Here’s another instance of the fashion world treating skin color like an accessory.
Earlier this year, Dolce & Gabbana was slammed for walking a pair of “Mammy earrings” that romanticized slavery down their Spring runway.
Now another company called Illamasqua Australia is taking some backlash for an ad that features a model in the most blatant of blackface we have seen in quite some time.
Gawker editor Jenna Saunders saw the offense on Facebook and reported on it:
Not only has the model’s skin been darkened with makeup, her lips have been exaggerated with pink lipstick — like a minstrel show performer from the 19th Century. And the top hat and bow tie is looking very Bert Williams. All told, this is some pretty blackface-y blackface. It looks exactly like the kind of blackface ad you’d make if all your blackface reference images were of actual, historical blackface.
And she makes a multitude of valid points!
There is also a version of the ad that features a model painted completely white, but the reverse is not barred with the same historically negative connotations as the blackface.
The Australia-based makeup company has yet to respond to the criticism of their ads.