Artistic Expression or Attention? Whatever it is, leave black people out of it.
It’s a backhanded compliment in the name of art.
Guys, I’m tired.
I’m about as tired as every Nigerian on the planet waiting for the Super Eagles to be a FIFA strong team again. I’m about as tired as every dead iconic celebrity when Lifetime premiers dreadful biopics on TV. If hair could talk, I’m about as tired as every black woman’s hair being ‘’oooh,awwwed’ and tugged, at every gold opportunity by white people. But I’m extremmmellyyy TIRED of people still attempting to justify black face. No wait, it’s called artistic expression now. Yes… artistic expression.
This week, a make-up artist who goes by the handle @paintdatface on Instagram, put up a post of a white woman that he transformed into a darker skinned woman. In his disclaimer, he claimed that he got bored of glam looks and wanted to do something that was ‘authentic’. Although he knew and stated that there would probably be backlash, he made it clear that it wasn’t about race and he was trying to use art to celebrate the beauty of other cultures. After about a day, he deleted the post and went off on a rant:
“I deleted the post, not because I had regret or saw wrongdoing, but because of the negativity social media turned it into. It’s been assumed by most that my intentions were to transform my model into a black woman. Truth is, my intentions were to keep the look vague enough to be relatable to many women of different cultures, but the true inspiration of the overall look came from my Cuban heritage. Although I am saddened by how many people are angered, I can’t offer an apology for my artwork and for what I find to be beautiful. The transformation came from a place of love and was not about mocking one’s race, but rather about celebrating it. I am so proud to be illustrating a woman representing several cultures along with their achievements, beliefs and histories. Art is interpreted differently by all and sometimes it’s uncomfortable, but making this world a better place starts with our mindset – thinking positive, showing love and practising unity.”
This guy honestly sounds like an attention seeking brat, or a man with an ass backward view of life. But, can I add that I’m so over people throwing around this “let’s be colour blind -see the world as a positive place” bullshit. People around the world are literally getting slaughtered on the daily because they are from the wrong place or born in the ‘wrong skin’; so no, the world isn’t a positive place and failing to confront our realities is exactly why the world is in the state that it’s in.
A lot of people tried to defend the artist because ‘he had good intentions’, but I still don’t think that having good intentions makes it right to do something KNOWING that it will offend people. We don’t go around making holocaust jokes to Jews for obvious reasons, so why should black people even have to defend themselves in situations like these. The origins of blackface were used for mockery, and although the artist wasn’t trying to mock anyone, he was unintentionally (or intentionally in my opinion) reinforcing racial undertones that have oppressed black people from time. Honestly though, I feel like most people aren’t even that mad that he did blackface, but it’s his justification for doing so. It’s a backhanded compliment in the name of art.
- I came across an article the other day about how so many people (obviously non blacks) were in outrage when artist Harmonia Rosales remade the “the creation of Adam” with God as a black woman. Mind you, this painting has been remade plenty of times for satirical purposes, but somehow this one really pissed people off.
But it’s art. So why are ya’ll mad?
The only reason I’m even mentioning this is because society loves to tell black people what they should and shouldn’t be mad at, yet when the tables are turned….sounds to me like people are just mad whenever black people have an opinion other than agreeing to submission.
This man is obviously a very talented make-up artist, but I’m sure his talents could have been showcased very differently. If he wanted to celebrate ‘Cuban’ heritage or other cultures, why not just use a model of colour? Someone please explain to me how slapping on some dark foundation and contouring is any more authentic than whatever he was doing before? I’d honestly be more impressed if he did this on someone with skin discolouration or really damaged skin; but what he did, and his reasoning behind doing it are just extremely stupid in my opinion. You really want to celebrate our culture, how about this woman spends a week as a woman of colour? People want to look black but don’t want to be black. That is exactly why movies like Get out are real important ya’ll!
Our skin colour is not a prop or a costume. When is the world just going to accept that and keep it moving?!