Die ehemalige Teilnehmerin der Model-Casting-Show „America’s Next Top Model“ steht derzeit im Mittelpunkt eines vermeintlichen Blackface-Skandals. Blackface ist eine rassistisch geprägte Theater- und Unterhaltungsmaskerade, die in den Minstrel Shows des 19. Jahrhunderts in den Vereinigten Staaten entstand. Dabei malten sich weiße Künstler das Gesicht schwarz und parodierten schwarze Mitbürger. Sie wurden meist als naive, trunken und schwachsinnig dargestellt.

In den sozialen Netzwerken verbreiten sich derzeit Bilder von Fans, die ihr Gesicht bewusst fleckig schminken, um den Look 21-jährigen Kanadierin zu imitieren. Obwohl die Frauen mit den Aufnahmen wohl ein positives Zeichen setzen wollten, brachte die Aktion den Userinnen auch herbe Kritik ein. So wird und wurde ihnen eine rassistische Motivation unterstellt.

So I’ve been tagged in this post a lot lately, with these ladies painting their faces to replicate the skin of the beautiful #winnieharlow. Here’s my take While I appreciate that these ladies look at her and see beauty and want to show respect and appreciation, I also get why so many people are upset about this. NO, I DO NOT think this is #blackface, I DO NOT think these ladies were trying to be insensitive, however having vitiligo is more than just painting it on to get noticed. I’ve lived with this condition for the last 26 years and it has been hard. Being pointed at, mocked, laughed at, talked about, depressed, sad, lonely and many other emotions associated with being different were NOT easy. The transition phase, looking in the mirror and not seeing the person I was born as, I look different every year, new spots, less color, I went from being very dark to very light and it was very hard. The days I cried, the days I just want to be accepted, understood or normal. So while I can appreciate that they love her, #Vitiligo runs deeper than just winnie, there’s so many people suffering in silence and these girls can just wipe off their makeup and not have to deal with the affects of really having vitiligo. The cultural appropriation part of it is irrelevant, I believe it’s more about being thoughtful and respectful for ALL people living through this condition. To live with a condition where every one can see your differences isn’t easy, we all have flaws but most people don’t have to wear it on the outside every day and have people judge them or treat them like they are contagious. On the other side this is not a black vs white thing or at least it shouldn’t be, it should be a being more mindful of all people who’s affected by vitiligo thing. Yes I LOVE that vitiligo is becoming more recognized and known but we don’t have a choice to have this condition or not, so I don’t think people should replicate this condition when they don’t have to actually live through the affects that we all do everyday. #winnieharlow #Vitiligo #theshaderoom #selflove #people #VITILIGOQUEEN

Ein von T. BROWN (@vitiligoqueen) gepostetes Foto am

Harlow selbst verteidigte die Bilder ihrer Fans jedoch und ließ in einem Instagram-Posting auf ihrer eigenen Seite wissen, dass die Intention hinter den Fotos lobenswert sei und die Betroffenen ihre Haut schätzen und nicht instrumentalisieren würden.

My response to this is probably not what a lot of people want but here it goes: every time someone wants fuller lips, or a bigger bum, or curly hair, or braids does Not mean our culture is being stolen. Have you ever stop to realize these things used to be ridiculed and now they’re loved and lusted over. No one wants to „steal“ our look here. We’ve just stood so confidently in our own nappy hair and du-rags and big asses (or in this case, my skin) that now those who don’t have it love and lust after it. Just because a black girl wears blue contacts and long weave doesn’t mean she wants to be white and just because a white girl wears braids and gets lip injection doesn’t mean she wants to be black. The amount of mixed races in this world is living proof that we don’t want to be each other we’ve just gained a national love for each other. Why can’t we embrace that feeling of love? Why do we have to make it a hate crime? In a time when so much negative is happening, please don’t accuse those who are showing love and appreciation, of being hateful. It is very clear to me when someone is showing love and I appreciate these people recreating, loving and broadcasting something to the world that once upon a time I cried myself to sleep over #1LOVE 💋

Ein von ♔Chantelle Winnie♔ (@winnieharlow) gepostetes Foto am

„Meine Antwort ist wahrscheinlich nicht jene, die viele Leute hören wollen, aber hier ist sie: Jedes mal, wenn jemand vollere Lippen, einen größeren Hintern, lockigeres Haar oder Zöpfe will, heißt das nicht, dass unsere Kultur gestohlen wird“, schrieb sie. Damit spielte Harlow auf die für Afro-Amerikanerinnen typisch oder charakteristisch geltenden, weiblichen Attribute an.

😴😴 never been called such derogatory slurs so repetitively.. By the the same people trying to nail me, but sound pretty backward with words of „coon“ „white washed bitch“ „brain washed nigga“… Actually sound stupid as hell with „she’s not even really black“ 😐 what is it called when your mother and father are Black..? Sigh. The point here is Not to make it seem that Blackface is okay, or act like our people haven’t gone through hell and back to then have things from our culture be stolen. #BlackLivesMatter This is Very true. But This situation has nothing to do with blacks or whites. All races have recreated the pattern of my skin and when they did it, it was complimented and glorified. This is Not appropriation, go look up the definition real quick! And it barely has anything to do with Vitiligo to be honest. People bash my fans who get my face tattooed on their bodies. It’s not actually about me or anyone else. It’s about a feeling I’ve created, and what I represent to whoever draws me, tattoos me or recreates my look (regardless of race!). It’s about the hope the pattern of my skin represents to THEM, it’s You who places a negative on it. It’s the representation of not being afraid to be proud of who you are not just a „disease“ as you so disablingly call it. I know my history. If you know ANY black Canadian you would know we all know our roots and are proud of where we’re originally from. But we also don’t live in the past. We are in the present creating a new future and even if it’s a slow progression we’re having, why can’t we continue? Our ancestors didn’t go through bullshit their whole lives for us to sit here and stay bitter or hoard our culture. The fight was never to Keep us segregated. It was to allow us to come together. So while a Lot of things in this world are wrong (and No I don’t support „Blackface“), a lot of things, including many intentions, are pure. Use common sense (and the definition…) to know the difference of appreciation and appropriation. Alright mi done talk!! Unno cyan gwan now and flip my words however u please 😎👑✌🏾️ #1Love

Ein von ♔Chantelle Winnie♔ (@winnieharlow) gepostetes Foto am

Und weiter: „Niemand will uns etwas streitig machen. Wir haben einfach lange genug mit Stolz unser krauses Haar, unsere Durags und unsere großen Ärsche (oder in diesem Fall meine Haut) getragen, dass es nun jeden, der dieses Dinge nicht hat, danach lustet.“ „Während viele Dingen in dieser Welt falsch laufen (und nein, ich unterstütze ‚Blackface‘ nicht), sind auch viele Dinge und Intentionen gut. Verwendet euren Hausverstand, um den Unterschied zwischen Anerkennung und Zweckentfremdung zu erkennen“, fügte die 21-Jährige noch hinzu.

Nachdem Harlow als Fünftplatzierteaus dem Model-Contest von Tyra Banks ausschied, kam ihre Karriere ins Rollen. Marken wie Desigual und Diesel buchten die Kanadierin für Kampagnen, zudem zierte sie zahlreiche Magazin-Cover.