Winnie Harlow & The Evolution of Blackface

“Just because a black girl wears blue contacts and long weave doesn’t mean she wants to be white and just because a white girl wears braids and gets lip injection doesn’t mean she wants to be black.” – Winnie Harlow

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How do I start this post? I’ve been on a short hiatus while transitioning into college and during my break, so many “noteworthy” things have occurred. I’ll start here with 21 year old Canadian (nationality) model, Winnie Harlow. Winnie Harlow was a contestant on cycle 21 of the hit TV show, America’s Next Top Model. Recently, a few of Winnie’s fans, particularly, her WHITE fans decided to pay tribute to her in a very large, controversial manner.

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Sadly, Winnie simply does not understand and in addition to being uninformed, she doesn’t realize the deeper implications of actions such as these. After reading through comments on her Instagram posts and numerous articles, I can not even begin to fathom why some black people are okay with condoning the objective use of blackface as a means of “celebration” and “tribute”. In addition to blackface, there was also a faux-artistic mockery made of a skin disease that these girls do NOT have. I would like to sit Winnie Harlow down and ask her, “Girl…. what the HELL is wrong with you?” Blackface was not an “art form” that derived out of “appreciation.”. It always has been and always will be disrespectful and racist. There is a reason the term is culture appropriation and culture appreciation. Winnie didn’t respond well to her people saying that what was taking place was disrespectful and down right racist. Painting vitiligo on your skin because it’s ‘trendy’ is weird and ableist regardless of race.

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Winnie has a lot of things tragically misunderstood. I understand that she has a multiethnic background. Kudos to you, Winnie. But from reading her interviews and tweets, she seems to believe that her vitiligo makes her biracial. Honey, if that was the case, albinos are white and skin color always equates to race. Winnie somehow also brought segregation into the conversation by relating it (or not relating it) to her not condoning blackface. Truthfully, I don’t know what the HELL this girl was talking about! The only people supporting her right now are misinformed blacks and eager, racist white girls! Winnie, to view deliberate blackface as love is a sickness, my dear.

I wont’t speak too long on this topic because, truthfully, I don’t know what to say. To see a vast amount of blacks deny the historical relevance of blackface to support a misinformed young lady is frightening.

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