Renault recently unveiled a line of nail polish in the same colors as its Twingo city car that can double as touch-up paint for the vehicle. However, the accessory has earned scorn from the feminist group Chiennes de Garde for allegedly reinforcing the stereotype that woman are bad drivers.
The Twingo nail polish is available in shades of blue, red, yellow, and black, and the company specifically markets the paint's ability to cover small scratches like from supermarket carts. At 8.90 euros ($9.96 at current exchange rates) each, the stuff is much cheaper that a trip to the paint shop.
Renault's marketers likely intended the nail polish to be a fashionable statement about the Twingo with the side benefit of keeping the car looking good. However, the product "reduces women to their beauty concerns and their inability to drive," Marie-Noelle Bas, head of Chiennes de Garde, told Automotive News Europe. "This insidious, ordinary, daily sexism lays the groundwork for the worst as ads confine women to a constructed role."
Renault countered that its promotional video for the Twingo nail polish didn't position the woman as a bad driver. The company believes the product is for "urban women who enjoy customization of their cars," a spokesperson for the automaker told Automotive News Europe.
Renault isn't the first French auto brand to get into the makeup business. In 2016, DS Automobiles and the famous fashion house Givenchy partnered to create a special edition DS3 that came with a makeup kit in the center console. Inside, it included lipstick, mascara, face powder, and nail polish. The model came with an Opaline White body with Whisper Purple on the roof, mirror caps, and wheel center caps.