When it comes to beauty, some women will do anything to achieve the look that they want. But what happens when a beauty trend starts looking reaaaally racist? One Swedish salon is causing controversy by tanning white customers so dark that they look black.
The blog Black Girl Long Hair had discovered that the salon Emmaatan in Sweden is offering spray tans with names like Violet Onyx, Dark Ash Onyx, Caramel, and Dark Chocolate. When applied, customers look so dark that their race appears altered. Is this a healthy way to tan--something many women do anyways--or is this blackface?!
The salon has received so much backlash that its owner has taken to Instagram to defend the controversial bake. "I apologise for the miss understanding my pic may have approached. Tanning is very popular these days because of the cancer factor, everybody is talking about how dangerous the sun beds is and therefore looking for a healthier option. I will never understand how 'black ppl' is facing the world and it's sad to know ppl don't get respect just because of their looks." The owner goes on to say that the tan actually lightens after showering "and won't look as 'black'" as it does in images.
This brings up the more complicated issue of how race and beauty are perceived. In the age of contoured noses, butt implants and artifically plumped lips, many women are looking to tap into race-specific features or attributes. New York Magazine investigated how plastic surgery has become an "ethnic minefield" with women (of all races) requesting so-called "Caucasian noses" or less "Asian cheekbones." Is deep, chocolate skin in a can offensive or part of this larger trend?