Earlier this week, Blac Chyna sparked criticism online after promoting a controversial skin-lightening cream on social media.
A post shared by Blac Chyna (@blacchyna) on Nov 21, 2018 at 7:31pm PST
In response to the divisive, sponsored post, activist and model Munroe Bergdorf has spoken out on social media.
Taking to Instagram, Bergdorf shared an image of the controversial campaign alongside the opening words: “As a mixed-race light skin black woman, it’s not for me to comment on a darker skin woman’s personal decision to lighten her skin, as I already benefit from the colourism that pushes them to do so and I don’t need to deal with the colourist discrimination that comes as a result.”
She continued, “However, Blac Chyna’s professional decision to front a skin-lightening cream campaign sends an awful message to women with darker skin tones worldwide, that lighter skin is more beautiful and something to strive for, which is utter bullsh**.”
As a mixed-race light skin black woman, it's not for me to comment on a darker skin women's personal decision to lighten her skin, as I already benefit from the colourism that pushes them to do so and I don't need to deal with the colourist discrimination that comes as a result. . However, @blacchyna's professional decision to front a skin lightening cream campaign, sends an awful message to women with darker skin tones worldwide, that lighter skin is more beautiful and something to strive for, which is utter bullshit. It's particularily concerning when you take into account that her fanbase as an influencer, which is largely comprised of impressionable young black women. No amount of money is worth sanctioning and promoting the self hate of dark skin women. . This goes deeper than a just one beauty campaign, it adds to an already potent and damaging narrative that dark skin women have been working so hard for so long to combat on a world-wide level. . Please note that this is not an opportunity to attack Chyna on a personal level, it's about social responsibility and the wider harmful effects of the skin lightening industry on the black community as a whole.
A post shared by ＭＵＮＲＯＥ 🌹🌹 (@munroebergdorf) on Nov 22, 2018 at 3:02am PST
The 31-year-old also highlighted Chyna’s responsibility as an influencer in the post – noting that the mother-of-two should be cautious of the items she promotes to “impressionable young black women”.
She concluded, “This goes deeper than a just one beauty campaign, it adds to an already potent and damaging narrative that dark skin women have been working so hard for so long to combat on a worldwide level.”
The candid post has amassed over 4,200 likes, as fellow social media users took to the post to share their thoughts on the campaign.
One fan highlighted the growing issue of colourism in Nigeria – a prejudice against people who have a darker skin tone.
They commented: “Thank you! Also, to make the decision to go to Africa – a place which is still fighting against post colonial ideals of beauty where skin bleaching is an epidemic and self love of dark skin is slowly starting to become a way of life – it’s poor. So very poor.”
Another noted how Chyna’s social media status and fame could target a younger audience who suffer with issues of negative self image.
“Supply and demand seems like a logical explanation but influence matters. Making her the star of advertisement, or anyone perceived as beautiful, influential or ‘trustworthy’ may be the difference for those who are on the fence and can be persuaded to give products like this a try,” they commented. “Star power can add pressure to the decision to alter yourself for those who suffer with issues of negative self-image. She’s helping to legitimise this demand.”
Another highlighted this notion, adding: “Furthermore, in pushing these ideas, she also gives power to the notion held by people of other races that black/brown skin holds no value and lacks beauty.”
“As a mother of a biracial child, I make a conscious effort not to say things like ‘you have good hair’ or ‘my little light skinned girl’. I think that does so much damage, especially when children then seek to find out what then, is ‘bad’ hair and so forth.”
Blac Chyna is set to launch the controversial skin brightening cream later this month in Nigeria where where approximately 77% of women use them on a daily basis according to the World Health Organisation.
Skin-lightening products are illegal in the UK due to the creams containing hydroquinone; a chemical compound that can damage the liver and nervous system.
The model has yet to comment on the backlash.
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