A beauty influencer accused Target of racism after visiting a store where she claims that a cosmetic product in a darker shade was locked away while the lighter shade of the same product was not.
Eli Levi, who goes by @elileviofficial on TikTok, denounced New York City Target’s security measures in a video uploaded to the platform last week, in which he urged Target to “explain”.
“Target, please explain to me why the lighter shades are perfectly off while the darker shades are safely packaged and sealed. This is the height of racism, in the beauty section of Target, ”Levi said in the video while filming a shelf with different shades of Versed Mood Lighting luminous droplets.
In the video, the drop packs in Sheer Golden color are visible on the shelves without any safety packaging, while the drops in the darker shade Sheer Bronzed are visible in clear plastic boxes with a locked lid.
“Goal please explain,” the 21-year-old wrote in a text caption of the video, adding in the caption: “Not New York 2022”.
As of Wednesday, the video has been viewed more than 540,000 times, with many viewers criticizing Target because of the clip.
“Honestly I’m not surprised, the whole curly / coarse hair section is ALWAYS locked up,” commented one person.
Another said: “The way I GASPED. @Target you have some explanations “, while someone else said the shop” didn’t even try to hide the racism “.
However, many of the comments come from users who claim that the security measures are not due to racism but to theft prevention, as some have said that Target will likely be blocking the darker shades of the light drops because they are the ones that are stolen most frequently. .
“Like someone who was the person who closed these boxes, locks up the products that are stolen the most,” said one person, while another said, “It’s not racism, it’s loss prevention.”
Someone else added: “I’m not saying this isn’t racism, but I’m pretty sure they only secure the things that are most often stolen.”
Others have pointed out that the product in question is not a foundation, but rather a bronze or gold illuminating serum that can be used on all complexions. “It’s not a foundation guys, [it’s] literally bronze or golden highlight used for all skin tones. I have the darkest bronze one, everyone steals the bronze, ”wrote one person.
“They’re tanning drops, not foundation, and they’re locking up the products that are stolen most frequently – they follow the records in their database,” said someone else.
The comments in defense of the store’s practices prompted the response from Levi, who wrote in his comment: “Don’t defend Target in the comments! This is just ONE of the MANY examples of the racist protocols that I have chosen to expose ”.
This isn’t the first time Target’s anti-theft practices have been called into question, as one woman also questioned the products the retailer chooses to block anti-theft devices in a post shared on Twitter in 2019.
“Hey @Target any reason why you only put these anti-theft devices on the darker shades,” tweeted a customer from a store in Austin, Texas, along with a photo from the cosmetics department where only the darker shade of foundation could. being seen locked in boxes, according to 7News.
The latest criticism of the store comes after Walmart, CVS and Walgreens all announced plans to stop blocking beauty and hair care products targeting black women and communities of color in 2020 following the backlash on those. which many have claimed to be discriminatory practices.
In a statement a NPR At the time, a CVS spokesperson said its product protection measures “were never based on the race or ethnicity of our customers,” but that the company would “take action in our stores to ensure that no hair, beauty or personal care products for communities of color are stored in closed displays or shelves ”.
The independent reached out to Target for comment.