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The Leading Menstrual Pad Manufacturer Has Just Changed Their Packaging to Include Non-Binary Customers And Twitter is Ablaze

On the heels of October 19th’s National Period Day, one brand that has created their empire off of menstruation is changing their rule book. On Monday, Always, the brand that makes sanitary pads for women, announced that they are removing the venus symbol from all their packaging. 

The Venus Symbol, a sign that consists of a circle with a cross coming from below it, has traditionally been used as a symbol representative of the female gender. But, as gender and trans issues have recently become more topical, trans activists have taken issue with Always for including the symbol on their packaging. Critics argued that the symbol worked to exclude gender non-conforming and trans men from their customer base. 

“For folks using these products on a nearly monthly basis, it can be harmful and distressing to see binary/gendered images, coding, language, and symbols,” said Steph deNormand, a Trans Health Program manager, to NBC News. “So, using less coded products can make a huge difference.” 

Transgender advocates are applauding Always for acknowledging the mental health concerns of their range of customers. 

For many transgender advocates, this change has been a long-time coming. Just days ago, Sexuality Educator Ericka Hart racked up almost 18,000 likes and 4,000 retweets for tweeting out the statement: “Any gender can get their period,” complete with a yelling emoji. 

Now, Always’ decision to change their packaging is sparking a larger discussion around the larger way period-related brands market their products.

Dr. Jennifer Gunther, OB/GYN and author of “The Vagina Bible” responded to the news with overall approval,  but with a small caveat. She believes that we should all be mindful of the words we use when we’re describing menstrual products: “They are menstrual or period products, not feminine products,” she recently wrote on Twitter. She went on to say that we should all avoid calling menstrual products sanitary napkins because “having a period does not make you unsanitary”. 

Not everyone approves of Always’s newest marketing move, however.

Along with conservative critics who are blasting the company for pandering to the “radical left”, there are a bevy of feminist activists who are suspicious of the timing behind this move. Very recently, Always has come under fire for the quality of its products in developing countries–particularly countries in Africa. The hashtag #MyAlwaysExperience recently took over Twitter, with women (mostly from Kenya) describing burns and rashes the products have caused. 

Twitter user @kremzaroogianwho identifies as a trans man called out Always for what he believes is a “calculated move”. “It’s no accident always had this gender removal from their packaging when people started tweeting about their products in Kenya literally containing carcinogens”. Now, people who have periods have another reason to be wary of the brand that claims to “care about all women and girls”. When it comes down to it, it seems as if the brand seems to care about their bottom line more than anything else. 

While, of course, the company will get push-back for deciding to gender-neutralize their packaging, they’re also smart enough to know that the future is non-binary. And the future is where their money is. For example, IBM marketing executive Andy Bossley revealed in 2018 that “millennials feel that gender is a spectrum”, while “more than half the members of Generation Z know someone who uses gender-neutral pronouns”. In other words, Always probably wouldn’t have taken this step if they didn’t see it as an ultimately lucrative decision. 

Latinas, of course, have not hesitated to make their opinions known about this news.

Many viewed this as the perfect opportunity to speak out about periods, reproductive health, and structural transphobia.

As usual, Puerto Rican performer Indya Moore came with their hot take:

This event sparks a larger discussion about the gendering of products at large–not just menstruation products.

This Twitter user was unimpressed with the arguments some people were posing as to why the packaging shouldn’t change:

The outrage over Always’s decision is interesting, considering that the brand isn’t even reformulating their product–they’re simply changing the packaging. 

This Twitter user expressed their feelings about the way people react to violence against the trans community vs. the way they react when the Always packaging is changed:

It’s undeniable that violence against trans people is an epidemic that should be addressed by all communities much more often. 

This person made an iron-clad argument as to why the venus-symbol packaging is problematic:

As usual, when there’s any change in society, there is inevitably a subset of people who want nothing more than to stick to their old ways. 

All Of The Latina Beauty Brands To Support During The Coronavirus Crisis

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All Of The Latina Beauty Brands To Support During The Coronavirus Crisis

Reina Rebelde / Instagram

There’s no denying that we love beauty. Some of us learned early on to take good care of our skin, and to have fun with our makeup. So it’s not surprising that so many beauty brands are Latinx-owned.

From natural skincare brands to bold and edgy makeup lines, there’s a variety of Latinx-owned beauty brands to support. There’s a mix between indie, under-the-radar brands to celeb-approved ones. So whether you love wearing a bold red lip, or would rather focus on skincare, then there’s a little something for everyone.

1. Reina Rebelde

Credit: Instagram / @reinarebelde

Created by Texas native, Regina Merson, Reina Rebelde was made for unapologetic babes. With playful shade names like La Doña and Coqueta, this bold brand speaks to Latinx’s who are not only fearless but fierce AF.

2. Sigma Beauty

Credit: Instagram / @sigmabeauty

Aside from its dazzling makeup products, Sigma Beauty creates the best beauty tools on the market. All of their tools are genius, too. For example, its Dry’n Shape brush cleaner deep cleans, dries, and reshapes your brushes, while the Titanium brush set is literally indestructible; its made so your brushes will NEVER fall apart. But when you learn about Sigma’s founders, Simone Xavier and Rene Xavier Filho, it’s easy to see why their products are made with a purpose. Brazil natives, Rene has a background in civil engineering and business administration, while Simone has a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology and a Masters in veterinary science. Talk about a power couple.

3. Lunar Beauty

Credit: Instagram / @lunarbeauty

Founded by one of the biggest YouTube and Instagram beauty influencers, Manny Gutierrez (aka Manny MUA), this brand is all about celebrating your most authentic self. The San Diego native made sure to create a line that’s not only fun but one that’s inclusive.

4. Gaby Espino

Credit: Instagram / @gabyespinostore

Venezuelan telenovela star, Gaby Espino, launched a line of super pigmented lipsticks. From bright pinks to sultry purples to deep reds, there’s a little something for everyone. The best part? There’s not one type of lipsticks. There’s a range of mattes, extreme mattes, glosses, creams, velvets, and more.

5. Tata Harper Skincare

Credit: Instagram / @tataharperskincare

Founded by Colombiana, Tata Harper, this 100% natural skincare line has become a cult-fave among celebs and beauty lovers alike. The brand was created after Tata couldn’t find high-quality, natural products in the beauty market. Thanks to her, that void has now been filled. People don’t have to risk their health in order to get great skincare results.

6. Besame Cosmetics

Credit: Instagram / @besamecosmetics

Cosmetics historian, artist, and designer, Gabriela Hernandez, created Besame Cosmetics after a life-long love for vintage makeup. Aside from its retro packaging and products (the lipsticks are replicas of shades from the past and the cake mascara is a product stars from the Golden Age of cinema used), Besame will make you feel special and glamorous.

7. Melt Cosmetics

Credit: Instagram / @meltcosmetics

Latina makeup artist Lora Arellano co-founded Melt Cosmetics with her bestie Dana Bomer. Together, they’ve built a beauty empire with their vibrant eyeshadows, bold lipstick shades, pigmented blushes, and dazzling highlighters. Lora’s background in beauty is just as amazing as the products she helps create. She started working the makeup counter at Nordstrom to doing Rihanna’s makeup on tour to creating a successful makeup empire.

8. Joanna Vargas Skincare

Credit: Instagram / @jvskincare

Similar to Tata Harper, Joanna Vargas’ eponymous skincare brand is dedicated to plant-based ingredients that work. Not only is Joanna one of the most sought-after facialists in Hollywood—celebs flock to her before major events—but her luxury products are worth every penny. The New York-based Latina has been in the skincare business for over a decade, so she knows a thing or two about beauty.

9. KL Polish

Credit: Instagram / @klpolish

KL Polish was created by one of YouTube’s most popular beauty gurus, Kathleen Fuentes (aka Kathleen Lights). After having successful beauty collaborations with ColourPop and Morphe, the Cubana branched out to launch her own nail polishes. The shades in each collection are bright, bold, and vibrant just like Kathleen herself.

10. Dominique Cosmetics

Credit: Instagram / @dominiquecosmetics

Another successful beauty YouTuber, Christen Dominique, launched an eponymous makeup brand called Dominique Cosmetics. From her first coffee-themed palette to her latest lemonade-inspired one, all of her products will make you want to have fun with your looks.

11. Chaos Makeup

Credit: Instagram / @chaosmakeup

The brand’s founder, Megan Martinez, has created one of the most exciting makeup brands on the market. Their color-changing shadows are truly one-of-a-kind. And once beauty lovers discovered the mesmerizing rainbow highlighter, they pretty much broke the internet. While Martinez’s unique brand is quickly becoming a cult-fave among pros, her story is what really makes us admire her. She went from being homeless at the age of 14 to building a beauty empire.

12. Orlando Pita Play

Credit: Instagram / @orlandopita

Cuban hairstylist Orlando Pita has worked with the biggest stars, including Beyoncé, Anne Hathway, Kate Moss, and Bella and Gigi Hadid. So it’s not surprising that after years of working as a celeb hairstylist that he wouldn’t create his own eponymous hair care line. And luckily for us, we can achieve that same celebrity-approved hair with his line of amazing products.

13. Vive Cosmetics

Credit: Instagram / @vivecosmetics

Vive is a makeup brand created by Latinxs for Latinxs — and its two founders, Joanna Rosario and Leslie Valdivia, stand by that. With vibrant lipstick shades to choose from, like hot pinks, oranges, and reds, these are the colors you’ll want to wear all summer long. Each lipstick has a cheeky name, too, like Pan Dulce, Luchadora, and Cumbia. There’s even a sultry purple liquid lip inspired by Selena Quintanilla.

14. Loquita Bath and Body

Credit: Instagram / @loquitabathandbody

Known for making novelty products like the always sold out mangoneada, elote, and bidi bidi bath bombs, Mira Perez’s beauty brand is unlike any other. Aside from its playful bath bombs, the brand makes the most heavenly face masks, scrubs, and lip balms.

15. Rizos Curls

Credit: Instagram / @rizoscurls

Julissa Prado created Rizos Curls after struggling to find products that worked for her curly hair. She not only perfected her products to work for all curl types, but she set out to make formulas that were made with high-quality ingredients. Now, curly-haired babes can enjoy and celebrate their hair in all its glory.

16. Brujita Skincare

Credit: Instagram / @brujitaskincare

Founded by Leah Guerrero, Brujita Skincare literally brings the magia to your beauty routine. The holistic beauty brand is enriched with mineral earth powders and clays sourced from the mercados of Mexico. Not only will these products heal your skin naturally, but you’ll feel Mother Nature’s enchanting powers.

17. No B.S. Skincare

Credit: Instagram / @livenobs

Like the cheeky name suggests, this skincare brand doesn’t mess around. Its skincare is made with effective plant-based, natural ingredients. Basically, they stripped away all of the bullshit. The products don’t have anything on their “shit list” like sulfates, parabens, artificial fragrances, etc. Even better? They even got rid of b.s. marketing. The brand’s Instagram feed and website are filled with daily affirmations that will make you want to live your best life. For example, they have a postcard that reads: “severely allergic to the b.s.” Agreed.

18. Mia Del Mar

Credit: Instagram / @miadelmarbeauty

While Mia Del Mar hasn’t debuted all of its products just yet, this Latinx-owned brand is all about celebrating your roots. And with ingredients that have been passed down through generations, this line will mainly focus on skin care that’s both trendy and traditional.

19. Gabriel Cosmetics

Credit: Instagram / @gabrielcosmetics

Gabriel Cosmetics, founded by Gabriel De Santino, has been around since 1992. Inspired by his own personal experience with botanical skincare, the cosmetics line creates some of the best natural products.

20. Alamar Cosmetics

Credit: Instagram / @alamarcosmetics

Gabriella Trujillo went from Boxycharm’s in-house makeup artist to launching her own brand, Alamar Cosmetics. The makeup line is a celebration of the Cubana’s heritage, and its first product, the Reina del Caribe Vol. 1 eyeshadow palette, is proof.

Mattel Just Launched A Line Of Barbies With Skin Tones and Hair Styles Of All Types

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Mattel Just Launched A Line Of Barbies With Skin Tones and Hair Styles Of All Types

Mattel / Instagram

Mattel’s efforts to shake up the perception of their Barbie dolls continues! In the latest collection, which was released for Black History Month, the brand tapped a Black designer queen to create a collection that was truly inclusive, brilliantly Black and beautiful. The new line features a rainbow of Black skin tones and hairstyles that include afros, braids, and women in wheelchairs.

For their latest collection, the brand behind Barbie collaborated with creative consultant Shiona Turini.

The Bermudan stylist and costumer designer for the 2019 film “Queen & Slim” came up with over 20 looks for the new collection.

“I’ll never forget being in New York as a young black girl and finding a Black Barbie, and especially a Black Barbie birthday set,” Turini told People magazine in a recent interview. “Barbie is a historic brand that was inclusive before it was trendy.”

As part of her inspiration, Turini used the original Black Barbie (1980).

Turini paired up the original look with a Barbie in an afro.

“That was the basis for this image,” Turini explained in the interview. “We decided to have her on her throne with the other dolls dressed in her likeness, also in the red to support her.”

According to Turni, every aspect of the collection drew inspiration from Black activists.

Turini says she also found inspiration in the film Queen & Slim for the outfits in this most recent collection.

“When I worked on the movie ‘Queen & Slim’ the stand-out, ‘hero’ look for me was mixing snakeskin and tiger prints in the same look,” Barbie Style explained. “The contrast of the two patterns completely subverts expectations, and I was excited to use the same formula on pieces such as Barbie’s thigh-high boots to break the traditional mold of dolls I had grown up playing with.”

As we’ve seen with the Frida, La Catrina, and the recent release of vitiligo and hairless Barbie, it’s important that ALL people feel seen. “Representation matters and I’m so grateful to be a part of this moment,” she told CR Fashion Book.