It’s the top of July, which means we’re just in time for our monthly Azalea Banks antic.
The 25-year-old finally addressed all those rumors of skin bleaching with a video on Facebook. In it she pauses from taking a bike ride in San Francisco to acknowledge that she is bleaching her skin and explains why. Note: this is her first Facebook live post, as she’s been banned from other social media platforms.
Here’s where you have to pay attention.
“I see you guys really want to talk to me about this whole skin bleaching, skin lighting thing, and why I did it. I don’t think really think it’s important to talk about the cultural significance of skin bleaching any more because I think that as African American people, or just as black people in this world, you assimilate. There are things you accept… not out of necessity but things that just kind of become norm because it’s just happening all the time.”
Adding, “What’s the difference between getting your nose done and changing your skin color?” says the 25-year-old rapper in the video. “What’s the difference between getting a hair weave and changing your skin color? Nobody was upset when I was wearing 30-inch weaves and tearing out my edges.”
She closes by saying, “You guys loved it, but what is the difference? I don’t understand what difference is, because there really isn’t a difference. I think that for so many people to say that it negates anything that I’ve said about this current situations of blackness in America is ignorant and just stupid. What do body modifications have to do with someone’s intellect? The two don’t correlate. And I think it’s petty.”
Here’s the raw deal: Skin bleaching has shown on more than one occasion to be harmful and potentially cancerous. Its use is also rooted in deep seeded racism from colonization and centuries of oppression. So outlandish theories and artistic expression aside, bleaching the pigment out of your skin is a bad idea.
Cultural assimilation is a conscious decision on the part of individuals who choose to subscribe. You don’t have to follow like a slave. In fact, there’s a whole movement to change the racist paradigm and legal system that we as African descendants have lived through.
So don’t give us this fake-deep crap.
Nonetheless, Banks once again raises a topic for discussion. So we have to thank her for bringing it up— even if she’s dead wrong in the process.