Earlier in the month, a number of beauty bloggers responded to the senseless murder of George Floyd with makeup looks oriented around the Black Lives Matter movement. Following mass outrage from both the beauty community and the general public, several of these influencers have now apologized.
Among those to have issued apologies is American beauty blogger, Ashley Richter. With over 16,000 followers, Richter took to Instagram with a photo of herself sporting a raised black fist across the right half of her face. Alongside messages including “Black lives matter,” “Justice 4 George Floyd,” and “I can’t breathe,” the post immediately attracted criticism. It has since been taken down.
Speaking to the Today show, Richter said, “I made this post on Instagram thinking I was spreading awareness, however, I was quickly educated on how [and] why my post was offensive and tone-deaf and deleted it immediately.” The beauty blogger also shared words of advice for anyone else thinking of following her lead. “Please use your time better to donate, sign petitions, uplift Black creators, and take action,” she said. “I am deeply sorry to those I offended with my ignorance and will continue to do better to become a better ally.”
i hate german tik tok so much pic.twitter.com/fy5n00tMX0
— ✿#𝗕𝗟𝗠✿ (@vohmitdoll) June 1, 2020
Following suit was @catherinas_beauty, a German beauty blogger who frequently shares looks via TikTok. In the video posted to her page, the blogger can be seen painting half her face black, while the song This is America by Childish Gambino plays in the background.
Once again being met with an onslaught of backlash, Catharina took down her post, later apologizing for her lack of awareness around the history of blackface. “I never wanted to hurt anyone’s feelings,” she said. “I only wanted to send a message against racism, but I did it wrong.”
While fans of the bloggers were quick to call our use of police brutality and racial inequity as an aesthetic, members within the beauty community were similarly outraged. Renowned beauty blogger, NikkieTutorials took to Twitter to denounce the trend saying “logging in and actually seeing people creating “I can’t breathe” makeup looks… friendly reminder: don’t be that person it’s disrespectful and low, have some respect, sign petitions and DONATE!”
logging in and actually seeing people creating “I can’t breathe” makeup looks………………. friendly reminder: don’t be that person 🤦🏼♀️ it’s disrespectful and low, have some respect, sign petitions and DONATE!
— NikkieTutorials (@NikkieTutorials) May 29, 2020
Also from the beauty community, YouTuber Alissa Ashley encouraged fellow beauty enthusiasts to find better ways of supporting the movement. “Raising awareness isn’t using fake blood to appear beaten up,” she said in a tweet. “It’s not using a darker shade of foundation to show your solidarity. It’s not writing a dying mans last words on your lips. Black peoples trauma/reality isn’t a makeup trend.”
Raising awareness isn’t using fake blood to appear beaten up. It’s not using a darker shade of foundation to show your solidarity. It’s not writing a dying mans last words on your lips. Black peoples trauma/reality isn’t a makeup trend. Like y’all can’t possibly be this dumb https://t.co/LPrBuJgPiv
— Alissa Ashley (@alissa_ashleyy) May 29, 2020