Twitter users were shocked to discover that many of the "black" Instagram influencers and YouTubers they followed were white women who had significantly altered their features. When confronted, these women said they "just had a tan."
I really am not here for these ridiculous excuses. The modification of features is so blatant. Actions do not exist in a vacuum. Your actions and behaviors are contextualized in history and the current social climate. We live in a Western world founded on the oppression of basically everyone besides land-owning white men.
Maybe these women just like how black women look. Maybe they just covet these features. Maybe they're wholly uninformed about the history of anti-blackness in the world. That's not the point. Intentions don't matter much when the result is the exploitation of another group of people.
When you hit someone with your car when you're drunk, and you weren't in your right mind, well, you still did it. You're still held accountable; not the alcohol industry or the culture that promotes it, even if they should be too. Just to be clear, these women didn't apologize when confronted. They said "it's just a tan," and kept doing it.
If you love looking like a black woman, but you don't show black women love, then you're nothing but a colonizer.
This is the real Emma Hallberg. Do not come for me with this "she's just tanned" BS. She is working overtime to appear a certain way, and that way is as a person of color.
This is Francis four years ago.
But as recently as a month ago, she posted this image that resparked the controversy. It's hard to believe this woman and the woman above are the same person, right?
Sara Baartman was enslaved and put on display in the 18th century because she had a large bottom. People paid to see her, but she didn't get paid; the white men who "owned" her body did.
Is this just a tan? Minstrel shows took place well into in the 1950s. White people darkened their skin, made their lips bigger, and wore curlier wigs. What are these women doing? They're enlarging their butts, getting lip injections, darkening their skin, and wearing black hairstyles. No, these women aren't putting on a minstrel show, but they are profiting from blackness that isn't theirs, much like those who participated in minstrel shows. They're putting blackness on like a costume, reaping the benefits, then shedding the skin when it becomes inconvenient. I don't get to do that as a black woman.