L’Oreal needs to be inclusive

If you are a fully abled individual without any sensory or mobility issues, you may not notice what’s wrong with this picture.

For months and months now i’ve been waiting for a response to what prompted this entire thing in the first place which i’ve described in the video above.

Here’s the entire story.

Summer, 2017. I had just attended my very first Autism meet up and was feeling like I finally fit in with people. I felt good about myself. I was happy. I also had time to kill and thought it was a great opportunity to visit Metropolis at Metrotown in Burnaby BC, it was on my way home and I thought I could get a few things done.

I noticed an Urban Decay store and they were celebrating their birthday in the mall. How exciting, I thought to myself. I love their products, the pigmentation and thought that this was just super cool and I wanted to get in on the action.

My heart sank and the mood quickly changed.

Why?

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This is why. Yes, it may look like your very ordinary wind booth where you have various pieces of paper flying around but only ONE will win you a coveted full size product.

I couldn’t figure out what someone who had sensory issues or mobility issues was to do since they were not presented with that opportunity.

I was sweaty, anxious, visibly upset and mustered up all the courage I had inside of me to march in to the store and ask for a manager and said I wanted to speak to the marketing department, that I was an autistic individual and didn’t think it was inclusive at all. I met this lady, Tania Garrigo-Meza and she did not tell me she wasn’t the manager, she’s actually the “Retail Biz Dev and Education Executive for Urban Decay Cosmetics”. Her response to me was the most disingenuous “oh, i’m sorry, our marketing team just left!”. Ugh. I asked for a pen and paper and she reluctantly gave me it. I wrote down my information, expecting a prompt response.

Did I get one? NOPE.

I then found her on Instagram. I found her with pictures of the staff and yes, I commented in regards to this situation. The assistant manager contacted me. She knew nothing of what happened. I wrote to every single channel I could possibly think of. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Email and LinkedIn.

Want to see the response I got from Line Miserere who’s position is “Information Management at L’oreal Canada”:

September 13th:

Thank you for sending all the communications. In terms of future contests/promotions, nothing has been determined yet but we have certainly learned a great deal from your experience. It would be my pleasure to send you the full-size product at home, unless you prefer something else. Please let me know.   

A course of action? Policy change? Nope. Just excuses, excuses, excuses.

I decided to write the mall too – because I believe there should be strict standards when promotions are run in the walkways of the mall. Their response:

Hi Margaux Thank you for reaching out to us. We are sorry to hear about this unfortunate experience that occurred with one of our tenants events. Please also allow us to apologize for copying you on our initial response. We review customer concerns received on our social media platforms internally, and that first message was meant for our internal group. In regards to this event, It is something that is put on with the Tenant, Urban Decay. They were responsible for all items. Accordingly, please do follow up with them directly in regards to your concerns. Regards, Metropolis at Metrotown

There isn’t a single person who wants to take responsibility for this and wants to come up with a policy for inclusivity moving forward.

Just take a look at the stocks:

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Falling. Sure, it’s climbing back up there–but maybe they’d learn a thing or two, if, OH, I DON’T KNOW- they LISTENED to their (former) customer base?

I just want a policy where they have criteria that ANY promotion has to meet to include EVERYONE from ALL walks of life and ALL abilities.

L’Oreal owns ALL THESE BRANDS and until I get a response or a resolution, i’m not supporting them and i’m not wearing them.

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You know what else is complete irony? They are working with AUTISM SPEAKS which is all kinds of HORRIBLE! MMMM EUGENICS.

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Want to make your voice heard since they’re not hearing me?

SIGN THE PETITION HERE

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Hey Urban Decay_If you want to be inclusive

 

 

My Plea

I can’t remember a time where I wasn’t suffering from some mental illness. That’s right, even when I was a child and my family could afford to see a psychologist, i was always told I was anxious and depressed, even before I knew what those words really meant.

It’s a battle where the weight on my shoulders is almost far too much to bare. I have a difficult time with interpersonal relationships, my mood and self-care. I have a tendency to over analyze or improperly react. Forget about reading people, that’s definitely not something i’m even remotely versed in.

I’m reading statistics on the Canadian Mental Health Association’s website (http://www.cmha.ca/media/fast-facts-about-mental-illness/#.WWLga8bMyT8) and some of them are just startling.

Did you know that 49 percent of people who have suffered anxiety or depression have never seen a doctor about this problem? That is a shocking stat. I can’t tell you how many times I have seen doctors, and yet it’s almost impossible to get any kind of help. You need special referrals, you need to ‘jump’ through hoops JUST to get help. Psychologists aren’t covered by MSP, but psychiatrists are. I’ve been referred to a psych, but who knows how long it will really take before i get an appointment.

Workplaces aren’t equipped to deal mood swings or mental breakdowns. There NEEDS to be better understanding, better support in place and some mandatory training. I would also like to see some kind of rules or regulation that would protect those who are fighting an invisible battle, to be able to retain their jobs, have a leave of absence if they DESPERATELY need help–and have quick, immediate access to mental healthcare. There is NO excuse for an employer to dismiss an employee if they are dealing with health and mental challenges. Did you know if you are on a medical EI leave, that you’re not protected from dismissal? It’s not fair and things need to change, things need to be updated and revised.

I frequently wonder if the money raised by large companies actually go to help mental illness initiatives because each and EVERY time i’ve gone to a psych ward for some assistance, i’m always reminded of how underfunded they are. I even had a nurse definitely agree with me, and i could see the disdain in her eyes.

This needs to be made a priority, too many of us are suffering in silence, feeling like no one is listening or feeling like support systems at our places of employment are just going to vanish in one fell swoop.

Disclosure is a whole other issue. Personally, i’m very forthcoming with my struggles. Sadly, what goes around comes around and that’s exactly what happened to me. I thought that authority figures, or leaders in the workplace understood and were compassionate, but as I gradually found out, I was very wrong.

If you can’t talk to those around you and you can’t express the pain and struggles you feel, how are you supposed to feel like you’re a valuable person who has a lot to offer?

We need a better way, we need to learn to understand, we need regulation in place, we need to raise awareness and end the stigma.