The Black Lives Matter movement has been everywhere on social media, but have makeup artists taken it a little too far?
We all know blackface is wrong. It is disrespectful and celebrities get canceled from pictures leaking of them wearing blackface. But some are now using it to promote the Black Lives Matter movement, and it doesn’t feel quite right.
Souhila Ben Lachhab posted a photo of her with half white skin and half brown skin. The caption was, “Just because we are black on the outside, doesn’t mean that we are black on the inside. Racist people are the true black heart ones. They are black on the inside, though they do not know it” Someone commented, “A very, very, bad, bad, bad idea…you need to remove this ASAP! This is not helping anything”. It is a problematic picture but also the caption is bad too. She is using the word black negatively.
Lebanese singer Tania Saleh posted a picture on Instagram with darker skin, makeup on, and an afro with the caption “I wish I was black, today more than ever…Sending my love and full support to the people who demand equality and justice for all races anywhere in the world” Her fans commented, telling her why this is wrong and very problematic. Someone commented, “Tania no no no! Not this way! Please! Please take it down, read why doing blackface is wrong on some many levels. This is by far the most unfortunate time for you to be making a point in this unfortunate way”. Another said, “Blackface, cultural appropriation, highjacking the movement, and wishing you were black just to fit in with the current political context is astoundingly disrespectful.”
You can be an ally to the movement without needing to put yourself in the center of the conversation, and saying she “wishes she were black” is seen as putting the spotlight on herself instead of actual black activists.
She tweeted a long post defending herself saying, “I photoshopped my face on a picture from Pinterest that I loved. I did not mean to mock the black people in any way.” and “My crime is that I put my true feelings in words and an image. I forgive you for all the hate I received today because you made me block the unnecessary evil on this page…And by the way, all the human race comes from Africa after all! We were all originally black. Someone responded with, “problem is, buddy, as a person who isn’t black, you don’t get to decide what’s offensive or not”
Blackface does not help the Black Lives Matter movement. It hurts it. The history behind blackface is demeaning and wrong and we hope that people will learn that it is something to not do! And also being a white person doesn’t give someone the platform to speak on these issues.