Something very disturbing happened to make-up artist Takara Allen, 22, when she started chatting with a man named Nikolas on the dating app, Tinder. Nikolas may have thought he was giving Allen a compliment when he said she’d look pretty if she were whiter, but Allen didn’t see it that way and rightfully so.
Allen didn’t let Nikolas get away with his racist remark. Not only did she have some harsh words for him, but she posted their text message exchange on her Facebook page. The texts went viral, with most being in support of Allen.
The incident made Allen so frustrated that she started crying. No one ever told her to bleach her skin before and as a result, she was able to partially understand why some Black women wish to be lighter:
“There’s so much pressure for people of color like myself to conform to European beauty ideals and standards,”
“In most cultures being ‘paler’ or ‘white’ allows that individual to be treated better due to systematic racism and we are taught from a young age that being ‘whiter’ makes us more desirable and attractive.”
Allen, who is of mixed race but identifies as black, thinks it’s appalling that black women are still expected to fall in line with the white woman’s standard of beauty. She posted this message along with the screen shots of the conversation that she had with Nikolas.
Allen also acknowledged, in an article written for The Daily Mail, that she now accepts that she has light-skinned privilege. She also has a better understanding of how pressured dark-skinned women may feel to be lighter:
“I acknowledge and accept that I am treated somewhat better because I am not as dark as others so I can see the situation from both sides of the fence,”
“Both being treated and spoken to poorly because I am brown, but also benefiting to an extent from white privilege because I am light-skinned. Now that it has been personally directed at me I can understand better how those that are darker than me feel on a daily basis and I feel their outrage so much more than I did before.”
“I would never wish how I felt receiving that text message on anyone. I was devastated.”
What are your thoughts?