Ghadeer Sultan is a professional make-up artist and an online beauty influencer who has millions of followers on Instagram.
She shared a video to her page on New Year’s Eve, in which she was covering her skin with dark makeup and lip-syncing to the song, which is a cover of We Are the World written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie in 1985.
She captioned the post: ‘No matter where you are from or what you believe in, we are all children of this world, and we all share it together equally. Beauty comes in all shapes and colors, so let’s love each other and celebrate our unity. I love u all, happy new year #happynewyear #happy_new_year #2020.’
The clip was made to raise money for the victims of the earthquake which devastated Haiti in 2010. Her post didn’t go well with so many people as many social media users found it offensive and showed anger at her choice to blacken her face.
One user wrote: ‘PLEASE DELETE THIS. Darkening your face, regardless of the context or the circumstances, is always unacceptable because of the racist history of blackface.’
Another wrote: ‘This is just a straight-up black face, which is very offensive and as an educated makeup artist you should know better about that, you want to show your abilities or talent on black skin USE A BLACK MODEL !!! Period.’
One said: ‘This is the most offensive thing I’ve seen. You can portray togetherness without disrespecting an entire culture. So uneducated, this is beyond unnecessary and unacceptable.’
Ghadeer took to Instagram to post another picture with dark face makeup and wrote, ”I am not racist.. I hate racism. What I’ve done is only to show what I am capable of… I love you all.”
”Life is meant for living… living with love and passion for every one without thinking of what they are could really change your life… Think 2020 and live with passion for all peoples. Happy New Year.”
Many people asked to take down all of the posts and one insisted that the video and pictures were ‘NOT okay’ before declaring that it was an ‘act of racism, whether you mean it or not.’
However, Ghadeer refused to take down the posts and shared the video of a BBC News report on the controversy.
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