Every year around Halloween the topic of blackface seems to worm it’s way into pop-culture dialogue. This year is no different as Percem Akin, a Turkish make-up artist, has created a blackface YouTube makeup tutorial that has social media outraged.
Akin used a foundation 50 shades darker than actual her skin tone, gave herself scars and even wore a headscarf, popular amongst black women, for effect. Sadly, the offensive behavior didn’t end there. As most vloggers do, Akin took to Instagram in an effort to promote her video.
The makeup artist paired images of her finished blackface look with disrespectful hashtags like #blackwoman and #sadmakeup. Of course no culturally insensitive Instagram post is complete without the hashtag #slave.
If you, for some very strange reason, aren’t aware what black face is, here’s a quick lesson. Used predominantly by non-black entertainers during the mid-1800s, it is a form of theater makeup popular in minstrel (very racist entertainment) shows.
The shows helped to enforce and spread negative and damaging stereotypes about black people (recently-freed slaves). So of course the reaction to Akin’s video and posts were swift, and rightfully angry, causing Akin to remove the video and make her Instagram account private.
DONT SUPPORT PERCEMAKIN ON INSTAGRAM CAUSE THEY THINK BLACKFACE AND HASHTAGGING SLAVE IS OKAY 🙃
So why u private now, sis?
Just wanna talk 🙃 pic.twitter.com/XBq8fnbQIz
— 🥀 Madison Anne 🥀 (@MadisonnnAnne_) September 24, 2017
— GamerBoo° XB1 (@Booskerz) September 25, 2017
Others have called on makeup brand NYX Cosmetics, which is affiliated with Akin, to cut all ties and release a statement condemning her actions.
— Ligia Reyes (@leylasereia) September 25, 2017
This is what Percem Akin looks like in real life. Here’s hoping she’s learned her lesson and sticks to culturally sensitive special effects makeup moving forward.