'Back to school' make-up class cancelled after backlash

Make-up class aimed at girls aged 12 and over, due to be held at a John Lewis shop, is cancelled after angry reaction

Helen Ward

A 'back-to-school' make-up class, to be hosted at a John Lewis store, has been cancelled after a backlash

A "back-to-school" make-up class for girls aged 12 and up due to be held at John Lewis by make-up brand MAC has been cancelled amid concerns from parents and charities, it was reported today.

The event was advertised as enabling girls to “learn how to make the best of [their] skin and brows before the new term”, The Telegraph reported.

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But the class, which was due to be held at the department store's branch at Bluewater shopping centre in Kent, has since been cancelled after an angry reaction from charities concerned that it gave a “wrong and worrying” message.

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Ella Smilie, head of policy and campaigns at the Fawcett Society, said: “It's what's in girls' heads that counts, not what's on their faces. As our kids go back to school, John Lewis and MAC are sending a wrong and worrying message. Like Fawcett, parents will be justifiably angry that companies are adding to the pressure their children are under to conform to gender-stereotypes around appearances, instead of focusing on their education."

And Young Women’s Trust media manager Bex Bailey said: “If we are ever going to achieve gender equality, we have to focus on the talents and skills young women can contribute, not on a prescriptive beauty ideal."

A John Lewis spokesperson said: “This was an isolated event organised at a local MAC counter. As a brand MAC does not market to anyone under 16, so this event should not have been arranged. It has been cancelled and we are very sorry for any upset caused.”

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Helen Ward

Helen Ward

Helen Ward is a reporter at Tes

Find me on Twitter @teshelen

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