UPDATE: Rarely does Billboard write articles with a scathing tone, however they are calling out Banks’ statements that bleaching your skin is the same as sewing in a weave.
Azealia Banks is bleaching her skin to appear lighter during a time when tension over the Black Lives Matter movement is at an all-time high.
Banks was kicked off Twitter in May because of her controversial racial slurs, but the saga continues. Fans of the rapper noticed her skin was visibly lighter in recent selfies, which prompted a wave of comments and ultimately twisted the singer’s arm to comment. She told fans two weeks ago about her plans to write an essay on the subject of skin lightening and skin bleaching, but instead she opened up the dialogue during a chat with viewers on Facebook Live.
“I don’t really think it’s important to discuss the cultural significance of skin bleaching anymore because I think that, just as African-American people, just as black people in this world, you assimilate, and there are things you accept, not just out of necessity but things become norm because they just happen all the time,” she said. “I guess people see the skin-bleaching thing as something different but I see it as another … assimilation thing. It’s a continuation of the falsification of self that comes with being a black person in America.”
She added: “My personal opinion about skin lightening. I consider anything that has to do with removing layers of skin or pigment, I consider it all bleaching … I say lightening.”
As Billboard points out, Banks also tried explaining that a poor diet and hormones could lead to clogged pores and that getting a chemical peel to help clear it up could make a person’s skin appear lighter.
“To say that [skin bleaching] negates what I’ve been saying about blackness in America is ignorant and just stupid,” she continued. “Nobody was upset when I was [wearing] 30-inch weaves, tearing out my edges, and doing all types of shit like that,” she said. “You guys loved it, but what is the difference?”
Banks posted a comment from a fan named Helen Cate who explains that Banks bleaching her skin “does not stem from a sense of deep inferiority,” but rather is “an oppressive act in itself to police her choices as a black woman in America.”