After Emily Ratajkowski shared an Instagram post was an announcement that she is the new spokesperson for luxury hair product company Kérastase Paris, she received a swift pushback for her caption.
She wrote, "Hair is a fundamental part of beauty, femininity, and identity. So excited to announce that I am the new face of @kerastase_official!"
The idea that hair holds such an unwavering position in how most of society defines beauty is one that women especially are trying to reinvent. With that in mind, Ratajkowski's words rubbed some people the wrong way.
Commenters pointed out that the caption could be interpreted as insensitive to women who experience hair loss for a number of reasons ranging from genetics to illness. "I'm so sick of the notion that 'feminine' = long hair cuz even bald headed girls are gorgeous too," one commenter wrote. "Her comment excludes those who can’t grow hair, especially from cancer," wrote another.
Others believed the model had good intentions and was simply adhering to promoting the product and its branding. "Women can individually define what they feel beauty is. I love my hair, it makes me feel beautiful and confident," shared one commenter, while another suggested that "she was just writing and posting what the brand is marketing since you know it’s her job do so."
Kérastase Paris, who had the same discussion surrounding beauty standards on their own Instagram post, responded with an apology saying:
"We are deeply sorry about that, we didn’t want to cause any harm to anyone with the caption. Of course beauty is not defined by your hair, beauty is something more spiritual, beauty is an attitude coming from inside each of us," the hair care brand wrote. "Our new muse, Emily, thinks that her hair is a way to express herself. As she said, 'Everyone is uniquely beautiful in their own way'; and we agree. We apologize for the misunderstanding of our previous caption because it seems like we were making a one-way statement, forgetting the rest of the multiple variations of beauty. We honestly tell you we’re very sorry and thanks for your testimony because through it we are learning everyday."
Kérastase Paris followed by posting a photo of their new spokesperson with the caption "Everyone is uniquely beautiful in their own way." Emily Ratajkowski has chosen to remain quiet on the matter, not offering an additional comment.
An avid advocate for women, Ratajkowski spoke to Elle about the campaign with Kérastase Paris before its release. Believing that women can both express their sexuality and be feminist, she stood by the idea that women should not feel guilty for wanting great hair. "Yeah, for many women, how our hair looks and feels is an everyday part of our lives, whether we always want it to be or not. And ultimately, feeling good about yourself is good for your life and who you are," she explained. "So if having the best hair you can have means you feel better about your day, then go get that hair. And don’t feel guilty about it!"