Nude stockings, nude lipsticks, nude foundations, nude heels, nude lipsticks. We all know nude as a standard beige colour that’s often used as the go-to descriptor for skin-tone. But what is the term nude really describing? More importantly, who is it referring to? Nude Against Nude is a powerful advertising campaign that wants brands to stop using “nude” interchangeably with “beige” and “cream.”
Why is this important?
The term nude — particularly in the beauty and fashion industry — is meant to denote a colour resembling the wearer’s skin. When a person of colour doesn’t quite match that nude bra, lipstick or pair of shoes, the term is othering. It implies white is the standard.
“This widespread usage of ‘nude,’ interchangeably with beige, is another instance of casual racism. This is because as a society where white privilege prevails, white is the standard skin tone and non-white skin is other. This idea that ‘nude’ is one color results in an astounding range of products which make no attempt at inclusivity,” the site says. The campaign has also created a petition that requests beauty brands to change the names of current nude products to more apt descriptions like beige or cream.
True, some strides have been made — Aerie recently released a line of inclusive nude shades and indie shoe label Kahmune wants to launch a range of nude shoes this year — but as these striking images tell us, there’s a long way to go.
Powerful campaign exposes the problem with the term ‘nude’
BandageEven a simple bandage that matches the skin is hard to find. Nude Against Nude
Bandage"I understand this is hard for people to [understand] if you don't experience it — that's a part of white privilege, not noticing it. It's not a part of their world," the project's art director, Jackie Jinse Moran tells Popsugar.Nude Against Nude
foundationMany beauty brands' 'nude' foundation shades aren't inclusive of darker skinned people of colour.Nude Against Nude
foundationNude Against Nude
HeelsNude heels usually imply beige ones.Nude Against Nude
underwearDiscreet 'nude' undergarments aren't discreet for all. Nude Against Nude
underwearNude Against Nude
Image CreditsArt Director: Jackie Moran
Copywriter: Chandani Karnik
Copywriter: Ben Brown
Photographer: AnRong Xu
Makeup Artist: Gary Wong
Web Developer: Simen Husmo Nude Against Nude