This makeup artist is being slammed for a 'blackface' Instagram tutorial
No matter how many times you say it, people still don't seem to get the message: blackface is not ok. It never has been ok, it never will be ok, and no amount of "but it was only for a bit of fun" excuses are going to change that fact. The topic comes up time and time again when talking about using black emojis, dressing up as black characters from film and TV, and - in extreme cases - in people who claim to be 'transracial'.
Every single time, the answer is almost unanimous: blackness is not a costume, and treating it as such is incredibly disrespectful. So why are people still doing it?
Just this week, a Russian makeup artist who uses the Instagram handle @notcatart has come under fire for posting a bizarre and controversial tutorial on how to do blackface.
In the caption for the tutorial, @notcatart claims that his motives for darkening his skin using makeup come from a positive place. "I love skin of all colors and this look is inspired from it," he says. "We all are beautiful... And I wanna show you how it’s beautiful".
Ok, so I could maybe see how the artist didn't consider that this would be taken in an offensive manner. He says he loves all skin colors, and I would have believed that. I could also kinda see how he (misguidedly) thought that this might help show other people that dark skin is beautiful - especially in Russia, where the vast majority of the population is white.
But that all changed when he followed up the post with an outrageously racist comment directed at a 14-year-old girl. The teenager, who - unlike @notcatart - is actually black, and therefore more qualified to speak on racial issues than a white man, called out the artist for the disrespectful tutorial.
In response, the Russian artist had this to say:
So, here's a guy who says he "love[s] skin of all colors", but goes ahead and uses a racial slur against someone of a different skin color. This shows that he doesn't actually care at all about people of color - just the appearance of their skin.
And that's the problem with blackface: it allows white people to dress up as another race and treat it like a costume, while simultaneously maintaining a position of power over people of color.
The Instagram makeup artist has since deleted his offensive comments and disabled any further comments on the video altogether. He's also refusing to listen to people who are telling him that the tutorial is inappropriate, and instead posted another image of himself in blackface saying, "I will posted [sic] it again and again... love u guys".
The original post is currently sitting at nearly 400,000 views, and has attracted over two and a half thousand comments - many of them critical. Despite this, the post is still up, and @notcatart is showing no remorse for the post or his hateful comments.
Hopefully, the internet will come to its senses about blackface and other racial issues very soon - but we still have a long way to go.