Model Zara Abid recently received a lot of backlash for promoting blackface in such a way that it comes under cultural misappropriation.
Also phrased as cultural appropriation, it is the adoption of elements of one culture by members of another culture.
The dusky model did a photoshoot for a local salon which is aesthetically pleasing but she has been made to look like a black woman which she is not.
People who called out the model and brand pointed out the problem which is, how it is appropriate to paint a fair-skinned model darker? Ideally, instead of enhancing Zara’s skin tone, a model who is already of the colour which the brand aimed for should have been utilized.
Many argued that dark-skinned models already have limited opportunities and shouldn’t be deprived of the ones which celebrate their skin tone atleast.
Zara responded to the backlash saying that “I’m a proud dark skinned model.” She shared that many refused to hire her when she started modelling due to her dark skin tone.
She wrote on Instagram, “I’m the first hand victim of discrimination and colourism that exists in the society. “The pictures shared of the shoot that have been circulating have been misconstrued and manipulated by the social media users who are often too quick to jump to conclusions.”
The model clarified that her skin tone has beenn enhanced because she wants to empower her dark complexion. “There is a lack of representation among our dark skinned girls. Why? Because people want to see fair faces donning products as there is a longstanding and deeply-seated colonial insecurity that has always been a part of our society.”
Zara questioned why people weren’t enraged when she was made two to three tones lighter at multiple occasions.
“Why didn’t people stand up when I was portrayed as a lighter skin tone and are only enraged when I’m trying to represent the darker side of my population?” the model asked.” It’s high time we stop shaming dark skin and embrace it with open hearts and mind.”
Intentional or not, this creative decision has been deemed as racially insensitive by many and regarded as a case of cross-cultural pollination gone wrong.
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