Florida-based photographer Gypsy Freeman recently entered and won an Instagram contest sponsored by Kat Von D Beauty. Soon thereafter, according to the winner, she was told by Kat Von D herself that by showing support for Donald Trump, she had disqualified herself from associating with Kat or her brand.
Freeman entered the ‘Saint + Sinner’ contest in June. As the winner, she and a guest were to be flown to Los Angeles, California, to attend the launch party for a new makeup line by Kat Von D. Freeman was also set to receive a $500 gift card to Sephora. In all, there was around $2,100 in prizes on the line.
Freeman’s Instagram submission featured her sister with two images reflecting the themes of saint and sinner. In the first, the model is surrounded by white elements, without makeup. In the other, the model is accented in black, wearing heavy makeup.
@katvondbeauty @mercyhanna_15 #SaintandSinner #KVDContest Photography and water/milkbath concept @jennbischof Model @numinous.model MUAH/wardrobe @facesofgypsy #kvdcontest Foundation @temptu As Hamlet said to Ophelia, ”God has given you one face, and you make yourself another.” The battle between these two halves of identity…Who we are and who we pretend to be, is unwinnable. “Just as there are two sides to every story, there are two sides to every person. One that we reveal to the world and another we keep hidden inside. A duality governed by the balance of light and darkness, within each of us is the capacity for both good and evil. But those who are able to blur the moral dividing line hold the true power. -Emily Thorne
Kat, known for appearing on TLC’s reality show, “LA Ink,” selected Freeman’s submission because of her talent, according to screenshots Freeman took of their messaged conversations. However, after Instagram trolls discovered that Freeman is a Trump supporter and expressed concern, Kat’s staff urged the star to respond.
While Kat maintains that she wouldn’t normally disqualify someone for their political beliefs, she had “drawn a personal line in the sand between myself and anyone who supports that man.” In referring to that man, Kat means the President of the United States, Donald J. Trump.
The Instagram post that concerned Kat and her staff was from election night in Nov. 2016 and featured Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan.
According to the screenshots, Kat said the following in a statement:
“My launch party [and my brand] celebrates many things that Trump is against. And I just need you to know that I personally have a hard time with inviting anyone who would support such an anti-feminist, anti-homosexual/LGBT, anti-immigrant, and anti-climate change fascist such as Trump.”
Freeman’s reply indicated that she supported the right of Kat to make any decision regarding having her attend the launch party, saying, “I sincerely do understand if you decide to replace us with someone who supports the candidate you support.”
Kat responded, “It’s not about inviting people based on their political stance,” but she went on to declare that it’s “borderline impossible” to find herself associated with anyone that supports Trump, who apparently goes against everything she supports.
Kat continued, “I would feel the same way towards people who supported Hitler, or any other fascist.”
Freeman did not attend the launch party. Instead, Jenn Bischof, the photographer who, ironically, took the photos of the winning entry, did, even posing for photos with Kat Von D.
According to a report from The Wichita Eagle:
All evidence of the contest’s existence has since been deleted from the brand’s Instagram account and website, though the contest rules are available in a cached version of the site. The rules state that any legal U.S. resident 18 or older was eligible to win and could enter by submitting a “Saint and Sinner inspired” makeup look.
Freeman said she wasn’t willing to erase her post in support of Trump. “Part of the great thing about this country is having freedom of speech,” she reportedly said.
Freeman says the incident is a hypocritical example of bigotry.
“It’s definitely bigotry – it’s everything that they’re calling us, they’re doing,” Freeman said. “It’s a huge case of hypocrisy.”
Freeman, who owns Faces of Gypsy, which provides services in makeup, fashion styling and modeling, will likely cease using Kat Von D beauty products. She’s also reportedly notifying Sephora of the incident, as the makeup retailer sells the Kat Von D product line.
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