These images have been circulating around social media for the last year. There has been a lot of controversy surrounding them, especially regarding Ariana’s dramatic change of skin colour. However, there’s been a lot of discussion on whether they have been edited further, to make her skin tone noticeably darker.
Fake or not, these images do raise an incredibly important discussion that has been highlighted throughout the year – tanning to create a racial ambiguity.
Ariana Grande has a lot of controversy regarding her skin colour and behaviour. I don’t think it’s my place to really talk about this is length, as it’s not my culture she’s taken from (and I’m not educated enough either), but I have seen a large amount of twitter threads and conversations that reinforce this situation.
However, I sympathise.
I think why I sympathise, is because I know how it feels to not want to be the colour you are.
Obviously, this is a completely different situation. A POC wanting to be white, is a different conversation to a white person wanting to be darker. I just want to ask the question, why do they want to be darker?
Are we trendy? Are we fashionable? Is it just a fad, and when it becomes trendy to be pale again, will people drop all signs of their tanning mechanisms? Or is it more deeply rooted than that? Are they insecure? Do they feel uncomfortable? Have we driven white people, to hate being associated with being white?
This is always a thought and feeling I’ve had, however I’ve refrained from talking about it, as I was scared that it was too controversial. As, in our culture, the moment you say something to defend white people, you’re wrong.
However, I’m scared that we’re going backwards.
I see too many similarities with when I used to use a lighter foundation than my skin colour in secondary school; when I used to use the filter that made my skin colour the palest; taking photos under bright lights, using the flash. It’s giving me flashbacks to my most insecure days, so naturally, I can’t hate. Because naturally, I want to tell those people to be comfortable in their own skin.
I can say for a fact, that I don’t think I would be as secure in my skin colour than I am right now, if it wasn’t for the fact that my skin colour is finally being viewed as attractive or trendy. I realised that girls wanted to be my skin colour, when the Kardashians and their tanned skin started becoming fashionable.
I guess my point is – are we pointing in the finger in the right direction? Is Ariana doing something bad by choice? Or, when it really comes down to it, have we made her hate who she truly is?
I would love to hear your thoughts on this situation!