Swine flu isn’t the only virus to be worried about! Apparently, members of the fashion world have been infected with a case of “Blackface-itis” causing them to assume blackface is beautiful and artistic without the slight recognition of its historical context. A string of blackface incidences have been plaguing the pages of Vogue, as well as the CW’s “America’s Next Top Model” cycle 13 season as seen last night.
On the episode last night, the final six models had a photoshoot in a sugar cane field in Hawaii. Because Hawaii has a large “mixed-race” community (called hapa meaning “half”), the challenge of the photo shoot was for each model to take on two ethnicities even as far as to darken their skin.
Though this is not the first time Tyra has stepped outside of herself and created photo shoots in Blackface, but this one was by far the most extreme. And considering Tyra is a Black woman, there is something very disturbing about turning majority women into “minority-looking.” She even “blackened” the only black competitor up! Was she not “black enough?”
When does “art” go too far?