acne scars, and other forms of hyperpigmentation and therefore doesn’t pose a threat.”

After the advertisement resurfaced last week, Gal-Dem journalist Naomi Mabita published a lengthy post about the issue on March 28, where Mabita wrote that “Emma Watson, forever paraded in the media as a white feminist icon, is the face of Lancôme’s ‘Blanc Expert’ (Expert White) which contains disruptive ingredients intended to whiten the skin.”

“Non-white women already have complexes about dark skin rooted in colonialism, racism and/or classism. They are exacerbated by these multimillion $ £ € campaigns designed to make us feel like our skin is a problem that we can pay for them to solve,” Mabita continued after Watson’s campaign resurfaced online.

“We already have a myriad of products manufactured purely for the purpose of skin lightening … But some dark women against this aren’t just sitting back watching it unfold,” she added.

Watch Emma Watson’s recently resurfaced advertisement for Lancôme’s beauty’s Blanc Expert Melanolyser product below.

What do you think of Emma Watson’s 2013 campaign to promote Lancôme cosmetics’ Blanc Expert Melanolyser?

[Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for TIME]

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