I grew up in apartheid South Africa where you could understand that maybe the white 15% unfairly put their stamp on naming the colour of underwear and plasters. The 85% majority who were of other colours did not have a say. So yes, colours such as ‘flesh’, ‘nude’, ‘naked’ and ‘invisible’ would have been for Caucasian skintones.
But now, returning to South Africa, twenty years after the first democratic election, the products (many of them made in South Africa), are still very pale and named according to white skin tones. Why are there no dark Band Aids? And why are the pale ones still called ‘nude’. More people of colour have disposable wealth enough to buy wonderful underwear and luxurious eye shadows. Yet they seem to be aimed at the white market. This is so wrong!
Which brings me to the Filofax Patent Nude. I am assuming Filofax has advisors on product names and names of colours (as there are in other big companies such as IKEA and OPI) to see that a faux pas is not accidentally made. Why did this name slip through the net? Filofax fans are global – all nationalities, skintones, languages. These things are not just for whiteys. Why on earth use the name ‘Patent Nude’. Why not call it Latte or Light Camel? Why ‘Patent NUDE? Nude for whom exactly? Definitely not nude for many of the users of these products. One of them being my own daughter.
I am no fan of rampant political correctness. I guffawed when I heard that a municipality in the UK banned the word ‘brainstorm’ and renamed it ‘thought shower’. But the one above always bugs me. I see it every time I buy underwear, eye-shadow, foundation, plasters, stockings, thermal underwear. Why not just call it beige, or light/medium/dark? Or name it after other things?
So Filofax – if you would not call this nude:
Then don’t call this nude:
Or do what Urban Decay does and call them ALL nude!