Hailey Bieber sparks TikTok backlash with "brownie glazed lips" makeup look

Los Angeles, California - Hailey Bieber has caused quite a stir on TikTok after her viral "brownie glazed lips" makeup look is quickly met with controversy.

Bieber shared the controversial look in a TikTok video.
Bieber shared the controversial look in a TikTok video.  © Collage: screenshot/TikTok/@haileybieber

The model has been accused of cultural appropriation after it seemed like she was taking credit for a makeup look that has been worn by Black and Latina women for decades. In a video posted on her TikTok page, Bieber shared her "brownie glazed lips" look, which combines a dark lip liner with a clear gloss.

TikTok users quickly took issue with the 25-year-old star's portrayal of the look as a new trend, especially after many white women followed suit with their own replications of the so-called "brownie" lip look. Though Bieber may not have intended to co-opt the style, her videos illustrate, at the very least, an ignorance far too often expressed towards the trends created by people of color.

The controversy comes on the heels of the immense popularity of the "clean girl" aesthetic on TikTok which has been popularized by white influencers, including Bieber herself, despite its mimicry of common beauty practices among Black and Latina women.

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Gabi Thorne, associate news editor at Allure, discussed how the positive response to Bieber's rendition of the look highlights the double standards that women of color face in fashion and beauty. On social media, trends that are criticized when worn by women of color are far too often praised when white women adopt them.

"It's another reminder of how things aren't popular in the mainstream until they are done by or seen on a thin, white person," Thorne wrote.

TikTok users call Bieber out for her ignorance

TikTok users quickly shared their criticisms of Bieber's video.
TikTok users quickly shared their criticisms of Bieber's video.  © Collage: screenshot/TikTok/casjerome, screenshot/TikTok/addison024_

Several TikTok users have brought attention this double standard that women of color face when donning these beauty looks.

TikTok user @addison024_ called this into question, asking, "Really? A brown glazed lip? So, I'm called ghetto when I do it but when a white girl does it she's not?"

She then provided her own tutorial for the look while discussing the significant history of the look for women of color. "The reason why we would wear such dark lipliner with gloss is because beauty brands didn't have the exclusivity or right colors for our skin tone," she said. Without the proper lipliner shades, women of color often used eyeliner or eyebrow pencils for the look instead.

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Other users, like @casjerome, parodied the "new" trend by recreating the look themselves and acting as though Bieber had indeed invented something totally original.

The controversy even made it to Good Morning America, where Jillian Hernandez, who is a professor at University of Florida's Center for Gender, Sexualities, and Women's Studies Research, emphasized the importance of recognizing the systemic issues influencing the responses to the trends.

Hernandez noted that the primary issue here is not Bieber's wearing of the look but rather the lack of credit to the true originators of the trend.

"In the end, it is still the Black and Latino women that are losing. They lose parts of their identity. They lose their self-worth," Hernandez said.

Cover photo: Collage: screenshot/TikTok/@haileybieber

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