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Am I being pedantic?

(83 Posts)
Maggierose Wed 31-Jan-24 18:09:46

Every time I buy my usual tinted moisturiser I always have the same conversation with the shop assistant. I buy Laura Mercier in the Nude shade. I point out that I am surprised that they haven’t changed the name of the shade because the shade is only suitable for white women whereas Nude could apply to any skin shade. They don’t really get my point; the last time I bought it in a Space NK shop I was assured that the product came in shades for all skin colours. The daftest response came in Selfridges where the assistant thought for a moment then said, “Well we do have it in Natural.” Am I being pedantic?

RosiesMaw Wed 31-Jan-24 18:11:30


eazybee Wed 31-Jan-24 18:12:07

Nude is a recognised shade of pinkish-beige.

crazyH Wed 31-Jan-24 18:19:44

You’re right - ‘nude’ will not suit me - I am a ‘tan ‘

Musicgirl Wed 31-Jan-24 18:22:33

Equally, nude is too dark for my very pale skin.

Germanshepherdsmum Wed 31-Jan-24 18:27:36

Yes you are being pedantic. Why do you keep asking the question? Are you trying to pick an argument? They are only sales assistants, they have no control over what the company decides to call the various shades. If it bothers you take it up with the company - but be prepared for a response along the lines of what eazybee says. Nude is nude.

TinSoldier Wed 31-Jan-24 18:35:35

You are not being pedantic - just wrong.

eazybee is spot on. It's there in the Oxford dictionary meaning of a pinkish beige colour

She had on nude stockings.

Choose black, brown, navy or nude calfskin.

Cindy tends to wear neutral and nude shades of brown to define her features.

All quotations from the OED.

The colours in that range go from Petal (pink) to Ganache (dark chocolate brown). They are all just descriptive names of the colours.

Maggierose Wed 31-Jan-24 18:39:09

Yes, that makes sense; of course there are many different shades of nude but my point is that Laura Mercier only recognises one.

Germanshepherdsmum Wed 31-Jan-24 18:45:40

So what should white women call ‘nude’? Why dump the description we all understand?

CanadianGran Wed 31-Jan-24 18:55:19

MaggieRose, perhaps you are a bit. But I did read somewhere that there was a bit of a campaign in the beauty industry to change some of these skin tone names to make them a bit more inclusive. Nude as a name for a colour derived from a description of pinky-beige Caucasian skin tone.

For instance many skin care companies now use warm and cool then numbers for shade. It just makes more sense.

But having an argument with a shop assistant isn't going to resolve anything. If you feel strongly about it, then write to the company.

Maggierose Wed 31-Jan-24 19:01:39

I’m not arguing with shop assistants, just making a comment.

TinSoldier Wed 31-Jan-24 19:17:56


Yes, that makes sense; of course there are many different shades of nude but my point is that Laura Mercier only recognises one.

No, no, no. There are not many different shades of nude. There are many different shades of skin colour.

Nudity or nudeness is the state of being unclothed which isn’t confined to people who are pinkish beige. It describes the state of undress not the colour of the person’s skin.

Nude is from the Latin nūdus and means open, simple, plain, naked, bare, unclothed. It was foremost a legal term. Its use in law goes back hundreds of years before it was ever used as a fashion colour.

Its first recorded written use as a colour in ladies' clothing dates only from 1922 in the Daily Mail:

Ladies' Hose... Black, white,..taupe, navy, nude, and all shades.

No doubt there was corrolation between the choice of the name as a colour and pale caucasian skin but in this context it is still just a colour and the same applies to cosmetics.

NotSpaghetti Wed 31-Jan-24 20:29:34

I suppose, Maggierose that what we currently call nude is the pinky beige colour but in future we may not, it may have another name. Just as a particular shade of brown is no longer known by the N word, we may find that nude isn't used in the same way one day.

At the moment, however, just like "caramel" or "chocolate" are used as colours but do have other meanings, so is "nude" is used for that pinky beige colour which one of my old colouring pencils used to call "flesh"!

Patsy70 Wed 31-Jan-24 20:33:58

I have a Seat Mii by Mango car whose colour is ‘Nude’ - my son insists that it is ‘pink’. 😂

Germanshepherdsmum Wed 31-Jan-24 20:46:34

Why do you have this same (pointless) conversation with the shop assistant every time you buy this product?

flappergirl Wed 31-Jan-24 21:03:49

Maggie, why do you keep having this conversation? The minimum wage sales assistant can't change the name of a major brand, or any brand, can she? I would imagine she wants to hide when she sees you enter the shop.

Write to the company and explain your concerns to them.

welbeck Thu 01-Feb-24 00:30:49

what do you expect the sales asst to do about it ?
i'm not sure pedantic is the word i would use.
crass ?

welbeck Thu 01-Feb-24 00:38:36

you could order it online

NotAGran55 Thu 01-Feb-24 07:06:53

Maggierose stop shooting the messenger and being an annoying customer.

Why don’t you contact Laura Mercier directly and ‘make the comment’ to them, and let us know what response you get?

Marydoll Thu 01-Feb-24 07:14:40

Pedantic means "like a pedant," someone who is too concerned with literal accuracy or formality. It's a negative term that implies someone is showing off book learning or trivia, especially in a tiresome way.,

I think there are more important things to get worked up about.
If it upsets you that much, write to the manufacturer or change brands. The poor shop assistant can't do anything about it.

maddyone Thu 01-Feb-24 07:54:05

I couldn’t be bothered to converse with the shop assistant about that, especially every time I bought it.
Maybe that’s why I buy most of my shopping online grin

JackyB Thu 01-Feb-24 08:24:55

I agree with Maggie in that I would feel uncomfortable about "nude" being a light colour. Here in Germany it's not too common, although I never buy tights or foundation so perhaps I just don't come across it. Underwear sometimes comes in "champagne" which is about equivalent.

Oh, and I've just remembered that "Hautfarbe" (skin colour) is the usual term. So it <is> the same here. I'm not sure that that is a RAL or Pantone classification, though.

Having said that, I suspect that a black woman would probably just shrug and not be bothered about it.

RosiesMaw Thu 01-Feb-24 08:41:06

Poor shop assistant! Having to maintain the requisite polite smile while being harangued by some d* o**biddy about the name of a product.

“Yes, madam”

toscalily Thu 01-Feb-24 11:37:31

I would think using the term "skin colour" would be even more problematic, whose skin colour? Nude is a mixture of brown & white but has many shades. I have enough trouble getting any foundation or tinted moisturiser in the right colour let alone analysing the actual word that is describing the product. So yes, I think you are being unnecessarily pedantic.

welbeck Thu 01-Feb-24 11:48:38

i had never heard of this word as a colour until recently.
i was rather taken aback, as to me it connotes total lack of clothes, not a colour descriptor of some underwear/hosiery.
i don't like it; it has sleazy connotations in my mind; raymonds revue bar, come in and see the nudes, etc
but whatever i thought about it, i would not make a sales asst's day more tedious than it already is.