When Percem Akin, a makeup artist from Turkey, posted a racially-charged tutorial of herself in Halloween blackface, she was met with consternation from around the globe.
Bloggers, vloggers, and social media users breathed a collected "This again?" sigh as Akin tried to explain herself. But, as with other people who have feigned or claimed ignorance on the topic, she was dragged by social media to the point where she deleted her accounts—at least for a little while. And with good reason.
While things seem to have blown over, there are still people, especially at this time of year, who are posting costumes of themselves as different races. And that is not, and has never been okay. There are plenty of things on Halloween that could get you into trouble, and costumes are some of them. These bad makeup ideas are offensive, and this Turkish makeup artist's blackface tutorial even more so.
In Akin's case, she hopefully learned a valuable lesson about cultural appropriation, racism and the history blackface and what her actions actually represent.
Even Though She Apologized, The Internet Still Wasn't Having It
Zeba Blay, a Huffington Post writer, took to her blog to say ignorance is no excuse regarding blackface. "At this point, it has been thoroughly established on nearly every corner of the internet that blackface is bad. The information is out there. It's all over Facebook timelines, and Twitter feeds. Therefore, anyone who willfully chooses to don blackface this Halloween is making a concerted effort to be stubbornly ignorant."
After Briefly Deleting Her Social Media Accounts, Akin Returned To The Internet
Akin brought her social media accounts are back online after about two weeks of going silent. While her apology remains up — in Turkish as well as English — the offending picture has been deleted, and the hubbub surrounding it appears to have died down. However, blackface and cultural appropriation on social media is still a problem.
Akin Is A Beauty Vlogger Like Any Other On Social Media
Percem Akin is one of many makeup artists who posts her work to social media. Her creations are posted to YouTube as tutorials with the finished products posted to Instagram. While she has a few thousand followers, she was not terribly well known—that is, until September 2017 when she posted an image that people across the world found very offensive.
Why Blackface Is Never Okay In ANY Situation
Blackface was born from a derogatory stereotype of Africans in Europe and the Americas by white entertainers who would wear dark paint on their faces and perform as a people they felt were lesser beings. It was a way to ridicule and lampoon and it is still (and always be) seen as a form of racism.