The 9 Biggest Style and Beauty Controversies of 2015

The events that had us talking this year

In the midst of keeping up with the ’90s beauty trend revival and counting Kim Kardashian’s choker and fur ensembles, 2015 gave us a lot of other groundbreaking style and beauty moments. Celebs perfected their skill at shutting down body shamers, N.Y.C. nail salons finally received the fair working conditions they deserve and one celeb dared to speak ill of the Kardashian clan. To wrap up the year, we rounded up the most groundbreaking shockers of 2015.

Zendaya Defends Her Oscars Red Carpet Dreadlocks

Zendaya Coleman

Steve Granitz/Wireimage; Jason Merritt/Getty

During the Fashion Police episode following the 2015 Oscars red carpet, co-host Giuliana Rancic commented that Zendaya Coleman’s hair (which was styled in dreadlocks) must have smelled like “patchouli” and “weed.” The then 18-year-old took to Instagram to defend her hairstyle. “There is a fine line between what is funny and disrespectful. Someone said something about my hair at the Oscars that left me in awe. Not because I was relishing in rave outfit reviews, but because I was hit with ignorant slurs and pure disrespect.”

Rancic went on to apologize for her comments on Twitter, explaining that she was “referring to a bohemian chic look. Had NOTHING to do with race and NEVER would!!!” Months after the ordeal, Zendaya called the encounter a “learning experience for myself and for everyone who read it.”

The N.Y.C. Manicure Salons Exposé

nail salons


In May,
The New York Times
published a two-part exposé on the unlawful, dangerous and unhealthy working conditions N.Y.C. manicurists are exposed to. They face serious health issues from exposure to harsh chemicals (including miscarriages, skin and respiratory ailments), they often make well under minimum wage and forced to work extremely long hours for no extra pay.

New York Govenor Andrew Cuomo ordered “emergency measures” to tackle the wage theft and health hazards faced, including implementing a task force to conduct salon investigations and ensure they’re complying with new safety and wage regulations. By December, some salon owners were still protesting the new laws, while employees were reporting a modest improvement in conditions.

Tim Gunn vs. The Kardashians

Tim Gunn - Kanye West

J. Countess/Getty; Dominique Charriau/WireImage

Tim Gunn dared to take on the Kardashian empire in a Huffington Post interview, calling the family “vulgar” and “distasteful.” The Project Runway mentor called Kanye West’s fashion line, “a bunch of dumb clothes.” He thinks “absolutely nothing” of Kendall Jenner. And you better bet he gave his two cents on the family’s overall aethetic. “When it comes to fashion I say to people all the time, if you want guidance for your fashion just consider this, if a Kardashian is wearing it — don’t,” he shared. (The Kardashians, for their part, continued to do their thing and make a zillion dollars while doing it.)

Justin Bieber’s Calvin Klein Photoshop Kerfuffle

After hoping to front a Calvin Klein underwear campaign for years, the Bieb finally got his wish with a sexy shirtless spread. It had all the trimmings of an iconic CK campaign — a hunky singer and with six pack abs and (you know what else) on display. Unfortunately, what you saw may not have been all Bieber. purportedly unearthed the unretouched shots (which you can see here), but after Bieber and Calvin Klein protested, the site backtracked on their claims.

RELATED PHOTOS: The Year of Sheer

Celebs Who Defeated Body Shamers

Between Pink, Gigi Hadid and Chrissy Teigen, haters were not free to “hate, hate, hate.”

Pink body shaming

Gabriel Olsen/Getty

In April, Pink received nasty comments on social media after wearing a midi LBD to a cancer charity event (above). And being the strong (we’re talking incredibly strong, just check out this photo) woman she is, she didn’t let internet bullies get away with it.

the star Tweeted, “While I admit that the dress didn’t photograph as well as it did in my kitchen, I will also admit that I felt very pretty. In fact, I feel beautiful. So, my good and concerned peoples, please don’t worry about [me]. I’m not worried about me. And I’m not worried about you either ? … I am perfectly fine, perfectly happy, and my healthy, voluptuous and crazy strong body is having some much deserved time off. Thanks for your concern. Love, cheesecake.”

Gigi Hadid

Antonio de Moraes Barros Filho/WireImage

Another star shutting down Internet jerks was Gigi Hadid. During Spring 2016 Fashion Month, she couldn’t turn a blind eye to negative comments any longer. She acknowledged that she doesn’t have the same body as other runway models, but defended her curves saying, “I represent a body image that wasn’t accepted in high-fashion before, and I’m very lucky to be supported by the designers, stylists, and editors that I am: ones that know this is fashion, it’s art, it can never stay the same. It’s 2015. But if you’re not one of those people, don’t take your anger out on me.”

Chrissy Teigen stretch marks

Courtesy Chrissy Teigen

Chrissy Teigen is known for keeping it real. Wardrobe mishaps, showing her underwear drawers, going makeup-free on camera — all fair game. So when she got a few bruises making her cookbook, she showed her war wounds on Instagram and also saw the perfect opportunity to accentuate her “stretchies.”

She talked about the photo during an interview on
The Meredith Vieira Show
saying, “… I was actually just taking a picture of the bruises and then I saw the stretch marks in there,” she said. “I have those apps, those Facetunes, those Photoshopping ones, and I just didn’t feel like doing it anymore — and I’m never doing it again, because I think we forgot what normal people look like now. The standard is so ridiculous.”

RELATED VIDEO: Why Mom-To-Be Chrissy Teigen Says She’s Blessed This Year

Former Interns Sue the Olsen Twins

Met Gala 2015: Mary-Kate & Ashley Olsen

Jamie McCarthy/FilmMagic

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen created a billion-dollar entertainment and fashion empire with Dualstar Entertainment Group, but allegedly, some of those dollars aren’t trickling down to their fashion interns. A class-action lawsuit was filed claiming interns completed work for no compensation or college credit.

The company released a statement to PEOPLE saying, “The allegations in the complaint filed against Dualstar are groundless, and Dualstar will vigorously defend itself against plaintiff’s claims in court, not before the media. Dualstar is confident that once the true facts of this case are revealed, the lawsuit will be dismissed in its entirety.”

WEN Hair Care Sued for Severe Hair Loss

Gabriel Olsen/FilmMagic

Gabriel Olsen/FilmMagic

Your favorite 3:00 a.m. infomercial product (Chaz Dean’s WEN Hair Care’s Cleansing Conditioner) came under fire with a class action lawsuit after 200 women accused the brand of causing severe injuries to the head and scalp.

Online reviews described the products as causing hair to become “straw[like] and brittle,” while Wen and Dean refuted the allegations, telling PeopleStyle in a statement, “There is no scientific evidence to support any claim that our hair care products caused anyone to lose their hair.”

We spoke with Dr. Nicole Rogers, Assistant Clinical Professor of Dermatology at Tulane University School of Medicine, who believes the “vast majority of these are coincidence,” and says of photos submitted as evidence, “there were pictures of women who have typical female pattern hair loss. There were also pictures of people with alopecia areata, which is an autoimmune form of hair loss.”

What controversy shocked you the most? Share with us in the comments below!

— Colleen Kratofil

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