MAC Pride Cosmetics: A Game-Changer for the LGBTQ+ Community
MAC Pride: A beauty brand that paved the way for the LGBTQ+ community in makeup and lifestyle.
MAC Pride cosmetics have helped create an inclusive space for the LGBTQ+ community.
35 years ago, MAC Cosmetics launched its first retail store in New York City, West Village. A haven for unconventional beauty lovers, drag queens, and club-goers alike, MAC Pride was an all-inclusive, accepting beauty brand that stepped outside of the box with their beauty products and employees.
All ages, all races, all genders
MAC was one of the first beauty brands to truly adopt the credo "all ages, all races, all genders" to their core. They hired misfits, outcasts, and tattooed individuals to run their counter and express themselves through their creative artistry.
In 1994, MAC hired RuPaul, a drag queen from Atlanta, to be the face of their Viva Glam campaign. A ton of department stores didn't want to display the campaign images in their stores until MAC customers started returning their store credit cards. The stores soon changed their tune.
It's been a long road for the LGBTQ community to fight their way through conventional beauty standards. Fortunately, MAC gave a platform for many to stand up and be themselves. More and more brands followed suit, and now through Instagram, many LGBTQ people have created their own platforms making brands take notice. Some have collaborated with companies on massive campaigns while others, like Jeffree Star and Dragun Beauty, have started beauty brands of their own.
Change is here
Even conventional, and somewhat conservative, brands have become more inclusive and accepting in the last few years. In 2016, Cover Girl even collaborated with James Charles as their first Cover Boy.
With YouTube as one of the initial platforms that gave a voice to many that identified as LGBTQ, individuals like Gigi Gorgeous, Manny MUA, and PatrickStarrr told their stories and encouraged others to be comfortable in their skin.
It's no longer uncommon to see brands like Chanel and Dior collaborating with high profile celebrities that identify themselves as part of the LGBTQ community, like Cara Delevingne and Kristen Stewart.
The love keeps on coming
The hard-fought-for progress has led to the acceptance of the LGBTQ community into other avenues. Brands outside the beauty space have since expressed solidarity through contributions from their sales. Harry's launched a limited-edition Pride set and donated all proceeds from that set to The Trevor Project.
Many brands create campaigns around Pride with exclusive packaging or limited-edition products to financially support foundations and charities that will provide the help that trans people need like True Colors United, a non-profit helping fight homelessness in LGBTQ youth, or The Center, who provide health, wellness, and community programs to the LGBTQ community in NYC.
LGBTQ acceptance outside the beauty industry
The acceptance that started in the beauty industry paved the way for others to feel comfortable coming out, like Dwayne Wade's trans 12-year-old daughter, Zaya. Or Lil Nas, who came out at the height of his career.
Thankfully, with fearless brands like MAC Pride Cosmetics, who stood their ground and accepted, included, and embraced those that were looked down on, forgotten, or made fun of, they strengthened the growth and changing standards in the beauty industry with the help of the LGBTQ+ community.