Blackface is a makeup product used by makeup artists to well, make their subject look darker than they already are. In recent years, Western media and film have shunned the use of the product since the debate around race and the representation of all people picked up internationally.
We here in Pakistan still seem to be quite behind on this trend, since the product is still being used here, that too frequently.
Recently, a morning show came under fire for using blackface to show how ‘dark’ brides look in makeup. Similarly, a Pakistani model, Alyzeh Gabol, was also criticized for posed with blackface for a shoot. On her Instagram, she claimed that the shoot was for her to ’embrace her darkness’.
This obsession with blackface is definitely not dying down. Not too long ago, photos from a recent shoot dropped on Instagram.
The concept is called ‘Shimmering Delight’, but I don’t get why that warranted using blackface.
Can someone please explain this?
Just so that you truly understand what they did for this shoot, here’s a picture of the model, Kanwal Mehdi.
While there were some positive comments, there were some people who called the concept out.
There was outrage and rightfully so.
People were just so lost about WHY blackface was used, and how no one saw anything wrong with it.
There is a dire need in Pakistan to accept all skin tones and all shades of beauty.
We’ve all been conditioned to think that white is the epitome of beauty and grace, which is why products like ‘Fair and Lovely’ have found a large market in the Indian Subcontinent. This obsession with fairness and lighter skin needs to stop.
The onus of this change is with the entertainment and the fashion world, since they manage the definition of beauty in our part of world.
Using a ‘fair’ skinned model for a campaign that demands someone darker is just wrong. Using blackface just signals that there is no space for any skin tone other than fair. This only furthers the divide between ‘real’ beauty and the beauty depicted in the media.
The other dimension to using blackface is that of representation. Is there really NO model with darker skin that they could have used for this shoot? By constantly using models with fair skin, the modeling industry is shunning a major part of the population and presenting one version of Pakistani beauty. This then links to the point made earlier about how this version of beauty becomes the goal and the aim.
All skin tones are beautiful, and we need to accept that, not only in our media but also in our media, fashion and entertainment.
Model Alyzeh Gabol Tried To “Embrace Her Darkness” In A New Photo Shoot But It’s Actually Really Problematic
Cover Photo Courtesy: @ericsenofficial // Instagram