Blackface In White Spaces: Black Folks Are Gonna Check You, Boo
By IDA HARRIS
I often question white intelligence ’cause it’s questionable, especially in the age of Black Emancipationists, The Remix. It seems to me that whiteness, in all its whiteness, would refrain from doing silly white shit in the name of whiteness exalting Blackness. But that would be too much like right.
In the latest white fetish faux pas, celebrity makeup artist Spencer, popularly known by his Instagram handle @paintdatface, thought it dexterous to produce a minstrel showing under the guise of makeup artistry, with 3,099 Instagram followers cosigning his ignorance. On a May 28, 2017 Instagram stunt, he posted a side-by-side makeover image of a blank-faced caucasian model, Anna Thorsell, next to a glam-faced “Black” model, Anna Thorsell, wearing a headwrap. Umm, yeah—right.
To be clear, that’s a white women’s face prepped and primed, contoured and beat to the gods in what appears to be MAC NW45. To be clear, it’s a white woman, donning African regalia and thick pouty lips painted on with what appears to be MAC Rebel, lined with Night Moth, and a dab of Candy Yum. To be clear, that is Blackface, The Remix.
this is honestly so disgusting. pic.twitter.com/DOM57CGub1
— r (@rihonardo) May 28, 2017
Spenstupid, I mean @beatdatazz, I mean @paintdatface prefaced his post with a three paragraph disclaimer, stating his vision had nothing to do with “RACE CHANGE,” but rather “celebrating the beauty of an[other] woman’s culture.”
To be clear, I agree. His performance had nothing to do with transracialism, but rather everything to do with the fetishization of Blackness. The Black, the Black body, the language, the food, the music, have all been carbon copied in somesuch way; this ministrel show is yet another reproduction of Blackness that whiteness cannot truly manufacture on its own. So by another name, this is misappropriation. And to be clear, “celebrating the beauty of an[other] woman’s culture” has absolutely nothing to do with color—specifically MAC Skinfinish (medium)—but everything to do with othering and his own lack of cultural competence. Colored-folk’s culture, in and of itself, is so damn diverse, there’s a name for it: Black Diaspora.
Blackness is not a monolith.Whiteness should stop doing silly white shit in the name of whiteness exalting Blackness. Click To Tweet
@dumbazzfuckface , I mean @paintdatface concluded his disavowal by affirming that “society” looks for reasons to protest. To be clear, after his attempt to placate Blackface, the Remix, he suggests offense is taken not given, and that people of color—specifically women—holding issue with his vision should perhaps sit down, be humble. To be clear, that is preemptive racialized silencing in the name of whiteness, exalting Blackness.
@tea_bing @rihonardo 1) it's blackface 2) black women are not fun costumes you can try on 3) the artist should have used a black model if they wanted to do this
— Third Force (@NalediMashishi) May 28, 2017
To be clear, this is definitely silly, white shit No. 34754943755321 that got Black Twitter fingers all up in @paintdatface’s and model @annathorsell’s white arses. Because gone are the days that Black beauty and culture need a white salute. Because gone are the days that Blackness gives a damn ’bout white fragility. Because Black Twitter. Because Black Emancipationists, The Remix. Because… just because, yo.
Ida Harris is a journalist and cultural critic covering a range of topics that intersect with Blackness, including art, activism, pop culture, parenting and womanhood. Ida is especially known for her critical writing on sexual assault against Black women and girls. Her work is featured in ELLE , DAME , Blavity, Teen Vogue , and USA Today.
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