See, this is what happens when you try to pioneer a viral Internet challenge and you’re clueless of the history of blackface.
Youtube beauty blogger, Vika Shapel, learned the hard way when she uploaded a photo to her Instagram account with half her face covered in brown makeup and called it the “chocolate challenge”.
The reason you haven’t seen that type of challenge take the Internet by storm? Probably because no one wants to be the creator of the black face challenge. You see covering your skin in to see what you would look like with a deeper skin complexion to hide your “pasty” isn’t innovative, creative, nor expressive. Unfortunately, Vika became just that when she and her friend got bored because let’s be real: that’s how Internet challenges start anyways, boredom.
What I find hard to understand is Vika’s clear ignorance of the history of blackface. In an interview with Yahoo Beauty, the blogger claimed she knew nothing about blackface before she posted the picture. It’s clear she knew what she was doing when she deliberately paired the brown side with brown eye color and the opposite blue.
“I simply wanted to see how I looked in a deeper skin tone,” said Shapel. “I wasn’t aware of the whole blackface concept before people began commenting it on the photo.”
This poor excuse of a challenge is a constant reminder that Black bodies are caricatured as gimmicks over humans. Since when has it become a fad to be Black? The quick and unapologetic response to Vika’s idea of “fun” was an appropriate response to her poor attempt to skyrocket to Internet fame.
Due to the amount of backlash, Vika turned her Instagram private, completely erased her Youtube channel of any uploaded videos, and her deactivated her Twitter account. In all honesty, it serves her right: painting your face with chocolate to see what you would look like with a deeper skin tone isn’t uncommon, it’s blackface, no matter what way you paint it.