This post is a little hard for to me to write in that I am a huge makeup enthusiast. Hell, I encourage everyone to find her inner glam using any and every cosmetic item at her disposal. Makeup washes off with soap and water, so I always roll my eyes when folks are all, “natural is better! She must have self-esteem issues.” Do what makes you feel good, I always say.
Furthermore, I have always always championed women who speak out against makeup shaming, like Youtube Vlogger, MakeupDoll, who was the subject of the viral #takeherswimming hashtag a few years ago:
I even took part in the Power of Makeup Tag video (watch HERE) back in 2016, because I wanted folks to understand why so many of choose to indulge in paints and glitters of the face. It’s fun. We like it. The end.
All that being said, Victoria Katei, a 19-year-old student featured in the video below alleges that she too has been the subject of makeup-shaming. Indeed some of of the feedback she has received certainly does shame her for choosing to wear makeup. However, when looking at her before and I after photos, I too have questions.
Many people in favor of Victoria’s transformations have claimed lighting and filters are the reason for the drastic change in skin-tone, not makeup. Which might be true, as I have seen other photos of Victoria where her skin color is a deeper brown than the one above.
Here’s my thing: I’m not mad about the amount of makeup Victoria uses, I’m sure I use just as much, and I certainly hope I’m not venturing into policing what another woman chooses to do with her body, however, I’d be lying if I didn’t say that her before and afters don’t make me a little bit sad.
Blackness is deep for black folks. It really is. And bleaching or the semblance of bleaching is taboo in America, so if someone chooses to pose in lighting that lightens her skin tone by 4 shades, folks are going to have questions. Lighting doesn’t just happen to someone. The lighting doesn’t just pop up and demand that you take a selfie in said lighting and post it on social media, all while your nose is contoured to the gods and your green contacts are flickering in the the sun’s brilliance.
So of course, we’re left to wonder: why would someone with dark, beautiful, clear, skin consistently choose lighting and filters to alter her natural tone so drastically? Then to pair the lighter skin with light-colored contacts and a nose straight as an arrow, resulting in a face that almost looks as though it has gone through facial reconstruction.
So even though Victoria is her own person, those of us who are black and proud take Victoria’s choices as an affront to our blackness. We’re not mad about the makeup. We just want her to love and see the beauty in the skin with which she was born. I’m not against makeup, wear all of it, buy out Sephora weekly if you please, but black women who use it to seemingly alter their God-given blackety-black features will always give me pause.
And I’m not alone:
What say you? Is Victoria being shamed for makeup or are other issues at play?