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After a year spent in extreme visibility, Caitlyn Jenner has teamed up with MAC Cosmetics for a campaign that supports the brand's transgender initiative. One hundred percent of the sales from Jenner's signature lip color, Finally Free, will benefit the MAC AIDS Fund as grants to "organizations and programs dedicated to improving transgender lives."
In an interview with MAC, Jenner talked about the inspiration behind her lip color and how becoming a prominent face in a movement for social equality has affected her.
On why she partnered with MAC
MAC was the first to come to me, and a company, I realized, would really make a big commitment. I knew the VIVA GLAM campaigns; I saw that the proceeds were going, in those cases, mainly to AIDS and HIV causes, and I was wondering if they were interested in doing something specifically geared toward trans issues because we need funding. MAC is a global company. It's in places around the world where not just trans issues, but women's issues, are a major subject that you have to talk about.
Before I came out, the impression I had of MAC was, "That's quality; that's the good stuff." Not only is it the good stuff, but MAC also has the willingness corporately to use its reach to make a difference, to change people's minds. To help raise funds for HIV and AIDS, and in our case, for trans issues.
And honestly, my ultimate fantasy -- I never thought in a million years that it would ever happen -- was to get involved with a makeup company. When you're going through all of this, that's just like never going to happen, but wouldn't it be something to be involved in a project like that? Boy, watch out what you wish for, because it came true.
On every penny from the sale of her lip color going straight into the MAC AIDS Fund Transgender Initiative
There are two things we need from MAC: Number one, finances -- this is going to help a lot of people. But number two: We need a corporate, global network that can really make a difference in other parts of the world. What I have learned over the last nine months is that we certainly have a lot of issues here in the United States, and a lot of things we need to work on, but we are so much further ahead of the rest of the world. It's unbelievable. I met with Samantha Power, our Ambassador to the United Nations, on this issue and on all LGBT rights. There are still far too many countries where if you're anywhere in the L, the G, the B or the T spectrum, it's a criminal offense. You can go to jail for being anywhere in there. You can get decapitated. Take Russia. In Russia, if you are anywhere in the L, the G, the B or the T, you are considered to have a mental illness. And people with mental illnesses cannot get driver's licenses. This happens in our world today. MAC has a global reach. We can start here, but I would also like to take it on a worldwide basis - the big picture. For right now we need to figure out trans issues and get some help here, but on a global scale, it's women's issues.
Jenner's lip color, Finally Free, launches April 7. Read the rest of her MAC interview here.