Continuing the resurgence of a makeup practice long considered taboo, “America’s Next Top Model” featured a number of models painted with dark makeup to resemble bi-racial women.
On the episode, which aired last night (Oct. 28), host Tyra Banks said the goal was to create an editorial celebration of the immigrants who relocated to Hawaii to work as sugar cane farmers in the mid-19th century.
Banks tasked models with interpreting exotic racial combinations like “Russian-Moroccan” and “American Indian-Egyptian,” photographing them herself in the green reeds of a sugar plantation on the island of Maui. The models — Jennifer An, Nicole Fox, Laura Kirkpatrick, Sundai Love, Brittany Markert and Erin Wagner — were styled and then sent to makeup, where each was painted with varying degrees of dark body makeup to match the perceived skin tone of the corresponding race they were conveying.
This is the second time models have been shown in dark makeup in recent weeks. French Vogue photographed model Lara Stone in blackface for its October issue, which was particularly disturbing because the offending pictures were part of an issue celebrating models, but had nearly a black model in the magazine.
Instead, they chose to paint a blonde model black in a botched attempt to squeeze out a drop of artistic diversity. Currently, out of “America’s Next Top Model’s” six remaining contestants, one is black, one is Asian and four are Caucasian. The show started out with four black models in a group of 14.
What do you think? We don’t think Tyra should delve into this either, but maybe getting over this issue can be done when seen from a black perspective. Do you think the show did that?