Opinion: Black Lives Matter Isn’t A Makeup Trend

Published on June 27, 2020

The support for the Black Lives Matter Movement has grown over the past few weeks since the tragic events that took place in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Many people around the world have put out their support for the situation and expressed outrage and similar stories in an effort to stop police brutality. Protests erupted around the world this month, petitions were spread around social media where they reached millions of people, and the message was spreading around the world, but some weren’t getting the message

Social media had to educate some beauty gurus who posted on TikTok and Instagram about the matter. Well-known beauty influencers like Patrick Starrr, Alissa Ashley, and Nikkie Tutorials gave other influencers a lesson on how you support the movement and how mocking the oppression of Black people is not some beauty trend. Yes, in the year 2020, we still have people out here in the world mocking other’s trauma or making it either fashion or makeup. 

A user on TikTok who goes by the name of @catharinas_beauty took to the popular app to show her “support” of the movement by painting half of her face brown and leaving the other half her white skin tone. TikTok users were quick to call this what it was—blackface—and the influencer is now facing criticism for the insensitive video.


She has taken down the offensive TikTok, but the original video has since been uploaded to Twitter and has gotten quite a lot of views. She has since apologized about the insensitive TikTok, and pointed out that she is only 16 and still has more to learn about the world’s history.


This TikTok’er isn’t the only one who has put up makeup looks thinking that they are “supporting” the Black Lives Matter movement only to find that their efforts were not met with equal enthusiasm. Many popular YouTube Beauty Influencers took to Twitter to shut these women down and educate and let them know that what they are doing is wrong, and that they should know better.


There are many out there who have deleted their posts, or some have deleted their account in its entirety. One beauty influencer named Ashley Richter, who is known for her artistic makeup creations on Instagram, put up a makeup look that had Black Lives Matter and other phrases related to the movement painted on her face.


There are many out there who get upset and ask the question, “well, how are beauty gurus supposed to express themselves?” The answer to that question is by going out and protesting, signing petitions, using your voice and platform for good, not that bad. Putting on makeup and writing, “BLM” and “I can’t breathe” is doing more harm than good. Hey, you could even do a regular makeup look while talking about Black history—that would be a great use of your platform.

My final statement as a Black woman is that nobody is trying to start drama with anyone over things like this. We, as the Black community are trying to teach white people that things like this just isn’t socially acceptable, not in our book. We aren’t trying to take away someone’s passion and art; we are merely trying to educate you that this type of response is wrong. Painting your face brown and trivializing our realites and traumas with makeup isn’t showing us or anyone your support—but is rather met with more of a mocking tone. 

We do appreciate your support in that you are with the movement and ready to take a stand—but take that stand by attending peaceful protests (white people do not need to riot on behalf of the Black community), signing petition and voicing what’s right and what’s wrong. It’s okay to admit that you made a mistake—now you know and have at least educated yourself on how what you do can affect individual people. Think about it.  

Jori Ayers is a Staff Writer at Grit Daily based in Tampa, Florida. She was formerly with the editorial team at Tampa Bay Parenting Magazine.

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