Many consider makeup an art form, but one cosmetologist is catching fire for a creation that some are calling blackface.
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A makeup artist took to Instagram to post a side-by-side photo of a white woman he'd transformed into a black one. The left image showed a bare-faced Caucasian model, while the left one was of the same model wearing foundation shades darker than her complexion and a head wrap.
The user wrote a lengthy caption to comment on the look.
“DISCLAIMER. I want to clearly express the sincere place I am coming from with this transformation...THIS IS NOT ABOUT A RACE CHANGE. This is about one woman acknowledging, embracing, and celebrating the beauty of another woman’s culture,” he said.
While an explanation was offered, many took to social media to express their angst, accusing the artist of blackface.
📞Hello Paintdatface ..... WOC called and we want our MELANIN back 😡 #appropration #blackface #BlackGirlsAreMagic @LegendaryRootz pic.twitter.com/jRFaSlxzXG— FancyFallonMua (@fancyfallonmua) May 28, 2017
📚 (@SheilaPThatsMe) May 28, 2017
@IVGuerraFelix @ArtsyPoet @rihonardo @NalediMashishi It is blackface under the guise of art. It needs to stop. You can't explain or tell people how to react or receive it, not your lane.— DoYourOwnResearch
@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
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A few questioned the cosmetologist’s intention, wondering why he didn’t use a person of color to celebrate black culture.
@rihonardo Then why didn't they just........use a POC......— shalina (@Shalilii1) May 28, 2017
🌕🌖🌗🌘🌑🌒🌓🌔🌕 (@ArtsyPoet) May 28, 2017
@rihonardo @NalediMashishi Why didn't he just use a black person? Why did he have to turn the white girl black to celebrate black/African culture? Bizarre pic.twitter.com/JdlFlvMtrv—
However, there were others who didn’t see an issue.
🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆 (@IVGuerraFelix) May 28, 2017
@Shalilii1 @rihonardo Because the point was to show the extent of what makeup can do.— Spurs
@rihonardo You're just adding to the race issues by creating more divide.. this artist clearly stated this was for the purpose of creation not to mock— Shandusky (@shandengregory) May 29, 2017
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The backlash caused the artist to delete the posts, but he did not issue an apology and continued to defend his choice.
“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,” he said.
The transformation that I recently posted of a woman transformed into a woman of another culture has been highly criticized by those who don't understand the message. 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 practicing unity.
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