In typical ignorant and racist type fashion, white beauty blogger, Vika Shapel, took to the internet with what she apparently thought would be a fun little trendy and so fresh thing to do.
Through her reinventing-the-wheel-and-pretending-you’re-a-genius-for-it tactic, she decided that painting her face darker would be a fun little gimmick to pull in viewers for her YouTube channel, and she dubbed it The Chocolate Challenge.
And it wasn’t long before she (rightfully so) got called out on it.
While she attempted to cover up her tracks shortly after the backlash started rolling in, she learned one thing: the internet will never let you forget – especially when it comes to screenshots.
“Come watch us transform into deep chocolate skin tones from our pasty pale,” Shapel had Instagrammed, stating she didn’t know if “there is a challenge like this.”
Apparently, blackface is a “new” challenge, and “transforming into deep chocolate skin tones” also includes changing your eye color to a darker shade as well! Perhaps the weirdest part was the fact that she and her friend rubbed chocolate all over themselves to achieve these darker skin tones!
It didn’t end there.
Perhaps following in the footsteps of celebrities who have also played ignorant when it comes to racism and cultural appropriation (*cough*theKardashiansandJenners*cough*), she offered an apology that betrayed just how much common sense she lacks when it comes to race issues: “I simply wanted to see how I looked in a deeper skin tone,” Shapel has told Yahoo! Beauty. “I wasn’t aware of the whole black-face concept before people began commenting it on the photo. I would like to apologize to people that were hurt or offended by my post, and it won’t happen again.”
Translation: “I simply wanted to see how I look like as a black person and thought I could get internet famous for it. I’m sorry that I got called out for being a racist”.The time has come where people shouldn't be let off the hook. Click To Tweet
And this, everyone, is the type of world we live in. A world in which Black men and women are not only systematically oppressed in every aspect of life, but have also become a “makeup challenge” – a brand new type of blackface – so a white beauty blogger can experiment what she would look like as a black person without ever having to worry about her white privilege being taken away – the type of white privilege, it seems, that allows one to play ignorant on a controversial issue that has been written and debated about for decades.
Here’s the thing, y’all: Shapel is a beauty blogger.
When you’re in a position such as the one that she is in – a position that plasters your face and views all over social media – you should know better. And when you fuck up and unveil your racist side, then you need to own up and actively work against the “mistake” you apparently are truly sorry for. Educate people on why it was a racist mistake – whether deliberate or not. Speak up against racism. Reflect on how your compliance and ignorance in feeding into racist institutions that continue to affect people of color.
The time has come where people shouldn’t be let off the hook with half-assed apologies.
People need to be held responsible for their actions.